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Spanish tourism increases on the Costa del Sol

It was reported in the Euroweekly News that more Spanish tourists travelled to the Costa del Sol this summer. Marbella and Estepona in particular saw a big upsurge in Spanish tourist numbers, with Estepona experiencing an increase of nearly 70% in tourists from within Spain comparing this July to July 2018.

According to the newspaper, this increase was also seen in other tourist areas on the Costa del Sol. “Marbella saw an increase of 20.9 per cent to 30,089 Spanish tourists, while Torremolinos experienced year-on year growth of 18.4 per cent. Antequera saw a 15 per cent rise, Malaga capital 13.1 per cent and Benalmadena 7.7 per cent.”

Marbella had its best July for 13 years, with a small increase in average room prices as well. Estepona experienced its busiest July on record in the town’s hotels, according to the Sur in English.

These figures are for the hotels in the area, as property management experts who help hundreds of property owners generate rental income, we have also seen an increase in Spanish tourists booking holiday rental properties. This is a great source of potential rental income for our clients, in addition to our large numbers of Northern European and British clientele. We haven’t seen the predicted Brexit effect this year, with the same amount of bookings from the UK as in previous years, so this is a very positive upward trend.

The increase in Spanish tourism reflects the improving economic conditions in the country which have been seen over the last five years or so, as Spain recovers from the financial crisis. It was reported in El Pais that unemployment fell in Spain in the second quarter, which would boost tourism and spending in general. Here on the Costa del Sol, there has been significant investment made in the hospitality sector, which is generating employment and more interest in the area from businesses and tourists alike.

This is all good news for owners of properties on the Costa del Sol who are looking to generate rental income. The holiday rental market already generates $1,437 million and is expected to grow by 4.2%, resulting in a market volume of US$1,694m by 2023 according to statista.com. We have seen steady growth in the holiday rental and long-term rental demand, as well as an extension of the typical high season and more off-peak bookings.

HomeCareontheWeb is looking for more properties to meet the demand and as property management and rental experts we can take the stress out of rentals. Please contact us to discuss renting out your property. You can also download our free guide with our secrets of successful holiday rentals to find out more about how it works and decide if it’s right for you.

Preparing your home for rentals

Here at HomeCareontheWeb we are property management and rental experts, with more than 15 years’ experience caring for our clients’ homes as if they were our own. Some clients simply like us to keep an eye on the property and deal with any issues that may arise while they’re away. However, the majority of our owners also want our help with generating income by renting out their property.

So, we wanted to share a few steps you need to take to prepare yourself and your home before you can start to rent it out and generate rental income.

  1. Decide whether to go short or long term

The first step in preparing your home for rentals is to decide what kind of rentals you want to do – short term holiday rentals, or long-term rentals. The long-term rental market is really booming and there is a definite shortage of supply, which is pushing prices up. However, this is most suitable for owners who don’t want to use their properties and are simply using it as an investment. Some contracts have breaks for the summer months to allow owners to holiday there themselves, but tenants usually want a 12 month contract. To find out more about long-term rentals download our free guide Home Owners Tips for Long-Term Rentals

If you want to use your property, but aren’t here often and can be flexible as to when you holiday, then short term rental is a good idea. Although there is a lot of competition in this field, properties rent well over the peak summer months, but tend to be empty outside the season, so you can use the property yourself. There is now regulation in this industry and you need to register your property, inform the police station when guests arrive and pay tax on your rental income, but this is still a good way to maximise the investment in your property.

Download our Secrets of Successful Rentals Guide to learn more about renting out your property.

Once you’ve decided how you want to rent your property then you need to prepare your property for when guests arrive.

  1. Make sure guests are informed

Create an information pack which helps guests to enjoy their stay to the full. This includes contact information for you or your property management company, instructions on how to operate things like the air conditioning, washing machine and dishwasher and any rules and regulations you would like guests to abide by. This information pack should also contain information about the local area, so your tenants feel right at home and know everything they need to so that living in your property offers the best possible experience.

  1. Protect your valuables

Guests will look after your property to the best of their ability, but it’s best not to leave important things at risk. Pack away any items of value (sentimental or financial) and any delicate items you wouldn’t want broken and store them in a safe place. Many landlords buy new but easily replaced packs of cups, plates and glasses from Ikea so there’s no sentimental value and if things get broken it really doesn’t matter.

It’s also a good idea to remove any highly personal items such as photographs and keepsakes and make your property neutral, as this will help guests feel right at home.

  1. Clean, clear out and tidy

Clear your cupboards and fridge and make sure you have all the essential items for a short term or long term tenant. Then deep clean everywhere and perform any small maintenance tasks you may have been putting off to make sure everything is perfect for your guests’ arrival.

Organize cleaners who can handle the change over after guests leave and gardeners, if necessary, to keep your garden in good condition for guests and make sure the property is secure. Appoint someone to keep hold of your keys so that cleaners, gardeners and maintenance people can get access. Then you are ready to welcome your first guests and start generating income.

If this all sounds like too much work, call in the experts!

HomeCareontheWeb can take care of all of this for you. Our experience and multi-skilled team makes this easy, and we have processes in place to remove the stress from you. We are able to find you rental clients, taking bookings, handle payments and deposits and organize all the people needed to keep your property in great condition for you and your tenants.

Please browse our website to find out more about our property management packages and our rental management services, or contact our helpful team to find out more.

Take advantage of the long-term rental off-peak market

Take advantage of the long-term rental off-peak market

September is here and this marks the end of the high season and the start of the quieter off-peak season. Although September is getting more popular for holidaymakers and it is slightly extending the traditional summer season, there’s no doubt that by the end of the month there won’t be as many holiday rental clients to go around.

If you like to use your property over autumn and winter, then this will suit you fine, but if it is just sitting empty and you want to maximise your income, then you need to think differently. Long-term rentals are in high demand in September, as families are trying to settle kids into school and work opportunities pick up after the summer lull. It’s a great time of year, as many long-term renters will have been frustrated by the holiday season, won’t have been able to see properties and are now desperate to find a place to call their own.

We have a lot of long-term rental clients and not enough quality properties to fill their needs. This means landlords are in a very good position. Competition is low, especially for the non-Spanish market, who can’t use the long-term property rental sites here due to the language. These foreign residents are often willing to spend more than their Spanish counterparts and will sometimes even accept a shorter contract, allowing you to have the option to still rent out your property in the summer months, as some people return to their home country over summer.

Long-term rentals may not bring in the same per week as a holiday rental, but because your season is all year round and tenants tend to stay for years if they are well looked after, it’s a steady, predictable income stream. You don’t have to compete with thousands of other properties, so it’s easier to find tenants and because supply is limited, prices are on the rise.

Long-term rentals are also not governed by the rentals laws that have been making things more complicated for short-term rentals. Plus, there’s not much to do – no key holding or meet and greet, no cleaning at the end of each week. Once you have your contract signed and the tenants are in, you’re simply collecting rent each month and occasionally dealing with issues as and when they arise.

We have a range of long-term rental management packages available. These start from the most basic, where we offer advice and one year of keyholding, plus marketing your property to get you a tenant, up to the most comprehensive. With our all-inclusive rentals management service package we can help you set up the property, handle all the tenant’s requirements throughout the tenancy and offer legal support for contracts and changing over utilities, so you don’t have to do a thing.

We’ve condensed all our years of experience into a guide to help you decide if renting long term is right for you and offering tips on how to make the most from this style of renting. Download the guide for free – Home Owners Tips for Long Term Rentals or contact us to find out how we can help you start renting your property long-term.

Great start to 2018 for tourism

Great start to 2018 for tourism

There was a big jump in visitors to Spain in the first two months of the year, with a 5.9% increase on the passengers arriving by plane in 2017. Overall, there were nearly 10 million passengers coming from international destinations in just two months and there was a big increase in passengers arriving via low cost airlines. Most passengers came from the UK, followed by Germany. On the Costa del Sol, there was a 7.8% increase in passenger numbers in January compared to the same month last year and a 5.4% increase in February.

If you are renting out your property, this increase in visitors in the quieter months is great news. The ideal situation is try to stretch out the rental period and have more consistent bookings throughout the year. It’s better for the property to not sit empty and of course it is better for your bank balance too.

However, off peak visitors want and need different things than the traditional holiday maker, so if you want to appeal to them, you need to prepare your property a little differently and also market it in a different way.

The key things to think about are –

  • Is your property warm enough or can you make it more comfortable for them in some way?
  • Is your area good for off peak activities such as golf, hiking and cycling? Is it within easy access of the Sierra Nevada ski resort for a day’s skiing?
  • How does your development feel in the winter? If there are plenty of year round residents that’s perfect, but if it turns into a ghost town over the winter, then this won’t be good for visitors.
  • Do you have any facilities on your development which work well in the cooler months e.g. a heated pool, sauna, gym or tennis courts?

If you have answered all these questions and think your property could be good for an off peak rental then please get in touch with us and find out how we can market your property to extend your rental season. Read our five tips for making your property appeal to off peak visitors on our blog which will help you to cater to them better.

What makes a good off peak rental, is also a good long term rental, so if you want steady year round income, this is something you should consider. The long term rental market is much less competitive than the holiday rental market and we have more demand than supply of good long term rentals. Our dedicated long term rental division can take care of everything for you and make sure the tenants are paying their rent and looking after the property well. It’s an excellent option if you don’t use your property much.

We hope that 2018 is a great year for you and that your property generates a good income for you and is the perfect home from home. Our property management and maintenance experts can help you make renting out your property easy. Contact us today for a quote.

2017 Holiday Habits

2017 Holiday Habits

Last month we posted about the 2018 travel trends we expect to see this year, to help you to tap into these new trends and earn more rental income. To help you further, we wanted to share the ABTA findings on how UK holiday makers behaved last year, to drill down into what’s popular and where they feel the growth areas are. The more you understand what holiday makers want, the better you can cater to their needs and market your property better. Here are the highlights –

People took more holidays and plan to spend more

The great news is that, despite uncertainty and concern about global events, UK holiday makers took more holidays in 2017 than any time since 2011, a total of 87% of the participants taking a holiday last year and 57% taking a holiday abroad. In 2018, many are planning to spend more on their annual getaway. Western Europe, in particular Spain, was very popular and is expected to be a very strong destination in 2018 as well, with 62% planning to spend their holiday in Europe.

Popular Holiday Types

There was an increase in people taking beach holidays in 2017, going up from 38% in 2016 to 41% in 2017. 9% of people rented a private holiday home, 9% went on holiday to see a music event and 7% took an activity holiday and all these areas are expected to grow further in 2018. Given our great selection of holiday rentals, the amazing activities to enjoy on the Costa del Sol and the fantastic concerts and music festivals here, these trends should benefit owners of holiday rentals on the Costa del Sol. When asked about their plans for 2018, 47% of the participants of the ABTA survey plan to take a beach holiday this year, so as ever our beautiful beaches will be a big selling point.

How are people booking?

Most people are booking their holidays online, and this increased in 2017, to a whopping 83%. So it’s very important that your holiday rental has a strong online presence with a secure and easy to use online booking facility. If you are considering property management and rentals with HomeCareontheWeb, you will benefit from the strong web presence and secure booking system on our site HolidayRentalontheWeb.com. You will also be promoted via the network of 11 language websites of our partners Novasol and their travel agent network, to reach the maximum number of people and achieve the most bookings on and offline.

What will people spend in 2018?

ABTA’s survey revealed that people are planning to spend more on their holiday this year – 31% of the participants. Millennials are most likely to spend more – 39% of those aged 25-34 and 34% of 18-24 year olds say they expect to spend more on a holiday next year.

If you want to rent out your property to take advantage of the appetite for European holidays, now is the time to do it. Getting a reliable and experienced property management company such as HomeCareontheWeb on board, preparing your property for rentals and marketing for spring and summer starts now. We are looking for villas with pools and centrally located apartments and penthouses all along the Costa del Sol, so please contact us to discuss how it works and let us start marketing your property. To read the full ABTA report click here.

The effect of the Holiday Rental Law in Spain

costa del sol property management

It’s been a year since the holiday rental law came into force and after a period of uncertainty, the dust has settled and owners are getting on with the important job of renting out their properties for the vital summer season.

As we reported in April, the biggest recent change has been the requirement to register with your local police station and then register passport details of all guests over the age of 16 within 24 hours of their arrival. Other than that, once the property is registered you can just continue as usual.

There were concerns that owners wouldn’t want to register and would look to long term rentals instead, but figures released this spring show that an average of 33 properties in Malaga were being registered every day, with owners realising that this income stream was important and it was necessary to comply. There are around 11,000 registered holiday rental properties in the Malaga province and we’re seeing lots of demand from holiday makers for quality holiday rental accommodation in the best areas.

The holiday rental sector makes an important contribution to tourism, offering visitors a more flexible alternative to hotel accommodation and much needed availability for the record numbers of visitors expected to visit southern Spain once again this year. The tourism authorities estimate that if the registrations continue coming in, that there could be the same number of beds available in holiday rental accommodation than in hotels by the end of summer, and think long term it may even exceed it.  The demand for rentals and Spain’s competitively priced properties are leading to an increase in buy to let investment, with the Sunday Times recently promoting this as a good option.

All of this is great news for the holiday rental sector on the Costa del Sol, but if you are an owner, it means that you have more competition to deal with. Increased competition means you have to work harder to stand out and attract the bookings. There are a number of ways to do this; you can undercut your competition on price, improve your property’s décor or facilities to really impress, or focus on a particular sector, such as families and really make your property work perfectly for them.

Effective marketing is also vital to make sure your target market can find you when they are booking their holidays. There are two routes to these bookings, online direct bookings and also travel agents. We have both these routes covered thanks to high-ranking websites, social media and a partnership with Novasol – the largest holiday home rental company in Europe. Novasol give our owners a presence on their 11 individual language website and in 1.5 million catalogues which are delivered to over 15,000 travel agents. You will also be featured on our dedicated holiday rental website HolidayRentalontheWeb.

We are property management experts with over a decade of experience in helping owners attract holiday rental bookings and dealing with all the hassle of preparing the property, welcoming and looking after guests during their stay and handling payments. If you have a property on the Costa del Sol and want to earn rental income, contact us to find out how we can help you get bookings and delight your guests so they come back time and time again.

2017 Costa del Sol Tourism & Property Update

2017 Costa del Sol Tourism & Property Update

As Costa del Sol property management experts, our owners are interested in the potential for rentals and how the property market is developing. So in this blog, we’ve reviewed the latest reports and summarised some of the key indicators for tourism and property in 2017.

Things are looking strong for the Spanish tourist sector this year, with the Spanish Hotel Federation reporting 90% occupancy over the Easter week nationwide. Marbella Town Hall announced average occupancy of 80%, with 100% in many places over the long Easter weekend. As a result of the demand, 35,000 jobs were created in Andalucia over the holiday period.

Marbella is the third most profitable tourist destination in Spain, and the most profitable in Andalucia, showing the resilience of the destination and the value of the brand of Marbella, which positively influences tourism for the whole of the Costa del Sol. Despite concern about Brexit, the Marbella Town Hall announced that according to their data and indicators, tourism from Great Britain continued to grow in the same trend as seen in 2016 and stated that they do not believe it has made a difference.

11% more passengers are already booked to fly into Malaga airport from April to September compared to 2016, and this figure should increase with late bookings. In Spain as a whole, there has been a big increase in nights spent in holiday rental properties and short stay accommodation in 2016, with a 10.2% compared to 2015, so this is definitely a growth sector.  Our sister company HolidayRentalontheWeb saw a 32% increase in holiday rentals in 2016 compared to 2015, so locally we are performing much better than the national average.

Things are strong in the property market as well. Real Estate Agent Panorama recently released their 2017 property market report for Marbella, which shows that house prices are on the rise, with healthy sales volumes back to pre-crisis volumes, although sales volumes have levelled off after a fast period of growth between 2012 and 2015. New build developments are back, with lots of activity in that sector and 77 new developments currently on the market along the Costa del Sol and international funds investing millions in residential developments in the area. The issues with Marbella’s Town Plan are encouraging land purchases in the areas of Benahavis and Estepona, widening the prime real estate areas in future years.

However, Panorama warns sellers that the price still needs to be right to sell and not to think that an improving market means that they can put their prices up. They say, “when vendors fix their asking price to the right level where their properties are perceived as very good value for money, there is an almost instant response in the marketplace”.  So, if you’re looking to sell, price is very important. Find out more and read the full report

Steady growth is expected in the next few years, with more demand from the Spanish market driving sales, well-priced properties selling more quickly and a gradual property price increases.

We are seeing a growing demand for high quality long-term rental properties, with properties in short supply. Due to the increased regulation in the holiday rental, the demand and the ease of management of a long-term rental, this can be a smart option for property owners playing the long game and waiting for property values to reach a peak once more. We have a dedicated website for long term rentals and our Long Term Rental specialist Sergio is here to help owners make the most of this great market, manage the properties and deal with the clients. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss renting your property long term.

2017 promises to be a good year for Spain

Property Management 2017

Happy New Year to all our property management clients and anyone who owns a property on the Costa del Sol! We hope you all had an excellent Christmas and New Year and are feeling positive about 2017. All the signs are that 2017 is going to be a great year for Spain, the economy, tourism and the property market. This means that your property will be increasing in value and there are excellent opportunities to make money from short term holiday rentals for tourists and long term rentals to the thousands of people arriving here for a better life each year.

Last November, Spain’s economy minister upped growth predictions for 2017, saying that they predict the economy will grow 2.3% and that 500,000 new jobs will be created. After a long period of uncertainty, a government was voted in with the experienced Rajoy at the helm and things can now settle down politically, which should boost growth.

2016 was a great year for the Spanish property market, with consistent increases in home sales, a 2.6% increase in house prices overall and even stronger increases on the coast and in the luxury sector. 2017 is expected to see a 5% increase in house prices and stable growth predicted until the end of the decade, so owning a property on the Costa del Sol is highly desirable once more.

To maximise returns, while property prices continue to rise, renting out your Costa del Sol property is a great option. 2015 and 2016 were record years for tourism, with the great year continuing into October with an 11% increase in tourism from abroad during that month. There was also an increase in spending and Brexit did not seem to have much of an impact, with 6% more visitors from the UK in October than the same month is 2015. The Costa del Sol has seen a big increase too, with traffic to Malaga airport increasing by 15.1% in the first ten months of 2016 and welcoming their 15 millionth passenger of the year in November – the first time this amount has ever been reached in a single year.

Expectations are that with the popularity of Spain as a tourist destination, the good infrastructure and the continued insecurity in other parts of the world, that 2017 will be another bumper year for Spanish tourism. If last year is anything to go by, hotel occupancy will be very high once more and the demand for holiday rental properties will continue to rise, both due to shortage of hotel rooms and demand for greater flexibility from accommodation.

This means there’s never been a better time to rent out your property, and we can help you to do it. Our Costa del Sol property management specialists can take care of your property and get it ready for rentals, and our marketing team can find short or long term clients for you. We will communicate regularly and set up an online account, so you can know what’s happening with your property when and where it suits you. We will handle deposits, payments, keys, maintenance and handle any problems for you and you will see the funds coming into your bank account each time we rent the property for you.

If that sounds good to you, we are particularly looking for villas with pools and centrally located properties in desirable areas such as Marbella, San Pedro and Fuengirola. Please contact us if you have a property that would fit the bill and let’s make 2017 a profitable year for you.

How to attract more off peak rental bookings

As we announced last month, this has been a bumper year, dubbed ‘superverano’ or ‘supersummer’ by the Spanish press, and record numbers have been seen in autumn and are expected to continue this month.

We were interested to read facts about these visitors, as the better you can know your potential rental clients the easier you can cater to them! According to an article in Euroweekly News, the average person stays for around four days and spends €50 per day, not including their accommodation. The largest visitor numbers came from the UK, but there was a big increase in visitors from the US and Holland too and there was also a record number of domestic tourists this summer. There is a huge trend developing for people staying in apartments rather than hotels, which is great news for us and anyone who owns a property on the Costa del Sol but doesn’t live here all year round!

In our experience, whilst we have seen a steady stream of British visitors, we have also had a large increase in Northern Europeans.

The trend for higher visitor numbers later in the season is triggering the airlines to increase their winter routes, making it easier and cheaper for people to travel off peak. easyJet has announced it will be adding nearly 100,000 extra seats on flights running from Almeria, Seville and Malaga this winter season.

These 100,000 extra people will need somewhere to stay, so it’s up to us to give them some fantastic holiday rentals which they will love to spend time in over the winter season. An ideal winter holiday rental is not the same as the perfect summer pad, so here are the things that will make guests love your property over winter.

  • An open fire or wood burner and plenty of logs to burn
  • Some oil filled radiators, underfloor heating or hot air heating
  • A few rugs to make the marble floors more inviting
  • Nice kitchens where guests can enjoy cooking up a feast
  • Comfortable sofas with throws or blankets should it get cold in the evening
  • TV with British channels, some good movies and games to play
  • Warm bedding
  • Sunny terraces to enjoy breakfast or lunch al fresco

This all sounds like it gets freezing, which it doesn’t, but Spanish properties do tend to feel cold in winter even when it’s bright and sunny outside, so you want to make it feel as warm and inviting as possible and get this across in your pictures and marketing.

Also explain what’s going on near you during the winter period, or what you like to do. Include sports activities, hiking, mountain biking and quad biking, which is too hot to do during the summer – so they can make the most of the season. It’s also great to recommend lovely restaurants which don’t feel cold and bleak out of season, as many are terrible!

Let us help you to get more holiday rental bookings throughout the year, or find you an ideal long term rental tenant. We are the Costa del Sol property management experts and can not only care for your property, but also make it highly profitable too, so get in touch!

Spanish property market news

Spanish Property News

We reported back in May that the property market in Spain was recovering, with more properties being sold, as well as more tourists than ever coming to the area. The good news is that the recovery is continuing and predictions are very good for the rest of the year and beyond.

Of course there are many different opinions out there, but in general it seems to be positive. Analyst Jose Luis Suarez believes that there will be nine years of steady price increases ahead of us, with the peak prices which were seen in 2007 not being reached until 2025. He believes that despite the over building we saw during the boom, that new properties will be required to meet the demand and we are seeing new developments start here on the Costa del Sol already.

Prices are also starting to increase, although they are coming slowly and not across the board. In June, property evaluation firm Tinsa reported that price rises are spreading across the Spanish Costas, with 71 out of 135 municipalities showing price increases. The Costa del Sol is one of four regions which are showing the strongest price recovery, with Marbella being the most active property market outside of Barcelona, Valencia and Malaga. Find out more

Spain is considered the ninth most popular destination for international real estate investors by Ernst & Young and despite fears that the Brexit vote would derail the Spanish property market, home sales across Spain rose by almost 20% in June. Real estate agents have also reported a higher than usual buyer activity throughout the summer period and Andalucia was the area which saw the most sales. As this is a very popular area with British buyers, it is a good sign that we haven’t been too effected by Brexit.

Overall, these results are very promising for home owners on the Costa del Sol. However, as you can see, the recovery is expected to be slow and steady, so prices are definitely not at their peak. This is a good time to get a professional valuation to see how the value of your property has changed. If it is still lower than you paid for it, or you feel you would prefer to wait for the rises to become more significant, then a very good option is to rent out your property long term whilst the market improves.

Long term rentals are scarce, demand is rising and they are not regulated by the new holiday rental law, so are a good option for homeowners. They are also easier to manage, because once you get a tenant, you may not need to do things for many months on end. We have a long term rental portal HomeRentalontheWeb which is particularly for people looking for this kind of accommodation and we have more demand than properties.

As property management specialists on the Costa del Sol, we can take the hassle out of renting your property long term. We will sort out the contracts, take deposits, collect the rent, check the property regularly and deal with any maintenance issues. You can simply relax and enjoy the rental income for the next few years whilst the market grows and your property increases in value. Please let us know if you’re interested in discussing this option with us and we will let you know how much you can expect to earn and tell you about our great long term rental packages.

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