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Despite Brexit the English and Spanish nations are closer than ever via the new British Airways route from the Docklands airport.

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Despite the  vote to leave the EU  the UK is now closer than ever to Spain thanks to new flights from London City Airport .

The nations, who both crashed out of the Euro 2016 football finals in the same week, are now connected by two and a half hour plane rides between the capital and Alicante.

The service, which runs four-times- a-week from the Docklands airport to the Costa Blanca gateway was launched by Captain Sarah Shillabeer who flew a Spanish flag from the flight deck on the inaugural service.

British Airways’ general manager commercial and customer, London City, Luke Hayhoe, said:“While everyone is still getting over the disappointment of our exit from the football finals this is a fantastic opportunity to escape the disappointment – and the British weather – and head off to sunny Spain.”

The addition of the Alicante route means British Airways will operate up to 63 flights a week to seven Spanish destinations from London City this summer. It also flies to Madrid, Granada, Malaga, Ibiza, Palma and Mahon.

Chief commercial officer at London City Airport Matthew Hall said: “Alicante is the gateway to a stunning part of the Spanish Mediterranean and an excellent addition to our offer of leisure destinations this summer.”

Each way hand baggage only fares from London City-Alicante are available from £55 and will operate throughout the summer on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Spain’s housing market continues to recover, amid continuous improvement in economic conditions, with property demand picking up across many parts of the country.

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Fresh figures from Spanish property valuation firm Tinsa reveal that the average price of a home in Spain rose by 0.8% year-on-year during the second quarter of 2016, thanks in part to a rise in the number of foreign buyers acquiring property in Spain.

This is the third quarter in a row to show annual growth in Spanish property prices, although the 0.8% rise recorded in Q2 is lower than the 1.4% noted between January and March.

Despite improving market conditions, Spanish property prices remain significantly below pre-crash levels, with the average price of a home in the country now 40.9% below the previous market high in 2007.

The greatest level of growth was recorded in La Rioja where houses prices rose by 7.4% quarter-on-quarter, followed by Catalonia at 6.8%, Madrid at 5.4% and the Canary Islands at 3.6%.

For the first time since the start of the crisis Extremadura, Valencia and Castilla y León recorded the annual growth in property values at 1.1%, 1% and 0.7% respectively. Aragón led the largest declines, falling 3.5%.

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The mastermind behind golf tourism to Mallorca has outlined his vision for the Balearic island, adding that each course is like ‘a child’ to him.

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Federico Knuchel, a 76-year-old Swiss, moved to Mallorca more than 40 years ago, and never left.

He is now the president of the Asociación de Campos de Golf de Mallorca (ACGM), an association of 19 clubs on the largest of the Balearic Islands.

Knuchel said: “I feel very passionate about Mallorca – that’s why I still do it.

“I hate the thought of sitting back and doing nothing. It makes you get older more quickly. This keeps me young. It’s an honorary job and I’ve been in this role for six years. But golf has given a me a lot and you have to give something back.

“We had 600,000 rounds in 2015 and the purpose of our association is to increase that number. We would like to increase it by five per cent every year. Last year was one of the better years and generally, we are quite happy. But we always want more.”

Son Vida is the oldest club on Mallorca, dating back to 1964 but eight have been built since the millennium to create huge choice and variety. The island’s history with golf actually stretches back as far as 1934 when a nine-hole course in Alcudia was eventually shut down during the Spanish civil war for aircraft to use the fairways as runways.

“There are some top courses on the island but when we have meetings, I tell them that it is all about improving the quality. It is quality, quality, quality.

“Some courses have changed owners in recent times and they are investing a lot of money to improve them.

“As a Swiss, we are educated in quality and precision. That is our mentality.

“We have a great variety and great quality here and some people may not know about that. We have 19 courses and all within one hour of each other. People don’t want to play the same course on holiday and we have great choice.

“We have short flight times from all over Europe, great accommodation and of course, we always have the weather.”

Residential property sales in Spain are continuing to rise but this may be due to sellers accepting lower offers as prices are falling.

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The latest data from the General Council of Notaries show that sales increased by 16.2% in April year on year and in seasonally adjusted terms were up 18.9%.

But prices are not following the growth trend, down 5.1% on average to stand at €1,241 per square metre. Both houses and apartment prices are falling, down 1.6% and 5.9% respectively.

The growth is also reflected in lending with the number of mortgages for the purchase of a home rising by 38.3% year on year. The average amount was €120,125, a reduction of 4.9% compared to a year ago, also suggesting that people are paying less for properties.

Meanwhile demand for prime property is also rising, especially in the most sought after areas. Well prices properties are being snapped up fast, often in just a matter of days, according to the latest report from Lucas Fox International Properties.

Multiple agencies often find themselves competing with each other for the same clients, all of whom are looking to take advantage of the current low prices, according to the Barcelona based firm.

‘We’re having to remove around 40 sold properties from our website each week as the market has picked up significantly. We currently have around 40,000 mainly overseas clients actively searching for homes to buy, the majority of whom want to invest in Barcelona, Madrid and key coastal areas such as the Costa Brava,’ said head of listings at Lucas Fox Ivan Belmonte.

The report suggests that the lack of supply is due to the fact that new developments are still fairly slow to come onto the market and some owners are still waiting for prices to rise before they sell.

According to Rod Jamieson, head of operations, published price data is often based on asking prices rather than actual sales prices so prices paid are not actually rising. ‘Our statistics show very minimal price increases, even in prime districts,’ he said.

The firm’s data also shows that 50% of visitors to its website are from overseas and 50% national buyers. This compares to 56% and 44% respectively during the same period in 2015.

The British continue to represent the biggest proportion of overseas visitors to the website at 10%, a slight drop from 2015, most likely due to fears over the European Union referendum outcome. After the UK, most overseas demand for Spanish homes comes from France, the United States and then Sweden.

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