Costa Azahar is set in a quite rural area, surrounded by olive and almond trees, in the heart of the Maestrazgo.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Tourism on the up

Spending by foreign tourists in Spain reached nearly 56,000 million euros in 2012, representing a 5.7% increase, according to data released yesterday by the Ministry of Industry. This is a new peak in the historical series, which has been measured since 2004, and has served largely to compensate for the downturn experienced in domestic tourism.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Spanish banks doing well

SPAIN is due to refund the European Central Bank (BCE) around 63 billion euros, according to a report from Barclays.
Now that the banks have been bailed out, they have surplus cashflow and are due to hand some of it back during the first reimbursement period of the Long-Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO).
The cash has not reached the national economy in the true sense, but has been on deposit from the BCE or used to buy bank debts.
The BBVA will return most of the money it has been given from Europe this and next month, whilst Banco Sabadell and Bankinter will refund 1.5 billion euros each.
Other banks are being more cautious, despite the more flexible criteria demanded by Basel III and improved cashflow, in case the immediate future brings greater international tension and another market crash.
Spanish banks are currently in a very healthy cashflow situation, according to Barclays – probably the best-ever.
Bankia has a liquid asset surplus until 2017 of over seven billion euros, despite being one of the most troubled financial entities in the country.
Barclays says there is no pressure on the part of banks to refund their LTRO money, and that they have two years ahead of them to see how the national economy evolves.

Property sales in Spain from Graham Hunt

If you have been keeping up with the news from Spain in the media over the last few weeks and months then you will know that 2012 was a disaster in terms of Spanish Property sales. Prices dropped on average by 15% and there is no sign of the price drops ending… for some.

Guess what, I am going to tell you that this affirmation is a crock of something that you may step on in the street to tell the truth.

The problem is the definition of the term average. The average was brought down, and crashing down in some cases by the rubbish, mediocre and frankly downright unsellable at any price. And again as usual I am going to tell you that prices didn’t fall by anything near that percentage for the usual suspects, location times three and quality.

Funnily enough the last four sales we have done have been made at asking price for the property. Yes you heard that right, no discount and no negotiation. The buyers saw that the property was priced so well that it would actually be a bit of an insult to offer less than what was being asked and that they would lose the property if they didn’t pay the full amount because there were other interested parties, investors mostly, buzzing about the property.

Now I am not saying that suddenly it is a sellers’ market, that prices are going to rise substantially or that the whole of the Spanish Property Market is suddenly going to rise like a Phoenix from the flames of the absurd overvaluations and rampant speculation that marked the whole decade of the noughties, that would be just stupid. However I am going to suggest that it is now the time to buy if you are careful about what you are purchasing.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Spanish want to speak English

A recent poll conducted by Cambridge University Press showed that about a quarter of those Spaniards questioned would give up sex for a year – in exchange for speaking perfect English! A larger number, 64%, stated that they would pay 10,000 Euros, if someone could wave a magic wand providing them with English fluency.

The poll, yet again, illustrated the desperate need for most Spaniards to have fluent English.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

The Truth about El Cid

El Cid is one of the great heroes of Spain and, unlike Britain’s beloved King Arthur, he is someone who really existed.

Born sometime in 1040, close to Burgos in the kingdom of Castille, El Cid was a true adventurer who had an extraordinary life, during which (somehow) he managed to survive despite fighting, at various times, for both the Moors and for the Spanish. By the end of his life, this remarkable soldier had carved out his own fiefdom in Valencia. This he ruled with little more than cursory attention to King Alfonso VI – the most powerful Christian king in Spain at the time.

Of course, to many people, the image of El Cid that springs to mind is that imprinted by the great 1961 Hollywood epic of the same name, in which Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren star. The most memorable image of the film is when a dead El Cid, fully armoured, is strapped to his war horse, Babieca, and led into battle – just as the dastardly Moors are about to conquer the Spaniards. Finding the great El Cid unkillable, the Moors retreat in terror…

In fact, probably to the surprise of anyone who knew him in real life, El Cid died peacefully! Equally, it would certainly be wrong to think that it was El Cid who drove the Moors from Spain. This was far from the truth.

Monday, 14 January 2013

More People expected to buy in Spain in 2013

In 2013 Spain will see an increase in foreign investors interested in snapping up bargains in their struggling real estate market. The British agency, Inmoaction, who specialise in attracting investors from the UK, estimate that in 2013, foreign interest in Spanish properties will grow beyond the classic British, German, Scandinavian and Russian markets.

Friday, 11 January 2013

A multi million offer has been made to buy Castellon airport buy a private company.
If the sale goes ahead they expect to create over a 1000 jobs in the area and could have flights taking of as soon as June this year.