Brits Under 25 Flock to Spain, See It As Good Long-Term Investment
Recent research shows that approximately five times as many Brits under 25 are buying property in Spain than retirees over 55. The largest age group remains that between 25 and 55, but those under 25 are beginning to purchase real estate in Spain in ever-larger numbers.
In a survey which asked British respondents where they’d most like to live overseas, Spain came out as the most popular destination in Europe. One of the reasons cited was that a home in Spain makes it easy to travel affordably back and forth between their home in Britain.
Almost 70 percent of the respondents who said they’d like to purchase a home in Spain were under 55, while only around 15 percent were over 65. These numbers go somewhat against the typical assumption that most Brits buying homes in Spain are retirees in their sixties and seventies.
Of all the people who took the survey, 5% already owned a home in Spain, and of this group, half were under 35 and 20 percent were under 25.
Although the growth rate of prices has been slowing down, most experts predict a stabilization in the market as prices reach regular, maintainable levels (which so far has been the case). Despite speculation of a crash in the real estate market, buyers and investors see Spanish property as a good long-term investment because of this very stabilization.
Professionals within the industry have little doubt that Spain will maintain its position as the top long-term investment opportunity for Brits.
More features on the Spanish property sector:
Up and Coming Hotspot: Valencia (Spain's New Barcelona)
Valencia is undergoing a similar transformation to the one Barcelona experienced thanks to the 1992 Olympics.
Two major events – the 32nd America’s Cup (which brought a spectacular yacht marina worth 500 million euros) and the upcoming Grand Prix (for which a new Formula One circuit bordering the harbor, Monaco-style, has been built) – are changing the face of the city and bringing billions of euros into the local economy.
Thanks to this, awareness of the city has increased tremendously and investors are beginning to see Valencia’s true potential as a rising star in Spain.
Much like Barcelona, Valencia has a refreshing combination of old city charm, fascinating modern architecture (the best example being Santiago Calatrava's City of Arts and Sciences, which emerges smoothly from the glassy surface of the Turia river) and sandy beaches.
So far investors in the area are predominantly Spanish, but foreign professionals are beginning to get interested in Valencia as a markedly cheaper alternative to Barcelona. New shopping areas, restaurants, hotels and other recreational facilities are springing up along the city’s waterfront, along with improved communication to the area via new metro stations and additional bus stops.
For individual buyers, investing in a property in Valencia is attractive as well. Prices are still on the rise, which is no longer the case in Madrid and Barcelona. What’s more, the average cost of a property is an estimated 40% lower than in Madrid and almost 50% lower than in Barcelona.
Homebuyers can expect constancy from their investment in Valencia because its property market is fuelled largely by people who want to own a home and live in the city, not by flighty investors or vacationers.
A few areas of interest in the city are Rufaza, which offers well-preserved historic buildings with modern interiors; and the seafront area of Cabanyal, within close proximity to the beach and enjoying some of the city’s best restaurants (this area will improve its communication with the city center by an extension of the main avenue into the district).
With an entire old district open for redevelopment and an upcoming high-speed train connection to Madrid, Valencia’s promise for the future undoubtedly makes it one of the most appealing investment opportunities in Spain for professionals and private consumers alike.
More Spanish property investment advice:
Spain and France Top Tourist Destinations in the World
The UN World Tourism Organization has pronounced France and Spain the top tourist destinations in the world, according to data gathered from its 2006 study. France holds the top spot, with nearly 80 million visits per year; while Spain hosts almost 60 million happy tourists each year.
Spain took its place as the second-most visited location on the planet in 2004, overtaking the United States, which nowadays still occupies the third spot. After that goes China, Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, Mexico, Austria and Russia.
The increase in tourism (which grew by 6% worldwide) will bring more jobs and exports, said the World Tourism Organization, a growth they hoped would handled responsibly by the highest ranking countries. In particular the UN organization believes there should be a reduction of gas emission in the tourist industry.
Still No Crash in Sight for Spain’s Settling Property Market
Last year, property prices rose by nearly 6%, the lowest rise since 1998 and a definite sign that the market is settling and the second massive real estate boom in Spain’s recent history is coming to an end.
Settling yes, crashing – no, is the prediction of industry specialists who claim price increases will slow until reaching a similar level as the country’s inflation rate.
Prices have been rising the most in the Balearic Islands, Murcia and Ceuta y Melilla, as well as around the Costa Verde, and least in Navarra.
Walls Made from Water
Next year’s World Expo in Zaragoza (June 14th – September 14th, 2008) will host a particularly interesting attraction: a building with walls made from water.
Millions of fairgoers will be entertained by this unique sight, achieved through thousands of computer-controlled water jets that can be manipulated to create doors or windows at any point along the building’s walls.
The building will also have the capacity to disappear in minutes by lowering its roof all the way to the floor, essentially becoming an ordinary fountain.
Digitally projected text and images will be displayed along the water-walls of this 5,400 square-foot building, which was thought up by architects at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and will cost around 3 million dollars to build.
Alicante Gets a Ryanair Base, New Routes
Low-cost airline company Ryaniar will make Alicante its 21st base, adding 11 new routes to the six already serviced from the city. The new routes will be available beginning in November.
The company will invest 100 million euros in the project and create employment for 1,500 workers in Alicante. Ryanair also expects the new base to triple the number of passengers traveling to and from Alicante to 1.5 million per year.
Some of the new routes will include Brussels, Milan and Paris; cities like Dublin, Dusseldorf, Liverpool and London are already serviced by Ryanair. By the time the project is completed there will be a total of 17 routes serviced from Alicante.
Spanish Space Resort to Open by 2012
Barcelona-based company Galactic Suite Projects released plans last Friday to build the world’s first hotel in space. The project is expected to be completed by 2012, but reservations will be taken as early as next year.
The company’s founders (all professionals in the aerospace industry), funded by investors in Asia and the Middle East, have designed the project along with aeronautical engineers in Florida.
Two billion euros will be spent on an earth-based control station, space shuttles and the orbital resort itself. The pricetag includes the purchase of a number of tropical islands for space-vacationer training.
A three-day stay in the orbital hotel will cost 3 million euros and will include 18 weeks of training. The hotel, planned to orbit the earth at a height of 450 km, will be able to accommodate only 350 guests per year. This shouldn’t be a problem, however, since only a tiny fraction of earth’s inhabitants (around 40,000 people) will be able to afford a space vacation.
Rodent Plague? Bring Out The Giant Rolling Pin!!
An infestation of voles (small mouse-like rodents) in Castille-Leon that’s seriously damaging crops this year has awakened the ire of local inhabitants.
An estimated 700 million of the rodents are currently occupying the fields of one of Spain’s most fertile heartlands. Besides consuming vast amounts of crops, the rodents have also become infamous for their overpowering stench.
Residents and those affected by the plague have proven tenaciously resourceful in their efforts to eradicate the hated creatures. Some think they should be drowned, some prefer torching them, others feel they should be electrified… there are even ideas to drive them out of their holes and smash them with a giant rolling pin attached to a plow.
Perhaps the most thought-out plan involves herding the voles together using ultrasound and massacring them with either water or fire.
Although no consensus has been reached as to the cause of the infestation, some believe an inconveniently mild winter that didn’t kill the usual number of voles could be a prime factor.