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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.

The Spanish Property Market Continues to Grow

spanish real estate growthHomeowners in Spain have finally started hearing good news over the last six months, with property purchases increasing in volume and slowly but surely property prices on the rise. In the most popular areas, prices have been rising for some time and the rest of Spain is now catching up, with a lot of buyer interest from purchasers around the world.

Many research bodies and official organizations are hailing Spain as a great place to invest, with the IMF praising it for its economic recovery and the Organisation for Economic Development saying that it has one of the most undervalued housing markets in the world. Not surprisingly, this is getting even more people interested in the area.

The start of this year has been brilliant, with 34,771 property transactions being made in February alone, the highest for three years, and an increase of nearly 16% from the same time last year. Find out more here. Predictions are that both the volume of sales and the prices will continue to increase throughout the year.

Property owners who have weathered the financial crisis by renting out their property either short or long term are now in a great position, with record tourist numbers demanding quality holiday rentals, more people than ever looking for long term rentals and the value of their property increasing all the time.

If you haven’t been renting out your property so far, or feel that you could be getting more rentals for your property, then contact us to find out what you could earn. With quality property management services from HomeCareontheWeb you can enjoy all the benefits of renting out your property, without the hassle.

As you may know, there is a new rental law which will come into force on May 12th to regulate the rental of private homes to tourists. We are monitoring this situation carefully and have been calling the different bodies responsible to clarify what are owners have to do. HomeCareontheWeb will be able to register properties on behalf of our clients so that we can legally rent out their property. It seems that the requirements that the property must meet are relatively simple and will probably be in place for a quality property managed by a company such as ours, so please don’t worry. We can do everything for you to make sure you are registered and comply.

To help all owners in Andalucia we are writing regular articles about this law, here is the most recent update and you can browse our other two posts to give you a good understanding of the regulations.

If you have any further questions or want us to register your property on your behalf please contact us by emailing info@homecareontheweb.com or calling 00 34 952 83 95 95. We are here to help!

Update on Andalucia’s Holiday Rental Law

Andalucia Holiday Rental Law 2016Now that Easter has been and gone, bookings are flooding in for the peak summer time rentals and we’re getting plenty of interest in the spring holiday rentals as well. Malaga airport is preparing for a bumper year, with 15% more flights than last year, and owners are getting their properties ready for this very busy time of year.

However we know that many owners have concerns about the new holiday rental law (Decree 28/2016) and what this will mean to them if they want to rent out their property short term, so we wanted to give you an update.

The registration form is still not finalised, so please don’t worry about having to prepare the documentation right away. As we explained in our last post, the authorities have said they understand that this will be a long process and they will be flexible on when the forms are submitted.

Below is a summary if some of the important elements of this decree, along with some notes from our team in terms of points which require clarification. As you will see, a large number of points are already standard with quality holiday rental properties and items which we have been providing for our guests for many years, so it is not as onerous as it looks.

All dwellings used for tourism must fulfil the following obligations:

  1. a) Properties must be in possession of a “Habitation Certificate” (First Occupancy Licence) and comply at all times with the technical conditions and standards that can be demanded of these dwellings.

HomeCareontheWeb Note – Not all properties have this, either due to the age of the property or because it was never issued. We are awaiting a decision regarding this.

  1. b) The rooms must have direct exterior ventilation and a “blackout” system for the windows (Blinds). This requirement will not be necessary for listed buildings where reforms and alterations are not permitted.

HomeCareontheWeb Note – This is to discourage properties renting out basements with no external ventilation.

  1. c) The dwellings must be adequately furnished and equipped with the appliances and household goods necessary for immediate use and in consonance with the number of persons to be accommodated.
  2. d) The dwellings must be equipped with fixed cooling systems in bedrooms and lounges when rented between May and September (inclusive) and heating appliances if rented between October and April (inclusive). This requirement will not be necessary for listed buildings where reforms and alterations are not permitted.

HomeCareontheWeb Note – It is not clear whether a fixed ceiling fan is acceptable. We are awaiting further information on this issue.

  1. e) A First Aid Kit is to be installed.

HomeCareontheWeb Note – We are obtaining more information on what needs to be included in the kit.

  1. f) Tourist information must be available, either in hard copy or digitalised, covering the immediate area, the leisure zones, restaurants, bars, businesses and shops, food stores and parking facilities near the dwelling as well as medical services, transport services, local street plans and a guide offering the events and entertainment.

HomeCareontheWeb Note – We already place a “Guest Manual” in all properties rented by us which includes all this information.

  1. g) All dwellings must have a Complaints Form for the use of their guests and a sign clearly displayed to indicate that the said forms are available.

HomeCareontheWeb Note – We are investigating whether the form needs to be available in the property, or having one available in our office is acceptable.

  1. h) The dwellings must be cleaned between arrivals and departures.
  2. i) Bed linen, towels and kitchen towels and general household goods must be provided to accommodate the number of guests with a full replacement set.
  3. j) A telephone number must be made available to the guests so that they may be assisted immediately with information covering whatever incidents might arise during their stay.

HomeCareontheWeb Note – This is included in the “Guest Manual” and on all information guests receive from us.

  1. k) The guests must have all the necessary information and instructions regarding the working of all the appliances at their disposal for their correct use.

HomeCareontheWeb Note – This is included in the “Guest Manual”.

  1. l) All the guests must have full information and instructions related to the use of the installations, rooms and equipment of the dwelling as well as the admission of pets, the applicable smoking restrictions as well as any areas of restricted use.

HomeCareontheWeb Note – This is included in the “Guest Manual” and it is also part of our set up procedure to display necessary signs.

Other points to note are:

If a property is rented as a complete unit, the maximum number of guests is 15, and if rented by room, the maximum number of guests is 6. In both cases, it is NOT permitted to sleep more than 4 persons per room.

Registration of the property is obligatory and the Registration Number is to be used in all forms of advertising and promotion.

As quality property management and rental management providers, we will be helping our owners through this process and making it as easy as possible for them to comply. As you can see we are awaiting clarification on a number of these points, and will continue to update you on this blog, on our Facebook page and in our newsletters.

If you want the support of the professionals behind you, please sign up to one of our comprehensive property management packages. You can get a free quote on our website or send us an email to info@homecareontheweb.com

How to comply with Andalucia’s new holiday rental laws

bigstock-House-and-money-67365403If you are renting out your property in Andalucia, you need to understand and comply with the new holiday rental law which will come into force in the middle of May. Called Decree 28/2016, this new law obliges anyone who is renting out their property to register their property from 12th May 2016 onwards, so you have a few months to get the necessary paperwork together.

Please don’t panic about rushing to do this right away, there’s plenty of time. We checked with the Department of Inspection of the Málaga Provincial Delegation of Tourism and they confirmed that the registration forms have not been printed yet, and that the deadline for registering your property will be very flexible, as they know there are a large number of properties to be registered, many of which have owners living in other parts of the world. We will let you know as soon as the registration forms are available.

The Junta is aware that there will be concerns about this law and will be running a public awareness campaign, including two lectures in Torre del Mar and Marbella to explain the procedure and clarify any doubts. The dates of these have not yet been fixed, but we will inform you as soon as we know. Please follow us on Facebook to get the updates as they come through.

Registration of your holiday rental property is free which is great news, and for those of you living abroad you will be pleased to know that that the person who signs the Declaration of Responsibility for the property need not be the owner. Indeed, if the owner resides outside of Spain the Junta stated that it would be preferable that the document is signed by the key-holder or agent who is responsible for the letting, maintenance, cleaning etc. of the property, as it will be this person who will be the contact person for any incidents that might occur. This means your property management company or agent can sign this for you, as long as you can present a contract of representation entitling them to let out your property.

Please note that if you’re “renting” out your property to friends and family without charging a fee then you are exempt from this law, long term rental properties also do not fall under this law, nor do rural properties.

One thing to bear in mind, are the requirements that the property must fulfil. One important one being that each bedroom and living room must have fixed air conditioning units if they are being rented in the summer. There must also be fixed heating in all bedrooms and living rooms for winter rentals. As they are aware that this requires investment, you have one year to adapt your property to meet this requirement.

There are a number of other requirements which are pretty standard, such as giving information materials about the local area, giving tenants a contact phone number to call if there are any problems, leaving instruction booklets for household appliances etc. Two things you may not have at the moment which you will need is a first aid kit, and a complaints book with a sign to say you have one.

Please don’t worry about the press articles, many of which are not useful and are looking for a big story. We will keep you informed as to the progress, requirements and registration required for this new law and can help you with paperwork and sign the Declaration of Responsibility on your behalf. This is just one of the services we can offer as part of our comprehensive property management packages for properties on the Costa del Sol. Check out all the property management options on our website, get a quote, or contact us and find out how we can help you manage your holiday rentals.

The tourism benefits of a lower Euro

CurrencyAs the Euro continues to weaken against the Pound, the Eurozone becomes more and more attractive for British tourists as their money now goes so much further. Also thanks to unrest and uncertainty in holiday hot spots such as Greece and Egypt, Spain should be set for another great year for tourists. Last year, Spain was also recognised as one of the cheapest holiday destination by The Post Office survey and with favourable exchange rates, this is set to get even better for tourists and make Spain a really attractive option for holidays in 2015, good news for property owners renting their holiday home.

At HomeCareontheWeb, we are seeing both an increase in visitors, but also a growing demand for holiday rental properties on the Costa del Sol, particularly from the family market. They enjoy the flexibility of a home from home where they can cook, relax and let the kids feel settled whilst they are on holiday, and we have been providing this for the last 11 years. Last year we saw a 35% increase in holiday rental bookings, and are always looking for quality properties to meet the demand.

If you own a property on the Costa del Sol and want to take advantage of the influx of tourists this year, then you should consider renting your property out for holiday rentals during the peak season from April to September. This can be highly profitable for home owners and a great way to maximise income from an investment when you are not using it. Particularly in demand are villas with pools and properties in a good location where you don’t need a car to reach shops, bars and amenities. We have a guide on what to consider when renting your property which can really help if you’re thinking about taking this step. If you have a holiday home in Spain which you think would fit the bill, please call + 34 952 83 95 95 or email info@homecareontheweb.com

If you are from the UK, then you can open a Spanish bank account to keep your rental income in so you don’t have to convert the money whilst the Euro is so weak and then you can enjoy that the next time you visit your property, or transfer it when the Euro recovers. Make sure you shop around though, many Spanish banks have a lot of charges for their accounts which you may not expect.

Holiday rental bookings up 35% on 2013

growthFounder of Costa del Sol property management company HomeCareontheWeb, and sister holiday rentals company HolidayRentalontheWeb, Tony Sidebottom announced today that 2014 has been a fantastic year for holiday rentals, with a 35% increase in bookings, compared to the same period in 2013. “This is great news for owners of properties on the Costa del Sol, who have endured a long period of uncertainty with both house prices and the state of the tourism market. 2013 was a really good year for us, yet 2014 has absolutely smashed our targets, with a 35% increase in holiday rentals. We are also seeing signs of improvement within the sector in terms of spending, with villas with pools being highly popular and people on average spending more than they have in previous years. Plus, the current sterling-euro exchange rate is giving UK holiday makers 15% more spending power, which definitely helps. We are delighted to be able to help our owners get more holiday rentals through our important partnership with Novasol who lead the way in Europe on holiday rental bookings. This combined with our excellent position in the search engines and high rate of repeat bookings (due to our great service and extras such as our personalised concierge service) helps us provide important additional income for our property owners.”

The University of Salamanca and HomeAway undertook a study about the holiday rental market in Andalucia, revealing a huge contribution to the local economy and some really good insights for property owners looking to rent out their property. Here are some key points –

  • Users of holiday rental properties contributed 1,136,797,769€ to the local economy connected with leisure, including bars and restaurants. This shows that whilst the option to eat at home is a big draw of holiday rentals, they are still using local facilities and boosting local business.
  • The two most important reasons to visit our area for a holiday is beaches and countryside, which were almost equally important (43% and 39% respectively) which is good news for owners of properties away from the coast.
  • The biggest users of holiday rentals properties are families, who love the convenience and comfort of having a kitchen to prepare food, bedroom to put the kids down and facilities to allow them all to enjoy chilling out together. This is followed by couples and friends, which account for 24 and 22% respectively.
  • 48% use the internet to find their holiday property, with 94% searching on a computer rather than a mobile device. We believe that internet searches will continue to grow as the principle means of finding holiday properties as we all become more comfortable with search and paying online. It’s interesting to see that 10% or people still use a traditional travel agency, and we are pleased to have this covered in Northern Europe via the Novasol travel agent network.
  • The peak for booking is 1-2 months before (27%) but that 22% book 15-30 days before their trip, with 16% booking 2-3 months ahead and 14% 3-6 months before. Just 4% are organized enough to book more than 6 months ahead, less than those that book 7-15% before and even those real last minute people who book less than 7 days before (6%). This last minute nature of bookings is why it’s important to have someone on the ground to be able to manage the cleaning and change over period and also deal with problems.

We have 11 years of experience caring for properties and managing holiday rentals on the Costa del Sol and can help you to remove the stress, improve guests’ experience and maximise returns from this highly lucrative market. Please let us know if we can help you.

Costa del Sol Property Market Turning a Corner

economyAs we have highlighted previously, the Spanish property market showed its first real signs of recovery in the second quarter of 2014 with a 0.97% increase in house prices. A report has predicted that   the glut of unsold properties, will drop to significantly. Therefore we are happy to say that the Costa del Sol is in even better state and whilst we must continue to be cautiously optimistic, the signs are there that prices and demand are rising.

Our property sales partners Viva, recently wrote a really interesting article about why Spain and particularly the Costa del Sol is a great place to buy an overseas property, which we wanted to share for those of you with a property here! Below is a summary –

  1. The Costa del Sol offers more property choice than any other destination in Europe, a good infrastructure and a well-established property buying chain
  2. It’s a highly convenient holiday destination, with fantastic weather, cheap and direct flights and airports close to the action
  3. The properties are competitively priced – the crash was a difficult time for many owners, but it has brought the prices of properties here back in line with other European destinations and made them affordable and stopped people looking to cheaper but less developed destinations, therefore has made the area more attractive to buyers
  4. The lifestyle is fantastic for expat residents and holiday makers, combining Spanish sunshine, culture and food, with a well-established foreign community and lots of providers giving you tastes of home and services in your own language
  5. The Spanish sunshine is fantastic and makes life so much better, no matter what’s going on!

Thanks to Viva for reminding us what a great place we own a property in! Costa del Sol property owners can now start to reap the rewards through rentals and start seeing the value of their property increase. Click here to read the full article and speak to the experts at Viva if you do want to sell your Costa del Sol property.

A Very Happy Easter on the Costa del Sol

easter_malagaIf you are already renting out your Costa del Sol property, you should have experienced the benefits of the record Easter Week we’ve just experienced and be ready for another great summer generating income out of your property. If you haven’t yet taken the leap into renting your property, it’s a great time to get started and if this years Easter Week is anything to go on it will be a fantastic summer.

Reports from business owners, hotels and owners of rental companies were the same – this Easter saw not only more people, but also people who spent more and stayed longer. The newspaper SUR revealed that hotels in Malaga were 90% full from Good Friday to Easter Sunday, way up on last year. In Vélez-Málaga tourist apartments registered an occupancy level of 87% per cent, while campsites were around 71.5% full. Holiday Rental properties showed the same trend says Tony Sidebottom from HomeCareontheWeb, “This Easter we saw a 24% increase in visitors and we also saw an increase in demand for longer holiday breaks with more people staying longer than we have in past years.”

This is said to have been Marbella’s best Easter for the past seven years, according to the mayor, Ángeles Muñoz, who says that the average occupancy level was 90 per cent, which is not only 20 per cent higher than at the same time last year but has also broken the trend of recent years and the shops, bars and restaurants all reported excellent takings over the period and a wonderful atmosphere.

HomeCareontheWeb can take all the stress out of renting your property, short or long term, by offering property management and rental management services, bringing you clients, making sure your property is well looked after and responding to tenants’ needs. Please contact us to find out how we can help -+ 34 952 83 95 95, info@homecareontheweb.com, or get a property management quote.

Holiday Rentals Market showing signs of growth

The Spanish Ministry of Tourism released figures which showed that the number of tourists choosing holiday rental accommodation increased by 2.1% in July compared to the same period last year. 2.5 million tourists chose holiday rentals, predominantly from Northern Europe, with the British taking the largest proportion of properties followed by the Germans.

Our sister company HolidayRentalontheWeb, who handles all rentals for our owners, has also seen a highly positive trend on the short term rentals side. Tony Sidebottom, Founder and Director of HomeCareontheWeb, comments “Our holiday arrivals for July 2013 saw a 22% increase from 2012 and overall for the 2013 season, up to the end of August, we have had an increase of 15%. Interestingly, we are seeing more people booking late and coming in September and October than last year too”. Continue reading “Holiday Rentals Market showing signs of growth”

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.

 

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