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Figures released by the Housing Department within the Ministry of Public Works show that expats living in Spain spent 36% more on property in the first half of the year than they did in the same period last year. According to the same source, foreign residents buying homes in Spain spent a total of €4.2 billion on Spanish property in the first six months, compared to €3.1 billion last year.

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The majority of this expenditure, 88%, was on resale property, totalling €3.7 billion, up 43% compared to last year. In contrast, investment in new property fell by 2% to €469m.

According to Spanishpropertyinsight.com, the Valencian Community attracted biggest share of expatriate investment, around €1 billion, of which €889 million went to Alicante, home of the Costa Blanca. Next came Andalusia (home to the Costa del Sol) with €975 million, and Catalonia (home to the Costa Brava), with €817 million.

Amongst foreign buyers, those who were resident in Spain bought 25,602 homes, up 23% compared to the 20,839 purchased in the first six months of 2013.

Non-residents buying second homes increased by 12% to 2,065.This increase in demand is reflected in a slow but steady recovery in enquiries for international mortgage funding, with a spokesman for UK based international mortgage brokers Offshoreonline.org commenting, “We have certainly seen an increase in enquiries for Spanish euro mortgages, with buyers coming both from the UK and abroad, especially the Far East. Spanish banks are once again dipping their toes in the water and providing a buyer has a 30% deposit, some attractive financing deals are available.”

An event such as this would bring thousands of fans to the Island of Mallorca in peak holiday season. As yet a date has not been released.

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According to newspaper reports in Diario de Mallorca, Sir Bradley Wiggins has shown interest in the record attempt for the hour which is currently held by Matthias Brändle with a distance of 51.85km. Sources have said that at a recent event to celebrate Wiggins’ victory in the World Championship time trial, Wiggins and Joan Llaneras (Director of the Palma Arena) have agreed in principal to the attempt taking place in July or August 2015.

The Island of Mallorca is a popular training spot for many athletes and cyclists in particular. Wiggins uses the Island as a regular training base and has already won at the Palma velodrome track, having won the World individual pursuit title back in 2007.

It is thought that his move back towards track racing is in preparation for the Olympics in Rio in 2016. But before any of these events of course there is the Paris-Roubaix in the spring 2015 which he currently training for and hopes for the win!

We will keep you posted of any updates or confirmations that Sir Bradley Wiggins will take on this record attempt on Mallorca so that you can get your tickets booked!

The end of this month will see Americans hit the stores in a shopping frenzy as Black Friday – the day when the Christmas shopping season officially begins – sees stores across the country offer impressive discounts in order to kick start the traditional holiday spend-a-thon.

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According to Statistic Brain, a staggering 25% of all personal spending in the US takes place during the Christmas shopping period, with Black Friday 2013 seeing total spending of $57.4 billion. However, that doesn’t mean that shoppers are prepared to spend money without careful thought – the same research showed that just 16% of shoppers were prepared to pay full price for their purchases.

Indeed the popularity of Black Friday has meant that it is now being embraced by more and more UK shops most notably, supermarket chain Asda, who offered discounts across its stores on 29 November 2013. The result was astonishing, with the retailer reporting a month’s worth of televisions sold in just 45 minutes! Across the week, sales were up 400% on the year before.

With shoppers becoming evermore savvy in their hunt for discounts and bargains, the range of products on offer has increased hugely. Even holiday homes can now be purchased at discounted rates by those who shop around.
Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of leading Spanish homebuilder Taylor Wimpey España, comments,

“Often those buying homes overseas can benefit from one-time offers and discounts if they buy in the right location at the right time. Our La Vila Paradis development, for example, has an offer currently on one of the remaining three apartments, which will see the price reduced from €265,000 to €249,000 if legal completion takes place before the end of the year.”

La Vila Paradis is a contemporary beachfront development in the Costa Blanca, with direct access to Villajoyosa beach, just 20 minutes from Alicante. Two and three bedroom apartments feature high spec interiors, with well thought-out layouts that ensure beautiful views over the Paraíso Beach and sea. The gated development includes swimming pools, prettily designed communal gardens and private parking. Three bedroom townhouses are also available, starting at €359,000.

With the unusually warm autumn weather in the UK about to give way to winter, many are looking to fight off the cold by holidaying overseas. For those who love Spain and visit frequently, a second home makes excellent financial sense, particularly when it can be bought at a discounted rate. Thanks to Taylor Wimpey España’s La Vila Paradis promotion, a second home overseas might not have to wait to be added to Santa’s list this year, as smart shoppers look to bag their bargain well before the year ends.

For more information please contact Taylor Wimpey España today on 08000 121 020 or visit www.taylorwimpeyspain.com. Those residing outside of the UK should call 0034 971 70 69 72.

A trip to Malaga offers the chance to enjoy two genuine art treasures unavailable anywhere else in the world: the Foundation-Birthplace Museum dedicated to the universal painter Pablo Ruiz Picasso; and the Picasso Museum in Malaga, located in the beautiful Buenavista Palace, with over 150 works which will take you on a journey through the evolution of this artistic genius.

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You will experience the privilege of standing before paintings which have never previously been on display, and of seeing ceramics belonging to Picasso himself, and works where the artist represented Miró or Bacon.

What’s more, as you walk around the streets of Malaga, you will come across some of Picasso’s favourite boyhood haunts: the Plaza de la Merced square (where you can still see one of the symbols of his work – the doves– strutting around), the Church of Santiago (where he was baptised), and the la Malagueta bullring, where he used to go with his father, and which had such an influence on his bullfight paintings. A very special city which will help you understand this creative spirit better than ever.

British investors’ appetite for overseas property is still strong with one specialist reporting enquiries up by 37% so far this year compared with 2013. Spain continues to top the list of hot spots, accounting for more than half, 51%, of enquiries received from January to September, according to overseas mortgage firm Conti.

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The volume of enquiries for Spain has, in fact, increased by a massive 95% when compared with 2013. France, in second place, accounts for 29% of enquiries received so far this year, followed by Portugal with 12%.

According to Conti, there couldn’t be a better time to buy, with the strong pound shedding tens of thousands of pounds off property prices in the euro zone. Sterling exchange rates had a bit of a bumpy ride in the lead up to the Scottish referendum result in September, but the dust appears to have settled and the pound to euro exchange rate is hovering near €1.27 at the moment.

Rewind to last summer when the pound fell to a low of €1.14, and the difference is pretty significant when you apply it to property prices. It means that a €200,000 property in Spain, for example, is now almost £18,000 cheaper, showing just how much difference the currency markets can make.

‘When you combine the strong pound with the low property prices to be found in many European property markets together with historically low mortgage rates, affordability is better than it has been in years,’ said Clare Nessling, director at Conti.

‘With buyers’ budgets stretching that much further, the purchase of that place in the sun could seem even more tempting, especially when you compare the cost with overheated parts of the UK market,’ she added.

Conti says that it’s vitally important for buyers to seek the right advice. Bitter experience has taught many overseas property buyers that scrimping on independent legal advice can effectively cost them their holiday home. Buyers should always go through the same process that they would follow if they were buying a property in the UK. ‘There’s nothing to be gained, and everything to lose by cutting corners and failing to carry out due diligence,’ said Nessling.

Advice from the firm includes never signing a contract that you don’t understand. If two versions are provided, i.e. English and local language, ask your solicitor to confirm the English version is a true translation, as you need to ensure it doesn’t contain errors, omissions or extras.

Obtaining a mortgage ‘approval in principle’ will confirm you can obtain the necessary funds before signing on any dotted line and prove to sellers that you’re a serious buyer. And it costs nothing.

Buyers should consider fluctuations in the exchange rate. It’s generally advisable for an overseas mortgage and the income used to service the mortgage repayments to be in the same currency, to avoid any exchange rate issues.

Buyers should also take independent advice from an English-speaking lawyer who is not connected to your seller, estate agent or property developer.

They ought to bear in mind that bills don’t end at the asking price. Lawyer’s fees, local and national taxes, insurance, and so on can often add at least a further 10% to your purchase costs.

Before proceeding with the purchase, ensure an independent valuation of the property is carried out, which should point out any problems.

If buying a new build property, people are advised to check the developer’s track record, obtain references from previous buyers, and look at comparable properties in the area.

They should also conduct thorough research about local facilities and transport. People gravitate to locations with a nearby airport, especially if it’s served by a budget airline. But remember there are no guarantees that cheap flights will continue indefinitely in one location.

Opening a bank account in your chosen country and, and setting up standing orders in your local bank account to meet local bills and taxes is advised. Failure to pay your taxes in some countries could lead to action by the authorities.

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