Costa del Sol property & lifestyle, news, views, advice & information

Marbella charity tree planting event, Saturday 26 November

Author:   |  November 24th, 2011

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SeedlingResidents of Marbella will be going green this weekend… but not with envy! Environmental charity Arboretum are asking for the support of 100 members of the local community to help plant 1,000 trees and shrubs at Finca El Trapiche from 10am until 1pm, where a ‘People’s Forest’ is being created.

The objective is to make use of a deserted scrubland area by turning it into a beautiful nature reserve and is a fantastic way of not only restoring the lost woodlands of the area, as well as conserving species of trees and plants native to Andalucía, but will also result in the creation of an appealing public green area for residents and visitors alike.

“We need 100 people from the local community to get involved and help plant 1,000 trees in just one morning,” says Alejandro Orioli, founder of Arboretum. “The event has been designed so people of all ages can join in. And if you are unable to lend a hand this weekend, then we would really appreciate your support on Twitter (@ ArboretumMrblla), or Facebook (Arboretum Marbella). All you need to do is re-tweet our posts about the campaign, or tweet messages about the project using key words #100personas1000arboles.“

For more information, T. 951 137 210.

Marbella Apple store opens on 25 November

Author:   |  November 22nd, 2011

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Apple store opens in MarbellaIt was in early September that we first posted the fabulous news that US technology giant Apple would be opening its biggest store in Spain right here in Marbella – in the La Cañada shopping mall to be exact – and just in time for Christmas, too!

OK, so now we have an official launch date, too: Friday, 25 November, when 5,000 visitors are expected to pass through the doors. And it goes without saying that you’ll find all the innovative services that are the hallmark of Apple stores around the world. Like their One to One, Genius Bar, Workshops, Youth Programs and Business Team, and of course an online appointments service, not to mention the Apple Summer Camp 2012 booking now.

The first Apple Retail Store opened 11 years ago in Virginia. Currently, there are 350+ worldwide.

Plans approved for a new marina at La Cala de Mijas

Author:   |  November 22nd, 2011

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Marina for La Cala de Mijas

The new marina will be funded entirely by private investment

It was way back in 2006 that plans to build a marina in La Cala were first drawn up, and at last they’ve just been approved by the Junta de Andalucía, meaning that the municipality of Mijas can now join the towns of Fuengirola, Benalmádena, Málaga, Marbella, Estepona, Manilva and Sotogrande – all of whom have boasted their own yacht harbours for a good many years.

The new marina…

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Anyone for tennis, with Rafa Nadal?

Author:   |  November 18th, 2011

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Ace RafaLaunched just last week, Bacardi’s Champions Drink Responsibly campaign serves you up the chance not only to ‘Ace Rafa’ in their online virtual reality game, but also to meet him in Mallorca in 2012… and face him on court!

Unlike most console and online games, ‘Ace Rafa’ features a real version of Rafael Nadal rather than a computer-generated one and the game is brought to life with the 10-times Grand Slam singles champion receiving each serve as though he were playing an actual match with you…

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Samsung invests €50 million in Málaga-based solar energy company Isofotón

Author:   |  November 18th, 2011

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Spain is a world leader in the development of solar energy, and since the Costa del Sol is blessed with an annual average of more than 300 sunshine days, it is perhaps no coincidence that one of the country’s major players is based in Málaga.

Málaga's Isofotón HQ at the Parque Tecnológico de Andalucía

But then in December of last year, the Spanish government pulled the plug on the previously very generous subsidies set aside for the solar industry…

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Bank Guarantee Petition and the Spanish Property Roadshow 2011

Author:   |  November 16th, 2011

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Beatriz Corredor

Spanish Secretary of State for Housing, Beatriz Corredor

A few months back, I engaged in some private mail with a poster called ‘Roots’ on the Spanish Property Insight forum. Roots has, along with another poster called ‘Keith110’, long been campaigning to bring to account the Spanish government, the Bank of Spain and any number of lawyers, estate agents, developers and well just everyone connected to the issues concerning abusive practice and abject failures, in relation to many Bank Guarantees given to British buyers that have not been honoured.

It is an enormous and disgraceful tragedy that people such as Roots and Keith110 have had to now dedicate so much of their personal time and lives to seek redress and action on the part of the Spanish government and in fact the whole real estate industry, over something that I’m sure started out for them as an exciting adventure into buying a home in Spain…

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The bottom of the Costa del Sol property market is now... and that's official. Well, as soon as they figure it out it will be!

Author:   |  November 11th, 2011

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Bottom of the marketBased on an analysis of our own business trends and my personal instincts – both of which have been tested in the Costa del Sol property market for some 22 years now – I can finally answer the oft-asked question, and state with certainty – probably long before you’ll hear it elsewhere – that we have now finally reached the ‘bottom of the market’ for Costa del Sol real estate.

How can I do this ahead of official government statistics or our economic guru journalists? Well, here are the facts of the matter…

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Spanish property and the Greek Crisis: What a 19 days and 19 months this has been for everyone…

Author:   |  November 7th, 2011

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Various national Press and TV media have again asked VIVA to comment in the past few days about the Greek crisis and the Euro currency issue affecting our Spanish property market. There was no short reply, and we couldn’t spend hours talking to them all, so this was our considered and rather long written response.

Phew… What an incredible drama and what an unbelievably stressful time we have all been through since the whole Greek crisis began to unveil itself some 19 months ago and almost spin out of complete control in the past 19 days.


Incredible frustration we know…

In the past two months, within VIVA we have seen record numbers of viewings for our properties from clients all over Europe. We know from our business history, from our website traffic and from the overall downturn in Spanish property sales over the past 5 years that there is now a huge reservoir of people, who are our clients, that are now eager and wanting to make their move into the market and buy.

Everyone knows that prices have been brought down to levels that would have been thought impossible to see. Developers, Banks and Private Vendors who feel they now simply have to sell, have reduced their prices to do exactly that: Sell.

As a result of this, in the first part of October, continuing from a really successful summer, VIVA saw its best sales performance in the past 5 years with properties being sold every single day.

Then coming to the boil, the Greek crisis that has been ever present like the elephant in the room for the past year and half, came crunching to our and everyone else’s door, and for a moment, or 19 days, almost slammed it shut. We then sold a property every four days instead of daily… Continue Reading

Málaga hosts MIT 'Technology Review' EmTech Congress

Author:   |  October 26th, 2011

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Málaga hosts MIT technology...

For the first time ever, Boston’s prestigious MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and publishers of the benchmark Technology Review magazine founded in 1989 – sets foot in Europe. To be exact, in Málaga, the capital of the Costa del Sol, where the EmTech Congress – bringing together 500 of the sharpest international minds in the field of emerging technologies – takes place on 26 & 27 October at the city’s landmark Palacio de Congresos.

Only the 3rd foreign city, after Canton and Bangalore, to host the 2-day event, an illustrious think tank comprising business leaders, top investors, entrepreneurs, researchers, technologists and scholars will be sharing and discussing their knowledge of intelligent cities, biotechnology, nanotechnology, robotics, the media, internet, video games and more besides…

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Images of the Week 6: Out of the blue… the Costa del Sol Smurf village of Júzcar

Photographer: Carolyn Mowlem  |  October 26th, 2011

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hu kuh

When the pretty, yet unassuming village of Júzcar was unexpectedly chosen for the world première of Sony Entertainment’s new film ‘The Smurfs 3D’ in summer 2011, the 250 inhabitants of the pint-sized pueblo – sleepily nestling in the mountains between San Pedro and Ronda – had no idea what lay ahead. Courtesy of Sony, almost every building – including the parish church – was painted Smurf blue virtually overnight, and as a consequence hundreds, some say thousands, of visitors have been descending on Júzcar every weekend since.
The villagers get to choose whether their pueblo remains true blue, or returns to its traditional whiter shade of pale in a referendum taking place after the Spanish Elections on 20 November.
Local mayor, David Fernández (aka ‘Papa Smurf’), says the villagers will have the last word, but with Júzcar’s coffers swelling as never before – and in a recession, too – I know where I’d put my money!

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