There is one construction-based sector where the machines have not stopped working and where at times it is difficult to find qualified staff to carry out certain jobs. This sector is within in the triangle formed by Marbella, Estepona and Benahavís and last year it generated more than 250 million euros worth of business and about 4,000 jobs, of which 1,000 were direct.
The DOM3 association, which brings together 23 companies related to the construction of top-of-the -range homes, estimates that during the past year about 60 properties were built within the aforementioned triangle of Marbella, Estepona & Benahavís and whose cost per unit was at least one million euros. Apart from the figures mentioned above, this business also generated another which the offices of the Hacienda tax authority will value above all others: 22 million euros in IVA (value added tax).
The culture of property rental in Spain is not as robust as in the rest of the European Union as confirmed in data published by Eurostat agency in 2010. In this country, only 17 percent of the population live in rented accommodation, compared to the 83 % who actually live their own property. To encourage and boost rental housing market, the Government approved on 24 August 2012, Rental Bill measures affecting the flexibility of contracts, so as to reduce the time of duration. The tenant can request payment for agreed improvements or reforms, also the owner will have the possibility to recover property (once a number of requirements are met) and from now on the processing and execution of eviction will be faster.
These changes have not been welcomed by all sectors of society. Thus, the organization FACUA-Consumers in Action has reported that the new regulation is “a direct cut on the rights of tenants in favour of landlords” because it provides greater legal support to property owners, while in turn will create more homelessness. For its part, the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) believes that “flexibility is needed, without compromising stability.”
Marbella has signed an agreement with British Airways to promote the city on flights throughout July. The Mayor, Angeles Muñoz, signed an agreement with British Airways representative, Georgina Wheston, which will allow a promotional video to be shown on 6,000 long-haul flights in July. There will also be articles about Marbella in the magazines given to passengers. Muñoz said the project was a positive one as it is aimed at the British market, which accounts for between 35 and 38 per cent of the tourists who visit Marbella.
Spain is still European holidaymakers’ favorite destination according the latest figures released by Eurostat. Statistics show 13% of tourists booking holidays abroad chose Spain, which is well ahead of Italy and France (both 9%). Breaking the figure down per country, 39% of Portuguese travelling abroad come to Spain, followed by 25% of Irish, 21% of Britons and 18% of French tourists.
The housing sales rose 17.3% in February from the same month in 2012, to a total of 35,486 transactions, thus stringing three consecutive months of annual gains, according to the National Statistics Institute (INE). The end of the tax benefits for the purchase of property from January 1 this year could be behind this increase in transactions, because of the delay in logging entries in the property registry (sales which closed a few months ago).
The transaction of previously owned homes rose 16.5% in February year on year, adding up to 16,723 operations, while that of new homes rose 18%, to 18,763 transactions. 86.1% of property transmissions were private homes, which meant an increase of 18% to 30,555 operations. The state housing operations were 4931, with a rise of 13.4% compared to February 2012.
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The partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) responsible for real estate, Juan Velayos, believes that the price of housing in Spain “is bottoming out” and all indications are that this year and next year the trend is “flat”. However, Velayos dared not specify when property prices would rebound. Also the representative of PWC said that Spain is about to reach the “change curve” and stressed that financial institutions, the public and the management company of assets from bank restructuring (SAREB) have “an obligation to cash in and deleverage assets.”
In his view this will create “ample opportunity” in the Spanish housing market. “We are going to see something that has not been seen in recent years, which is ‘’mass transactions”. In mid-February PWC published its report ‘European real estate market trends 2013’ where the consultant claimed that forced sales of banking stock will be one of the main elements for the sector this year and also investment syndicates are preparing funds for opportunities.
Spain and the UK have signed a new treaty to protect residents and companies against double taxation and to battle tax evasion. The new treaty, which must now undergo parliamentary ratification in both countries, replaces the current tax treaty, which dates from 1975 and was amended in 1993. It is expected to come into force this year and affects companies as well as individuals with capital or income that could be subject to tax in both countries. Double taxation treaties are used as a means to protect against the risk of double taxation where the same income is taxable in two states, and to protect against attempts to evade tax liabilities in one or both of the countries involved. The UK has such treaties with more than 100 countries around the world.
The Cabinet has approved the new energy efficiency certificate which will be compulsory for owners who want to sell or rent their homes from June 1. According to the Ministry of Development 60% of Spanish homes were built without any energy efficiency regulations and that in general homes in Spain consume 17% of all energy in the country.
This certificate, along with the energy rating of the building should include objective information on the energy characteristics of buildings and in the case of existing buildings a document of recommendations for improving cost-optimal levels or energy efficiency of the building, so that one can assess and compare the energy efficiency of buildings in order to advance the promotion of energy-efficient buildings and investments in energy efficiency.
As a tool to facilitate for obtaining such certificates, by order of the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism and the Ministry of Development, IDEA has developed software ce3 and ce3 both are recognized documents available to certified technicians.
The big question that owners have is how much the new energy certificate required to sell or rent a property from June 1 will cost. The government estimated that the price would be around 90 euros per apartment and 250 euros for a townhouse.
The Fifty Shades Of Grey penthouse in the Escala tower at 1920 4th Avenue has sold for the massive price tag of $6.2M. According to brokers, it’s the highest price for a Seattle condo in three years. The author the Fifty Shades Of Grey novels E.L. James was not the seller. She has never actually set foot in the penthouse she’s made famous, merely using the 510 m2 condo with a 100 m2 terrace as a stepping-off point for the one in her novels.