To help you stay in tune with happenings in Spain the UKs favourite second home destination each issue we bring you news nuggets from our man on the Costas
HOLIDAY SNAPSFalls in property prices on the Costas led to foreign bargain hunters snapping up 702 properties in Alicante province (Costa Blanca) in 2008. And the price drops are proving irresistible to buyers elsewhere in Spain, too. When a developer in Madrid recently slashed prices by 50 per cent, 250-metre-long queues formed at dawn. In just two days, more than 200 properties were sold, and extra staff were parachuted in to cope with demand. Could these be signs that a turnaround in Spains property market is on the horizon? Victor Bricio of Alicante-based Bricio Solicitors (www.briciosolicitors.com) thinks a better balance between owners and tenants rights would help restore profitability and kick-start the market. At the moment property laws are weighed unfairly, many think in favour of tenants.
RIVAL TO MONACOS F1A magnet for the ostentatiously wealthy, the European Grand Prix around the port area of Spains third city, Valencia, will take place on 23 August. Said to compare with Monacos 78- lap Grand Prix, tickets are selling fast. Hotel AC Valencia has rooms available from 599 (530) per night, while entry to the Paddock Club VIP will set you back 3,110 (2,752). Corporate entertainment offering three days on the rooftop terrace of Hotel Atarazanes is a mere 1,680 (1,487) per person. A snip at half the price.
GROWING OLD DISGRACEFULLYSpanish Prime Minister Jos Zapatero says his country has already put the worst of the recession behind it. He reveals that with 60 (53) billion in the social reserve fund, pensions are assured until 2025. Just as well life expectancy in Spain is now 83.45 years for women and 77.5 for men one of the longest in Europe.
BY HOOK OR BY CROOKDespite high unemployment in Spain some vacancies remain difficult to fill. Currently, more doctors are needed to maintain the health service one of the best in Europe and computer engineers are in short supply. But if you hanker for the quiet life, hundreds of public grazing routes are out of service because landowners are unable to find enough shepherds
NOW SPANIARDS SNAFFLE OUR SUNBEDS
Are the Spaniards taking over as the Brits head to Pontins this summer (bookings are up 20 per cent) instead? Hotels in Santa Pola, Costa Blanca, report a year-on-year increase in occupancy levels. While Spain is still a top choice for British holidaymakers, it seems the Spanish are making up any shortfall. First the Germans bag our sun beds; now the Spanish occupy our dormitorios.