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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.

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.

 

Iberia Airline Strikes

The end of February saw the first set of strikes by workers at Iberia airline and another lot is planned for next week starting on the 4th March – 6th March. The strikes are taking place in order to prevent wage cuts and over 3,800 job losses, resulting in over 30 flights being cancelled at Malaga Airport. You can see a list of flights which will have been cancelled on the Iberia website. Passengers who are affected will be offered an alternative flight or a refund of their tickets.

If your flight has been affected but you still need to get to Spain, it may be worth checking price comparison sites such as travel supermarket or skyscanner.net to get the best deal on last minute flights with another airline, or you could drive to the Costa del Sol! It’s a beautiful drive with plenty to see along the way. You can read our previous blog about things to remember when driving to Spain.

Luckily, HomeCareontheWeb never goes on strike and can take care of many things on your behalf, so don’t worry if you can’t get here, just give us a call on 952 839 595.

New Law For Expat Drivers

In 2013, a new law came into place in Spain which means all expat drivers in the country will have to undergo a medical test every 10 years and drivers over the age of 65 will be required to take the test every 5 years.

The medical will be conducted in specific centres known as centros de reconocimiento and will consist of a co-ordination, sight and hearing test using a computer based driving simulator. Failure to comply may result in a €200 fine.

Taking the test will not affect your UK driving licence, however you must notify the DVLA of your Spanish residency and still be able to provide a UK permanent residential address. The new law states that a permanent residence is where someone usually lives for at least 185 days of the year. Should you wish to convert to a Spanish driving licence, you can do this at the same as taking your medical examination.

Those who prefer to get around on two wheels will also see new laws and the introduction of a new AM category licence to improve safety on the roads. The new licence will be awarded on completion of a mandatory theory test, which holiday makers renting mopeds will also now be required to take.

We think the new laws and requirements should improve safety on Spanish roads and reduce the number of accidents by further educating younger drivers which should bring relief to expat home owners in the area.

Stay up to date with important changes to laws and news in Spain by following us on Twitter or join us on Facebook

Electricity bill increase January 1st

As many of us saw from this week’s Sur in English, from January 1st, millions of households across Spain will see an increase in their electricity bills. The new increase is due to a 6.9% hike in the price of power bought by suppliers. Consumers will feel the effects with a 3% rise in energy costs.

This increase of 3% will be charged to those on the domestic tariff known as TUR, with contracted power below 10 kilowatts. However the Ministry of Industry also plan to issue a surcharge of up to 8% to those contracted to 3 kilowatts of power or more, if they exceed average consumption by over 10%. According to calculations made by OCU consumers organisation, this could mean an additional charge of around 3% onto the average household electricity bill, meaning the total increase could reach around 6% on every bill.

There are number of things you can do to reduce your electric consumption and save money on bills such as;

  • Use energy efficient light bulbs and solar lights for the garden
  • Use a halogen cooker instead of fan oven
  • Turn all appliances off at mains when not in use, rather than leave on standby
  • Use a fire if you have one rather than radiators if possible
  • Only use the tumble dryer where necessary, use a clothes horse for drying instead
  • Use an energy monitor to show you how different appliances affect your consumption and to show where you could make savings
  • Fill up the dishwasher before using so you do fewer washes
  • Load your washing machine to the full so you do fewer washes

Some of these tips can also work well if you use your property for holiday rentals and want to keep the electric consumption to a minimum. Some households are even investing in solar energy devices to minimise power costs and reduce energy consumption. This can save hundreds on electricity bills each year and has a positive effect on the environment, so is well worth looking into as costs continue to rise.

As part of our property management services on the Costa del Sol we can deal with all the utility companies and even receive any correspondence from them on your behalf so you know that even if you are away from your Spanish property, everything is being dealt with as it should be. Contact us to find out more about this service.

 

Home owners see rise in requests for holiday homes on the Costa del Sol

The Costa del Sol remains a favourite holiday destination for thousands of people every year and many savvy holiday makers have realised the benefits of renting a holiday home compared to booking into a hotel. Groups, families and even couples can enjoy better value for money, more independence and more privacy by renting their own accommodation, so it is no surprise that the demand for self catering properties on the Costa del Sol has increased every year since 2010.

A few years ago many people may have associated holiday rental homes as a luxury and that hotel package holidays were usually the best value option. However, it seems thousands are catching onto the fact that they can now rent stunning holiday homes in Southern Spain at very affordable prices.

The figures below show the increase in holiday rental bookings with our sister company HolidayRentalontheWeb over the last three years.

  • 2010 showed an increase of 243 holiday rentals
  • 2011 showed an increase of more than 600 holiday rental bookings
  • 2012 has already shown an increase of over 1000 holiday rental bookings this year

If you own a property on the Costa del Sol and would like to earn extra income from rentals this year, you can learn more about promoting your property for free with Novasol and HomeCareontheWeb. For more information, call us on +34 952 839 595.

 

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