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Spain’s General Election Run Down

While most of our clients don’t live in Spain, they own property here, renting it out and paying taxes, so it’s important to stay up to date with the political situation. Spaniards went to the polls on the 28th of April after a snap election was called by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of PSOE (Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party). In this post, we will summarise what happened and how the political landscape has changed.

There was a very high turnout, of nearly 76% and PSOE won the election, with a 28.7% share of the votes. PSOE defines itself as “social democratic, centre-left and progressive”. Pedro Sánchez is leading the party and is the acting Prime minister. However despite the strong performance, the party has not done enough to get an absolute majority, therefore will need to make an alliance with more parties to form a governing coalition.

In the election, the Popular Party (PP) lost a huge number of seats, down from 137 to just 66 – their worst result in history. PP is center-right and led from the 2011 elections until 2018 when a corruption case brought down the government with a no confidence vote. Pablo Casado was named leader in July 2018, and the party swung further to the right, the dismal result in the current elections has brought his leadership into question.

Far right Vox secured 10.26% of the votes, lower than polls suggested, they enter congress, but will not play a decisive roll in the formation of a new government.

Cuidadanos is a centre right political party, opposed to Catalan nationalism. They improved their position significantly, up from 32 to 57 representatives, but have refused to go into coalition with PSOE. Left wing Unidas Podemos lost 29 seats in the election, but is looking to go into a governing coalition with the socialists.

Now the politicians are negotiating to form coalitions and the PSOE is the only party able to build a governing majority. However, they are also preparing for the local and regional elections on May 26th and aren’t in a rush to finalise their alliances until these elections are complete and the votes are counted. El Pais predicts a “long power struggle” and how the final political landscape will look remains to be seen. We will keep you updated.

Find out more on the El Pais in English website –

https://elpais.com/elpais/2019/04/29/inenglish/1556519911_184823.html

https://elpais.com/elpais/2019/04/30/inenglish/1556608489_985863.html

Growing demand for cultural holidays from America

Americans in SpainA report entitled “How Americans Will Travel 2015” from Tourism Intelligence International, cites the growing importance of what they call the “Creative Class” those travellers who are looking for more than just sea and sand, stating that more than half (51%) of the 40 million Americans travelling abroad visit historical places; almost one-third (32%) visit cultural heritage sites; and one-quarter (25%) visit an art gallery or museum, according to the Office of Traveland Tourism Industries, and this is believed to be on the increase. This is good news for destinations such as Andalucia which combine a lot of culture with a relaxing way of life and great food and since the visit of Michelle Obama to the Costa del Sol back in 2010, Marbella has increasingly been on American holiday makers’ radar. As our holiday rentals website HolidayRentalontheWeb.com ranks well in the US as well as the UK due to the high volume of English content and its long history we expect to see an increase in demand from this area.

Unfortunately it’s not all good news, two major forces in 2014’s property recovery are expected to play less of a role in 2015. Scandinavia in general and particularly Finland has been hit by a drop in oil prices and in January Danske Bank warned that all the Scandinavian countries would be affected in 2015 and have less buying power than before. Agents specialising in the market expect them to continue to buy and visit, but less expensive properties and to be more cautious.

The Russian economy is also struggling and the rouble has dropped in value, and there are also barriers put in place get their money out of Russia and buy and invest abroad. This is all leading to a big drop in Russian buyers and holiday makers and this is likely to continue well into 2015. However we are not expecting this to affect the mid-range holiday rental market significantly and expect a rise in British holiday makers responding to the weak Euro to compensate for this.

Overall, we expect 2015 to be another good year for holiday rentals on the Costa del Sol and would encourage any property owner on the Costa del Sol, especially those with villas with private pools, to get in touch and find out how we can help them get holiday rentals in 2015. As Costa del Sol property management experts we can also remove any stress from the process by handling it all for you so you can just reap the rewards.

Spanish economy and house prices recovering

growthBack in August Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was optimistic about the recovery of the Spanish economy and on the back of a strong summer for tourism, it seems like his positivity was well founded. “Things are going better than we expected. We are registering healthy and diversified growth which is here to stay,” he said during an annual end of term press conference. “In less than two years we have gone from being an economy on the brink of a bailout to being one of the economies that grows the most in Europe,” he added. “We are going in the right direction, but we are conscious that there is still much to do and the problems that we must tackle are still numerous.”

It’s great to see positivity about the economy, all be it cautious statements such as these, promoted in the press, as positivity breeds confidence and confidence leads to a more rapid recovery. Another marker of an improving economy is house prices, which all owners who bought in the boom are anxiously watching. According to the Association of Registrars, there was an increase of 0.97% in house prices in the second quarter of 2014, the first in six years. Whilst not a big shift, it’s good news for owners as it shows that things are moving in the right direction and it seems at last that prices are bottoming out. This is also a figure for the whole of the country, we are lucky to be in a region which recovers quicker due to the foreign buyers and tourists pushing up the local economy and house prices, and agents on the Costa del Sol are reporting much better sales, more demand and increasing prices, so watch this space.

In further good news for Andalucia, very positive investments into the local economy can be seen, such as Fujitsu signing an agreement to invest nine million euros over the next two years, including increasing the workforce at the Malaga factory by at least 30%. There are also positive signs a plenty such as Marbella being chosen to host the Michelin Guide presentation and positioning itself as a luxury location on par with Saint Tropez.

All those of us invested in Spain, be it through property, business or living here want it to do well and recover for the long term. It is a wonderful place to live, work and holiday and we look forward to seeing what the rest of 2014 holds.

2014 was our 11th Year in business and we’ve seen a lot of changes as you can imagine. Attitudes of Costa del Property owners towards caring for their property through property management and maximising their investment through short term and long term rentals have changed a lot depending on the economy. We are proud that we’ve been able to generate income through getting rental bookings for our clients and removed the stress by managing those clients for them. This has enabled many clients to hang on to their properties through the bad years so they have not lost money on their investment. We are now seeing renewed interest in buy to let investment properties and look forward to the next phase!

Payment of Rental Tax in Spain

The law regarding payments of tax in Spain for property rentals has been amended. We believe this is good news for our owners because, if you are a non-resident, you can offset all legitimate expenses against your rental income, such as management fees, mortgage interest, community fees, etc. Continue reading “Payment of Rental Tax in Spain”

Political unrest sends tourists flocking to Costa del Sol

The widely publicised problems in Egypt and Turkey are putting holidaymakers off and the Costa del Sol is benefiting as a result. It’s certainly something we hope will end soon for all those suffering, however on a financial level it’s been a real boost for Spain at a time when the economy definitely needed it. It looks like we’re on for the best year on record in terms of tourism and we hope that letting people rediscover this great destination or perhaps change their preconceptions will mean numbers will remain high for years to come. Continue reading “Political unrest sends tourists flocking to Costa del Sol”

UK Tourists Flocking to the Costa del Sol

In June there was a 2.6% increase in passengers using Malaga airport, a staggering 1.366 million in total. 501,773 passengers were from the UK but also, as we reported in our last post, domestic tourism is on the up, giving very positive signs for local businesses and Costa del Sol homeowners wanting to rent out their properties.

The upward trend can be seen throughout the year and all over the coast. In May Torremolinos had 80% tourist occupancy, according to the National Institute of Statistics, an enormous 48% improvement from the same period last year and there were also improvements in Benalmadena, Marbella and Malaga city. Continue reading “UK Tourists Flocking to the Costa del Sol”

Spain’s progress out of recession

There’s bad news wherever you look when it comes to the state of the Spanish economy, yet according to Prime  Minister Mariano Rajoy things are moving in the right direction and the government’s policies are having an effect and decreasing deficit and lowering inflation.

Let’s hope his assertions are true! It has been reported that industrial production is also up, leading to hopes that the rest of the economy will follow suit in time and create much needed employment. Certainly here on the Costa del Sol it seems like summer is in full swing and restaurants, bars and shops are benefiting from the influx of tourists. Marbella is in the middle of its annual “feria” or festival to celebrate its patron saint and right now it doesn’t feel like we’re in the depths of a recession when you’re out enjoying yourself.

It is true that the Costa del Sol is a bit of a special case and so it’s difficult to evaluate in the national averages. This area’s property market has been supported by foreign buyers who are increasingly being attracted by lower prices and good buy-to-let opportunities.

Income can be made throughout the year depending on the returns you’re looking for. Long term rentals have been really popular whilst the property market has been on the downward trend, as people are reluctant to buy and it’s a steady form of income. Alternatively, holiday rentals produce high earning potential during the peak periods and leave owners able to enjoy their property the rest of the year.

Either way, it’s highly recommended to have trusted help on the ground to look after your property and make sure it is well-maintained, secure, clean and ready for the arrival of tenants. Property management companies on the Costa del Sol can be your eyes and ears and even be the point of contact with long term tenants, removing the worry!

We need more villas to rent during the peak seasons and more long term rental properties in general for our clients and so we can both look after your property and rent it out for you.  For more information please get in touch, if you become a client before October we’ll even enter you into our 10 year anniversary prize draw to win an i-Pad and free Costa del Sol property management.

Rumours regarding new laws on property rentals in Spain

new property lawsThere are at present many rumours, inaccuracies, and general gossip regarding a supposed new Law in Spain that will restrict owners from renting their property in an effort for the Spanish government to help support the Hotel industry.

We at HomeCareontheWeb have been renting properties on behalf of our owners for many years and during this time there have been many similar rumours circulating. Some areas of Spain, like Catalonia and Majorca, have already taken measures controlling the rental of properties, and owners have had to apply for licenses, so as to ensure properties are fit for their purpose and also to ensure owners pay their taxes.

It is true that a certain amount of “upset” exists within the tourist industry sector due to the current trend for holidaymakers to choose self-catering over hotel accommodation. This controversy has raged for years and is no doubt debated regularly with different suggestions made as to how the hotel industry can cope. However it is highly doubtful if the government would seek to actually BAN the letting of private houses, as this would be contrary to the Constitution and even the most narrow-minded defender of the hoteliers’ interests could not dream of this being possible.

It’s always prudent to put these rumours into perspective. Spain is going through changing times like the rest of the world, however the majority of its gross domestic income comes from tourism and the free market economy dictates that all players within the industry should work in competition to each other. It’s therefore unlikely that a restrictive practice such as a ban on rentals would be contemplated, let alone become law.

Not only does the government rely on income from its tourism, it also relies on the taxes paid by the hundreds of thousands of property owners, both Spanish and foreign, currently obtaining legitimate income from the rental of their property, and it is unlikely to limit these valuable earnings.

However, tighter controls for renting properties may well be “on the cards”, so that such properties can meet basic health and safety standards as well as ensuring owners are paying their taxes.

Currently HomeCareontheWeb recommend that owners renting out their property install fire safety equipment and generally ensure their property is safe so that insurance companies have no reason not to compensate in the case of accidents. We also stipulate that owners must declare their rentals for tax purposes in order to meet their current obligations to the Spanish government.  In so doing our owners are deemed to be a responsible property owner and follow all the current rules.

In the event that any legislation is passed in the future relating to additional health and safety standards, or any requirement for properties to be licensed for rentals, please be assured that we will be abreast of such developments and will already have in place the help and assistance our owners will need in order to comply.

In the meantime, there is no need to worry. These are, after all, just rumours and speculation. And if anything happens that needs your attention, we will let you know.

 

HomeCareontheWeb Climbs La Concha Mountain!

To celebrate Red Nose Day and raise money for a local children’s orphanage in Malaga, the team at HomeCareontheWeb set themselves the challenge of climbing La Concha Mountain in Marbella and we are pleased to announce that after hours of climbing on a cold and rainy day, everyone made it to the top!

Unfortunately though, Tony (founder of HomeCareontheWeb Group) had a nasty fall on the way back down, resulting in an emergency mountain rescue helicopter winching him away to hospital! (Yes that’s him on the stretcher!)

If it wasn’t for the HCOTW Team and of course the help from the mountain rescue helicopter, Tony may not be around to tell the story today!

“It’s not easy to explain precisely what happened to me on the top of La Concha Mountain, only to say I had a number of guardian angels taking care of me.

My first guardian angel was the thorn bush (about 25 metres down) that I ran into which stopped me rolling further down the mountain. I must have lost consciousness for a while, but then I could hear Luke scrambling down the mountain trying to get to me. I was trying to reassure him that I was okay, not to worry and to call someone for help.(Not easy for a son to see his father rolling down the mountain).

After Luke’s cry for help other guardian angels immediately appeared, climbing across the mountain side to assist us. Lewey was one of the first to arrive and immediately began to reassure me, which he continued to do for the next 2 to 3 hours as we laid in the freezing cold and rain. Both Luke and Lewey found items of clothing to wrap around me, sheltering me from the rain and wind to try and stop me from shivering. I heard other voices above me, those of Matthew and Jackie taking the dogs to safety.

While all this was going on I knew the rest of our team were looking out for and chasing up emergency services, and I knew that I was going to be safe. Eventually the sound of the mountain rescue helicopter gave me the added strength to hold on, and I was soon winched away to safety and the warmth of the intensive care unit with lots of lovely nurses attending to me. I sustained numerous cuts, bruises and a broken knee cap, but I experienced teamwork at its best.

Thank you for all those who helped me on the mountain and afterwards – and thank you to everyone for all the kind wishes you sent me – they all meant so much.

We would like to say a massive thank you to those of you that have made your kind donations so far!

We are still accepting further contributions so if you would like to make a donation to these worthy causes just email us on info@homecareontheweb.com – we will then contact you for your credit card details or add your contribution to your account.

 

Costa del Sol set for a busy summer

It looks set to be a busy summer on the Costa del Sol this year as many more flights are planned to come into Malaga during summer! After plenty of demand, various budget airlines including RyanAir and EasyJet announced new flights from UK airports to Spain, which is excellent for the tourism in the area and for home owners who frequently travel from the UK and other countries.

What’s more, when you reach the airport, there is no more paying €50+ for a taxi as there is now a 24/7 shuttle bus which will stop at various points along the coast! The buses leave every hour and won’t cost you more than €15 so at least now there is a much cheaper, reliable form of transport to get you to and from Malaga airport, which will no doubt be appreciated by hundreds this year. You can find a list of many of the new flights and information about the shuttle bus on ThisisSpain.info.

More flights to the area means more people which is good news for home owners looking to use their property for holiday rentals this year. As you may know, the public transport system is pretty efficient in Spain and it’s a good idea to include up to date information about local bus, train, taxi and car hire services in your guest manual. Giving your guests as much information about the local area as possible will make their holiday much easier and more enjoyable, especially if they have never been here before. Here are some other useful things to put into your guest manual;

  • Activities in the local area such as water sports, tennis, golf, children’s play centres
  • Information about your property and community
  • Emergency service numbers and medical translation line number
  • Local amenities like shops recommended cafés, bars & restaurants etc
  • A map!

If you want to find out more about earning extra income from your property this year, contact us and have your property listed free on Europe’s leading holiday home rental website – Novasol. Then we can take care of the rest! Visit our website for more details or call us on 952 839 595.

 

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