The Consumer Price Index falls 2.4 %

grafico IPCThe Consumer Price Index (CPI) in Spain rose 0.4% in March compared to February, but overall has reduced by four tenths on the year rate to 2.4%, thanks to cheaper fuel, according to the indicator advance on the evolution of prices in Spain released Wednesday by the National Statistics Institute (INE).

The annual rate of 2.4% reached in March is the lowest since July last year, when inflation had stood at 2.2%. The IPC has maintained the trend, for the fifth consecutive month, below the threshold of 3%, after peaking last October when, with the increase VAT inflation had soared to 3.5%.

The largest cruise ship in the world will make two stops in Malaga in 2014

crucero-grandeThe ship will dock at the port for the first time on September 11 and again on 25 of the same month. The largest cruise ship in the world, the ‘Oasis of the Seas of the Royal Caribbean group, will make two stops in Malaga in September 2014. Malaga will be the first port which will be graced with the presence of the vessel with the base port in Barcelona there will be stops in the capital of the Costa del Sol and in Vigo, where the ship will dock on 27 September and 18 October. The shipping company has reported that it is the first time a ship of its kind will visit Europe. To date the ‘Oasis of the Seas’ and its twin sister ‘Allure of the Seas’, also owned by Royal Caribbean had operated solely in the Caribbean using Fort Lauderdale as a launch port. The ship, which was released in late 2009, has a gross tonnage of 225,282 tons, 360 meters long, 64 wide, 16 decks and a capacity for 2,394 passengers and 6,360 crew.

Property Prices in Spain continue to be overvalued up to 15 %

property-bubble-burstAlthough prices could fall further by as much as 35%, according to a report realized by the Observatorio de Coyuntura Económica (OCE) of the Juan de Mariana Institute on housing prices and rents. The OCE first calculated in 2007 the size of the ‘housing bubble’ in Spain and concluded that house prices were overvalued by 40%. From the highest point of the ‘property bubble’ prices on new build housing fell by 24%, therefore in 2007 it would have been necessary to adjust prices downwards by about 40%, that way in 2012 the margin of reduction would have been only 15%. According to the Institute, the ‘slow’ price adjustment can be attributed largely to a ‘late, ineffective and misguided set of policies designed to hinder rather than accelerate this process’.

Although progress has been made in this regard, the fact remains that it is incomplete and disappointing. For example SAREB or the entity known as the ‘bad bank’ seems to be having an opposite effect and instead of acting as a catalyst for the market by accelerating the adjustment of prices, the result is the contrary. The OCE has highlighted in its report the ‘slow’ Spanish adjustment contrasts with the ‘rapid’ adjustment of other European countries who also experienced a ‘real estate bubble’, such as Ireland where prices have fallen more than 50% from their highs .

Stringent banking requirements and property price reductions drive cash purchases without mortgages

images2012 accounted for more than 274,000 mortgages, but nevertheless there were a further 44,000 sales transactions (ie, 319,000). This means that 13.8% of home purchase operations that were conducted in 2012 did not require mortgage financing. By contrast, in 2011 there were more mortgaged purchases and specifically 11.9% more mortgages granted. The demands of financial institutions make a large number of young people unable to access mortgages.

According to the business director of Bankimia, Sergio Fernandez, “we are in an environment of strong credit crunch that makes financial institutions very demanding when granting a mortgage so a large number of young people who are unemployed or in temporary employment are excluded. Another barrier outlined by Bankimia for this group is having to contribute funds of up to 20% of the property value.

With this situation, Sergio Fernandez adds “the return of deposits and other savings products is not very attractive and the price of housing, especially in certain areas and for certain uses (second homes) has decreased considerably during the crisis” opening a door to cash rich investors who can find very attractive offers in the real estate sector.

Hollywood actor George Clooney buys luxury home in Marbella

2007 Cannes Film Festival - "Ocean's Thirteen" PhotocallThe famous actor has been visiting Malaga for a number of years and was spotted in the celebrity hotspot of Marbella looking at property shortly before Christmas last year. Clooney’s publicists have now confirmed the Oceans 11 actor has purchased a four bedroom mansion in the mountains overlooking Marbella for €4 million. The impressive villa includes five bathrooms, a large living room, billiard room, kitchen, porch and cellar. Clooney has now sold his previous home in Lake Como, Italy and it is thought he will be moving into the dream Marbella property before his birthday on May 6.

The ECB maintains interest rates at 0,75%

DraghiThe governing council of the European Central Bank (ECB) has decided to leave interest rates unchanged in the euro zone at a historic low of 0,75%. The ECB President Mario Draghi thus adhered to the prediction provided by analysts. However, experts did not rule out a reduction in the price of money in the coming months. In his speech, Draghi stressed that inflation expectations in the euro area remain below the limits set by the monetary authority. “This will allow our monetary policy remains accommodative.”

Also the head of the ECB said the data suggests that the economic weakness of the euro zone will continue during the first quarter of 2013. The central bank expects the economy of the Eurozone to recover “gradually” over this year by the strengthening global demand and the ECB’s policies. Draghi predicts that initial recovery should begin in the second half of the year, with export growth. Draghi stressed the need for the governments of the euro zone countries to continue to undertake structural reforms to further progress in fiscal consolidation and the restructuring of the financial system.

Forbes magazine affirms now is the time to buy property in Spain

321The great grandson of the founder of the business magazine Forbes, Miguel Forbes, considers it a good time for foreign investors to buy into the Spanish real estate market. “Valuations are low in real estate, as are stocks and other private businesses, it’s time to buy,” he said in a presentation of Forbes magazine in Spain and he is confident that by landing the magazine in our country it will better serve in understanding the recipe for success of millionaire entrepreneurs such as Amancio Ortega, founder of Inditex group, occupying the third position on the annual list of the richest people in the world.

The number of foreigners who bought property in Spain grew by 28.4% in 2012

casa-extranjerosA total of 38,312 foreign national’s non-resident in Spain bought a home last year. This represents an increase of 28.4% compared to 2011, according to the Council of Notaries. According to records, 42% of the transactions closed with a price greater than the 160,000 euros. By region, Murcia and Andalusia are the two autonomous communities where the number of buyers fell most, while Catalonia last year recorded more than twice the number of buyers it had in 2007.

Also the origin of new homeowners has changed and for the first time the Russians have become the second volume home-buyers behind the British. Regarding prices, 42% of transactions closed for an amount in excess of € 160,000. Precisely, this figure is the limit set by the Spanish government which considers granting residence permits to foreigners who purchase a home in the country.

A new park of 55.000 m2 will cover the San Pedro tunnel

sanpedro4-300The City Council has awarded the contract to a group of local companies. Land above the San Pedro Alcántara tunnel will cease to be a wasteland within a few months. The City Council has awarded the contract for the works that will transform this space into a large park of 54,000 square meters. The deadlines are set for completion to be in the summer of 2014 and the works will start next June.

The companies involved in the venture are Bonifacio Solís and Comonsa. This is destined to be one of the flagship projects for the municipality because it will transform the image of the area and the lives of the residents, as highlighted by the Mayor Angeles Muñoz. The architect Juan Antonio Fernandez a local of San Pedro has baptized the project as ‘A sea of ​​feelings’, because the land will provide ample green space, two playgrounds, three terraces, bar, and an auditorium. In addition, the park will be connected to a bicycle path.

The 2013 municipal budgets collected 2 million euros to begin the work. The rest, up to 6 million of the total cost, will be provided in 2014. “It will come this year when most bills initialed” Munoz stated. The City Council has also announced that it will resume negotiating with the former landowners of Calpe College, where the government wants locate a ‘gourmet’ market to complete the urban park project above the San Pedro tunnel.

Kate Middleton’s uncle to sell Ibiza home for €6.5million

gary-goldsmith-homeIt is one of Spain’s most notorious properties and a regular holiday hideout for English footballers. Now Prince William’s uncle-in-law Gary Goldsmith is to sell his stunning Ibiza villa ‘Maison de Bang Bang’. The brother of Kate Middleton’s mother Carole is hoping to get €6.5 million for the four bed villa. The house has become popular with the likes of Premier League footballers, including Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson, who rent it for an estimated €15,000 a week.