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Spain becomes second most-visited country in the world

Spain becomes second most-visited country in the world

5.1 million passengers welcomed by Malaga airport last year.

Latest figures show in 2017 Malaga was the second most popular airport in Spain, welcoming 5.1 million travellers, beaten only by Barcelona who received a staggering 10.3 million passengers.

Some 15.7 million visitors from the UK arrived in Spain on a budget airline between January and November 2017, a 10% increase on last year, making them the largest group of foreign visitors. Germany was the second largest group with 5 million visitors, followed by Italy with 4.9 million. It is not hard to see why tourism thrives in our Andalusian hotspot. Even with the collapse of Monarch other airlines like Jet2 are stepping up and increasing flights into Malaga and several other Spanish airports ensuring those numbers stay.

Spain is the second-most visited country, behind the USA, and relies heavily on international and local tourism. The tourist industry accounted for 11% of Spain’s GDP in 2016 and around one in eight jobs were tourism related. That doesn’t look likely to change as Spain invest in its infrastructure with new rail links and an extension to Malaga port to house more super yachts.

By the end of the third quarter, tourist numbers reached 75.3 million and according to John Kester, the director of statistics and trends at the United Nations world tourism organisation (UNWTO) tourist numbers are on track to be 10.5% higher than 2016.

The real draw to the Costa del Sol through the gateway of Malaga is of course the climate, where even in winter you can see temperatures of 20 degrees….perfect for a game of golf, a walk on the beach or even a hike in the countryside. You could be having tapas in the arty streets of Malaga at lunchtime and in the snowy mountains of the Sierra Nevada by early evening. Where else could you find this combination of seasons?

The luxury outdoors lifestyle is what keeps drawing tourists back to this Andalusian paradise, so how would you feel about living here year-round? Browse through our extensive property list – your dream Spanish home could be right there waiting for you.

Property completions are on the up

Property completions are on the up

More residential properties are being completed now than any other time since the crash.
Between January and July, 33,085 homes, mostly apartments were finished according to the Ministry of Public Works. This represents a 39% increase from this time last year.
In 2007 there were 641,419 properties completed, in the following year that figure plummeted by 94%.
This year private developments have gone up 37.4% with the total amount of money spent on finishing these buildings rose as well to just under €4.4 billion. There is a real confidence in the market again now with recent legislation regarding off plan properties boosting that too.
As a long-established estate agent on the Costa del Sol we know what to look for in new developments and this is why we choose our exclusives and the developers we work with carefully.
Always looking for the best location, facilities and broad range of properties to suit all our clients tastes and budgets. Meanwhile property prices are reported to be 4.3% higher in October according to property valuation firm Tinsa.
The market has made great progress throughout this year hopefully starting 2018 on a positive note. Spain still remains one of the most desirable places to purchase property whether you are looking to relocate or have a holiday home here.
You can still get excellent value properties on the Costa del Sol compared to many of its European neighbours and this teamed with the climate and lifestyle you have here make for a desirable combination.
Whether you are looking to buy or sell the time is right. Your dream property in the sun is here waiting for you and our team will guide you around the best areas to find the right property to suit your lifestyle.

image: Designed by evening_tao / Freepik

Spain celebrates with more Michelin Stars

Spain celebrates with more Michelin Stars

The Michelin Guide for Spain and Portugal was announced last week with the big news being that Spain now boasts two new restaurants with three Michelin stars: Aponiente and ABaC.

“With two new three-star restaurants, Spain shows what an important place the country has in the world’s gastronomic landscape,” said Michelin’s international director Michael Ellis in a statement. The Michelin Guide to Spain & Portugal 2018 was announced at a decadent gala hosted at the Ritz-Carlton Abama Hotel in Guía de Isora, Tenerife, home to two of the island’s Michelin-starred restaurants.

There are four new restaurants in Spain with two Michelin stars – Cabaña Buenavista, Disfrutar, Dos Cielos and Maralba – and 17 new establishments with one star.
The ‘three-star club’ in Spain has two new members:  ABaC in Barcelona and Aponiente in Cadiz, Andalucia – making just eleven members of the exclusive band. Three stars in the Michelin guide denotes a restaurant that serves exceptional cuisine, definitely worth a trip.
Spain now has a total of 11 three-starred Michelin restaurants: Akelarre, Arzak, Azurmendi, DiverXO, El Celler de Can Roca, Lasarte, Martin Berasategui en Guipúzcoa, Quique Dacosta, Sant Pau.

Here in Andalucia if you are looking for a Michelin starred establishment there are plenty to choose from with four in Marbella alone.

Michelin Stars in Andalucia:

  • Aponiente, El Puerto de Santa María, 3 stars (NEW)
Alevante, Cádiz, 1 star (NEW)
  • Bardal, Ronda, 1 star (NEW)
Noor, Córdoba, 1 star
  • Dani García, Marbella, 2 stars
  • Kabuki Raw, Casares, 1 star
  • Choco, Córdoba, 1 star
  • La Costa, El Ejido, 1 star
  • Sollo, Fuengirola, 1 star
  • Acanthum, Huelva, 1 star
  • José Carlos García, Málaga, 1 star
  • El Lago, Marbella, 1 star
  • Messina, Marbella, 1 star
  • Skina, Marbella, 1 star
  • Alejandro, Roquetas de Mar, 1 star
  • Abantal, Sevilla, 1 star

Spanish cuisine is amazingly diverse and even if you aren’t looking for a Michelin starred establishment there are plenty of places along the coast and inland that make for a tantalizing tasty evening.

2017 is shaping up to be a prime one for the Spanish property market

2017 is shaping up to be a prime one for the Spanish property market

Throughout the year we have been looking how the market is performing compared to previous years. Thanks to easier access to financing, a growing economy and an improved job market 2017 is turning out to be a pivotal year for the Spanish property market recovery. Demand for Spanish property remains high, the new mortgage market is very active and property prices are rising.
The first positive signs of general recovery started showing in 2014 and the market has been quietly growing from strength to strength in that time. Whilst this has been happening buyers from outside the country have also been growing in confidence seeing tougher regulations come in regarding off-plan purchases and this in turn is giving a real boost to professional developers who can now confidently build.

We have certainly seen an upturn this year in high quality developments and our customers are snapping up good deals on off-plan properties as buying in Spain still represents excellent value meaning that second home or retirement home, investment property or holiday rental you had your eye on still provides a fabulous opportunity.

Some 40% of property sales take place without a mortgage according to a well known national Property Index and many of the mortgages granted are now fixed rate meaning buyers know where they stand. Developers too, offer deals that mean stepped payments make buying off-plan properties more affordable.

Last month the Bank of Spain summarized the country’s housing market in a report forming part of its quarterly review. In some areas property prices have fallen as much as 45% from the boom time. Over the last three years the market has been gaining momentum and property prices in Spain have risen 16% according to the Bank of Spain.

During this time investment in Spanish housing has grown by an average annual rate of 1.5%. There has been an emphasis on responsible lending and this in turn is leading to a real confidence in the market that is sending a ripple effect from architects to developers, agents to buyers.

Spain has World’s most competitive tourist industry

Spain has World’s most competitive tourist industry

According to the World Economic Forum, Spain has held on to its crown for the second year running as most competitive tourism sector. Spain has long been the go to place for everything from package holidays from the high street through to attracting the rich and famous.

The group’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017: Paving the Way for a More Sustainable & Inclusive Future, which covers 136 economies, grants Spain a top score of 5.4 on 7 on its Competitiveness Index, ranking higher than France and Germany who fell second and third respectively.

The report is published every two years and looks at infrastructure, security, and rich cultural resources.  Spain has been climbing up the ladder to take the title pretty quickly as in 2011 it ranked 8th and 2013 it ranked 4th. In 2015 Spain took the crown and has now reclaimed it for a second year.

The report analyses 14 key areas and whist Spain didn’t top the charts in each of those areas, its overall high score in all of the categories made it the winner. Two of the lowest scoring areas in the report where price competitiveness and business environment.

Not being the cheapest destination is not really a worrying factor as there is something in Spain for every budget and being too cheap would perhaps no longer attract the rich and famous and those wealthy individuals that push lots of money into the tourism spend whilst they are here.

Another category analysed was Spain’s air infrastructure. In this category Spain is amongst the top 9 countries, although the ground transportation infrastructure is only in the top 15 which suggests a little modernisation is required.

Spain holds this crown quite simply because as a tourist destination it delivers. Much of this has to do with climate and things to do as well as being an easy commute for Europeans, but one thing the report implies is that Spain cannot sit on its laurels if it wants to keep the top spot.

New Miami-Style Port planned for Malaga

New Miami-Style Port planned for Malaga

Far from being a transport hub Malaga over the years has become a cultural city with so many attractions. Its port area has become a thriving tourist attraction as it is surrounded by fantastic restaurants, shops and leisure facilities.

With this popularity the number of yachts and luxury yachts mooring in the area has increased too and it is with this in mind, that the Junta de Andalucia are considering plans for expansion of the port into a glitzy Miami-style port for luxury moorings. There have been several mega yachts, including some of the most famous in the world mooring at the port to restock.

The port authority recently announced early plans for the new marina that would provide space for 40 luxury yachts from 40 to 100 metres in length, the length of a full-sized football pitch in fact.

The new facility would be on the Marqués de Guadiaro quay, the stretch of the port next to the dockside shopping centre that runs towards the city centre. It would resemble the huge private yacht marinas of Miami with a gardened protective outer wall.

The Melilla ferry terminal would move to the other side of its current dock to allow more space.

With data showing there are over 100,000 private yachts over 40 metres long with another 755 under construction having the facilities available for them to moor safely in Malaga would increase tourism and spending in the area.

Malaga is seen as an ideal stop over and resupply point before mega yachts sail to the Caribbean and with the proximity of Malaga airport this also opens up travel options.

There is talk of building a heliport so people could transfer quickly to the airport and onwards to Marbella or Puerto Banus.

No detailed plans have been produced to date but this kind of Miami-style marina would appeal to those who have property in the luxury regions of the Costa del Sol, perhaps drawing in further demand for high end property.

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