Costa del Sol property & lifestyle, news, views, advice & information

Netflix to land in Spain on October 20

Author:   |  October 16th, 2015

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Put your feet up for winter: Netflix is imminent in Spain.

The wait is almost over. Just before the clocks go back, the weather dips slightly and the wind picks up, online streaming service Netflix will launch in Spain to the delight of millions of TV and movie fans across the country…

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Expats and alcohol: social glue or social lubricant?

Author:   |  October 15th, 2015

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Spain famously has more bars than any other country in Europe, making socialising in the country rather easy, fun and affordable.

“Taking the edge off” is a well-worn phrase that is uttered by most of us after a busy week when all we want to do is reach for a beer or bottle of wine from the fridge.

Brits and the Irish are particularly eager to enjoy a tipple or two at the weekend, and the two nations’ drinking cultures are fairly well established as being central to much of social life…

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Shopping tourism: a Spanish idea we can all get behind

Author:   |  October 14th, 2015

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Shopping and tourism naturally go hand-in-hand, and Spain is hoping to nurture that relationship further.

The things that Spain does well – better than any other country in fact – are largely rooted in its natural assets. Its beaches are glorious, its weather more so, and its landscape and close proximity to the UK make it a perennial favourite for all types of tourists…

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After Paris, London and New York, Chinese investors head to Spain

Author:   |  October 13th, 2015

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Spain’s cultural attractions are beginning to turn Chinese heads, as is the country’s recovering property market.

Some of the world’s wealthiest real estate investors hail from China, a land where the rich are astoundingly rich and the poor are, well, dirt poor. A growing middle class aside, China’s wealth divide has widened in recent years, prompting many of the country’s tycoons to seek safer havens for their money than China itself…

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Brits driving abroad may lack confidence, but not courtesy

Author:   |  October 12th, 2015

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Brits who drive regularly in Spain soon get the hang of it, but for those unused to the roads and culture, it can be challenging at first.

A survey by holiday booking company Holiday Extras has revealed the many foibles and concerns that Brits have when driving abroad, concluding that the majority have very little confidence in themselves when they get behind the wheel in a foreign country.

However, what the survey fails to address is just how much patience, courtesy and constraint the average British driver has when confronted with the every-man-for-themselves culture often found on the roads of Mediterranean Europe

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Fixing Spanish wine’s identity crisis

Author:   |  October 9th, 2015

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Red or white, French or Italian – it doesn’t matter, it is probably a Spanish plonk that you are drinking.

You’ve been drinking Spanish wine recently, even if you don’t know it. Despite exporting more wine than any other nation in the world – shipping 2.3 billion litres and surpassing Italy last year in terms of volume – Spanish wine is suffering from something of an image problem.

Sure, your local off-licence will have a fair selection, and the larger supermarkets in the UK have certainly upped their game when it comes to offering a wider choice of riojas and tempranillos, but the fact is, you really all should be drinking more ‘Spanish’ wine…

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Brits account for one-in-five Spanish properties sold to foreigners

Author:   |  October 8th, 2015

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The data shows that one-fifth of all properties sold to foreigners in Spain are bought by Brits.

Data from Spain’s land registry – the Colegio de Registradores – has confirmed what many leading real estate experts have long suspected: British buyers are far-and-away the largest single group of foreign buyers when it comes to Spanish property…

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Five reasons why Spanish property is hot again

Author:   |  October 7th, 2015

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Spanish property is back on the agenda for thousands of Brits, and with good reason.

The dream, they said, was over. The boom years for the Spanish property sector, which stretched like a gloriously debauched summer over the first seven years of the millennium, ended abruptly in 2008 as much of the world’s major economies were plunged into recession.

Spain was particularly hard hit, not least its construction sector, which only a few years before had been the driving force behind the economy’s sterling – if unsustainable – performance.

As the industry contracted, media outlets across much of Europe, particularly the UK, declared the dream of owning property in Spain over. With prices plummeting, few banks lending and even fewer – it felt – people actually able to afford to buy, there was an undoubted downturn.

But the dream never died, it just evolved. Today, as Spain’s economy shows encouraging signs of recovery, thousands of Brits have flocked back to the Spanish property market. This time their approach is less “how can I make money fast” and more “how can I realise the dream of owning a lovely, affordable home in Spain”.

And there are five key reasons just why this dream is becoming a reality for more and more Brits every day…

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Spain receives credit rating upgrade from S&P

Author:   |  October 6th, 2015

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A number of Spain’s best-performing industries, such as winemaking, tourism and the automobile sector, have enjoyed a solid recovery in 2015.

Standard & Poor’s, the world-renowned credit agency, raised Spain’s credit rating to BBB+ at the weekend, which is three levels above junk status and the highest rating the country has enjoyed since the recession.

In May 2014 Spain was upgraded by S&P to BBB, and now – with the country’s outlook rated as ‘stable’ by the agency – the new BBB+ level means Spain is now three levels above non-investment grade…

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Snowfall arrives in Sierra Nevada as ski season nears

Author:   |  October 5th, 2015

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The Sierra Nevada ski resorts are already dusted with the first layer of winter snowfall of 2015.

As September disappears into the rear view mirror, thoughts across much of Europe begin to turn to crisp autumnal mornings and a colourful kaleidoscope of foliage emerging across the tree canopies of the continent…

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