Post-Brexit fears revealed for British travellers

With an increase in the price of holidays abroad the major post-Brexit fear for British travellers, with other areas of concern reflecting the far-reaching implications of leaving the EU, now may well be the opportune time to consider investing in a Below Market Value property in Spain.

According to the World Travel Market 2017 Industry Report, the pound has weakened against the dollar and the euro since the referendum and many popular holiday destinations are already more expensive than before the vote. More than half (54%) the 1000-strong sample size said they were concerned specifically about the worsening pound/euro exchange rate. A similar proportion (52%) are worried about holidays in general becoming more expensive, while 45% are anxious about the costs of flights.

However, the report also reveals a range of other concerns, which shows that many British travellers realise that leaving the European Union will have deep implications for overseas travel. For example, more than one in three (38%) Brits is concerned about losing entitlement to free state healthcare in Europe with the future of the European Health Insurance Card in doubt. One-third (33%) are nervous about the increased risk of queues at passport control, and one-in-four expressed fears about losing the loss of free mobile roaming in Europe, a benefit which Brits have had thanks to the European Commission ruling. It is not known how the mobile phone operators will treat UK customers once the UK is not part of Europe.

Smaller but still significant worries felt by one-in-six of the sample include the loss of other consumer rights which are in place because of European legislation – 17% fear that holiday protection will suffer, with 16% concerned specifically about losing the delayed flight and denied boarding compensation scheme.

On the other hand, 24% of the sample said that they had no concerns around Brexit and its impact on their future holidays.

WTM London’s Paul Nelson, said; “Our travel-specific findings around Brexit could be a bellweather for how the country feels at the moment. Half the UK are worried about the costs, most Brits have some concerns but they are varied and a quarter of the population is saying that Brexit will not have any influence on them.

“As things stand, the British travel industry – inbound and outbound – needs to have some clarity from the negotiators around consumer protection, passport control and mobile phone bills, among other things.”

Luxury villas in red carpet private golf club residence, Marbella

Marbella is without doubt the best-known city in the whole province of Malaga; the glamorous lifestyle, exceptional climate, 44km of coastline and established infrastructure attract an elegant mix of wealthy and famous individuals and the international jet-set.

Its unique positioning on the Costa Del Sol provides the warmest weather seen in Europe, with an average temperature of 19oC and over 300 days of sunshine per year. Not only a popular destination for luxury yachts, but also golfing, designer shopping and extravagant night life, Marbella is the epitome of luxury living.

Nestled in the foothills between the mountain village of Benahavis and the glamorous extravagance of Marbella lies Zagaleta, one of the last private nature reserves and most exceptional residential resorts in Europe. Established in 1991, the resort strives for the
 best in tranquillity, security, exclusivity, distinction, privacy, outstanding natural beauty and unquestionable product quality. With less than one property per hectare and complete red carpet service to every resident, Zagaleta is a new reality.

The unique positioning of the resort provides not only 
the warmest climates in Europe, but breathtaking views of the Mediterranean with the mountains of Morocco and Gibraltar in the distance. An abundance of wildlife and unique luxury homes co-exist in this multiple award-winning private estate, along with a variety of world-class sports and leisure facilities, 24-hour security team, service management team dedicated to meeting every need, and a business development team with a huge capacity for events and luxury residential ventures. Little wonder, then that in just 20 years over 200 of the world’s business elite have chosen here to spend their lives.

Zagaleta boasts two championship golf courses – 36 holes of world-class golfing. Among the other facilities are a professional riding club, tennis courts, two club houses for dining, relaxing or hosting, private tutors, a professional golfing shop and a private heliport.

A selection of exquisite villas are currently being built and going on sale this year, finished with unique features such as indoor putting greens, fully equipped spas and fully functioning bars. There are also free plots for sale.

Re-think the Canaries for winter sun

At just over a four-hour flight from the UK and average temperatures of a balmy 20˚C in December, the Canary Islands are an excellent short-haul winter sun destination.

The islands are often forgotten by sun-starved British holiday-makers looking for a dose of Vitamin E in favour of faraway lands, but with such a diverse landscape across the islands, and great deals to be had, here are some reasons why you should re-think the Canaries this winter:

Warming relaxation in Fuerteventura – The SPA Bahia Vital at the five-star Grand Hotel Atlantis Bahia Real provides the ideal ingredients for a warm, relaxing and indulgent break. Renowned on the island as an alcove of luxury, where visitors can loose themselves and rejuvenate their mind, body and soul, the SPA Bahia Vital boasts more than 3,000m² dedicated to providing refreshing beauty treatments and body therapies to synchronise mental and physical health. Its pool offers mesmerising panoramic views of the ocean and nearby islands, while the hydro jets, whirlpools, cold plunge pools and foot fountain offer new levels of relaxation.

Rock out in Tenerife – Since the opening of Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife in December 2016, the largest Canary Island has experienced somewhat of a renaissance among the young and the young-at-heart. Located on Tenerife’s sunny southern coast, the five-star Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife offers rock star-worthy stays throughout the year and lets guests live out dreams of being the next music legend. They can order Fender guitars and amps direct to their bedroom during their stay, or turn their suite into a nightclub by asking the concierge to deliver a ‘Traktor DJ controller’ to mix their own tunes. Daily personalised playlists are also available to listen to and access after the trip. Rockers can also max out the three swimming pools, freshwater lagoon, the tiered kids clubs (for kids from six months all the way up to teens), and daily sports and entertainment programme.

New openings place Palma firmly on the gastro map

The Balearic capital of Palma has strengthened its position as a leading gastro destination with a number of new restaurant openings, foodie experiences and ever-growing food and drink events.

With no less than ten Michelin star restaurants and food markets such as the Mercat de l’Olivar and the Mercado San Juan, Palma offers a great short-haul holiday option for food-lovers from the UK.  Below are some of the latest gastro openings and foodie events in the city:

Buy and Cook – A new restaurant called ‘You Buy We Cook’ has recently opened in the famous Mercat de l’Olivar, offering a one-of-a-kind dining experience. Its concept allows visitors to bring fresh, locally sourced ingredients bought in the market to the restaurant, where the chef will prepare a meal with the purchased ingredients. This exceptional eatery means that travellers can bypass the hassle of self-catering with sparse kitchen equipment and be able to enjoy local produce in the buzzy atmosphere of the gastro market. The restaurant also offers local specialities, including a wide variety of tapas. The restaurant is open from Monday to Saturday from 1130 to 1630 with prices starting from EUR 3.5 per person.

Restaurant Vandal opens in Santa Catalina   – The trendy barrio of Santa Catalina has welcomed a new fine-dining restaurant called Vandal, which opened its doors in Plaza Progreso. The new eatery serves food from all around the globe. Combining flavours from Asia and South America, the menu offers everything from Ceviche to Thai curry. The kitchen is run by Bernabe Caravotta from Argentina, who has worked in some of the most prestigious restaurants in the world including Michelin star Mirazur in France, the world-renowned Noma restaurant in Denmark, and the Blue Elephant Thai cooking school in Thailand.

Palma prepares for the city’s biggest tapas festival of the year  – From 15-19 November, locals and visitors alike will come together in the Balearic capital of Palma in celebration of traditional and contemporary tapas from the island. Designed to showcase the skill of local chefs, Palma’s restaurants and bars offer specially created and reasonably priced tapas at around 2 euros each. The tapas are evaluated by a panel of judges, who select the best tapas and chef of the festival. Visitors to Palma can enjoy nine distinct tapas routes encompassing many different areas of the city, including Paseo Marítimo, Central Palma, Portixol, Blanquerna and Génova.

Stars shine on La Palma


Known as ‘la isla bonita’ (the pretty island), La Palma is also recognised by UNESCO as an official Starlight Reserve and boasts the highest quality night sky for stargazers to observe the countless stars from its mountainous terrain.

Found on the island at an altitude of 2,420m, The Observatory of El Roque de Los Muchachos, referred to as the ‘Balcony to the Stars’, is one of the three best observatories on earth, and home to the largest optical telescope in the world. Being above the cloud level for more than 300 days a year enables visitors to experience incomparable astronomy as well as mesmerising views of the surrounding landscapes.

Visitors to La Palma can take part in a wide range of stargazing activities. From independent hikes from Roque de Los Muchachos (2,426 m) along the rim of the Caldera crater – the ideal place to enjoy sunset, dusk and the night sky – to overnight stays in romantic rural cottages.

Local stargazing companies on the island offer a variety of authentic stargazing activities, from astronomical dinners under the stars combining the hypnotising night sky with traditional Canarian cuisine, to themed nights such as ‘Moon and Wine’ nights, including guided tours of the Teneguía wine cellar, captivating talks about the process of the night grape harvest under the moonlight, and tastings of the best Teneguía wines.

Flights to La Palma are available with EasyJet from London Gatwick and with Thomson from Manchester and London Gatwick.

Holiday homes could be the answer as Spanish holidays are set to soar in 2018

With Spain on course to enjoy another record year for tourism, it is looking likely that the Iberian nation, just two hours from the UK, will remain the number one holiday choice for Brits again in 2018.

According to booking platform, loveholidays.com, demand for holidays in Spain for summer 2018 is already higher than it was for this summer. However, with this huge interest in Spain, British tourists might have to break the bank to afford Spanish holidays this coming year.

Experts, including the chief executive of tour operator Thomas Cook, have warned that the price of a Spanish holiday could rise by as much as 10% in 2018 due to increased demand for budget flights, the call for hotel beds outstripping supply and the fall of sterling against the euro driving operational costs ever higher.

Indeed, the Carlson Wagonlit Travel report forecasts that the cost of hotels will jump by 3.7% and flights will globally increase by 3.5% in 2018.

As peak holiday seasons get busier and more expensive, increasing tourists are missing out on first-choice accommodation in Spain and are seeking another way to guarantee their ideal holiday.

Leading Spanish developer Taylor Wimpey España is seeing a steady number of enquiries from Brits who traditionally holiday in Spain, but now want to make that holiday a more secure and permanent experience.

With homes to suit every budget, clearly owning your own home in Spain and being sure of staying in the location and accommodation you desire is growing.

 

UK property investors target Spanish capital for rental return opportunities

Madrid is continuing its rise as a key European property investment hub, according to leading luxury real estate agency Lucas Fox, which has seen its sales in the Spanish capital increase by 30% and its total sales value rise by 170% in the year to the end of June 2017.

According to the company’s latest Market Reports for Q1 and Q2 2017, the profile of Madrid buyers is also beginning to change, with the number of UK enquiries, for example, increasing significantly, being up by 57%. With regards to motivation for buying, just under two thirds (62%) of Madrid buyers purchased for investment reasons, with the remainder (38%) buying as a second residence.

Last year, the Real Estate Market Trends in Europe report, produced by PwC and the Urban Land Institute, put Madrid as the fourth best city in continental Europe for property investment after Berlin, Dublin and Hamburg.

“The Madrid market this year has continued to follow a similar trend to 2016, with strong local and national market activity growth and increasing demand from international investors,” said Rod Jamieson, Director of Lucas Fox Madrid. “We have seen sales transactions increase by nearly a third compared to last year, and we expect them to increase fivefold by the end of the year. More and more international buyers are choosing the Spanish capital as the best option in which to invest their money, thanks to high potential for capital gains in the mid to long-term, excellent rental returns and the superb lifestyle on offer.”

The National Institute of Statistics shows a 15% rise in Madrid sales in the year to June 2017 compared to the same period in 2016, and transaction numbers are now only 9% below the peak of 2007. Significantly, the volume of sales for Madrid’s prime residential market (homes with a value of above €900,000) showed an annual growth of 27% in 2016, according to the Spanish Department of Development, mainly due to increasing international interest.

Across Madrid, prices at the end of June 2017 showed an increase of 6% compared to the end of June 2016, but in ultra prime areas such as Salamanca and Chamberí, where demand is higher, prices have increased significantly – up by 10% and 14% respectively, according to the property portal Idealista.

“Compared to most Northern European cities, property in Madrid still offers good value for money but, like Spain as a whole, the city has a 2-speed market,” said Mr Jamieson “In some areas prices have only recently levelled out, but in highly desirable areas where demand is high, there have been notable increases. However, we do not believe that the recent price adjustments are anything to fear – they are simply appropriate to current market conditions.

“In 2017 we are looking at a different set of circumstances compared to ten years ago – the construction industry represents a much lower proportion of Spain’s GDP, there’s more control of risk indicators and overall, investors are much better informed. I believe that those predicting that another boom and bust are wrong to do so.”

Five reasons to make Malaga your next Autumn getaway

Autumn in the UK. What can we actually look forward to… images of grey clouds and drizzly rain. That about sums it up. Now cast your mind to Malaga, on Spain’s southern coastline. Ah yes… temperatures basking around 20C, making it the finest time to visit for a final blast of sunshine not too far from home.

Here, Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of leading Spanish housebuilder, Taylor Wimpey España, which operates in the Malaga area, shares his top five reasons why you should visit the region this autumn.

It’s a property hotspot – Experiencing Malaga does not have to happen just once a year. It is the perfect location to own a holiday home. Being both a winter and summer sun destination, the region is topping the list for property investment.

It enjoys perfect weather for an autumn break– Located in the heart of the Costa del Sol, Malaga offers a pleasant climate with year-round warm temperatures. For those looking to enjoy a break under blue skies, it is the best destination as it enjoys 320 days of sunshine a year. With these ideal conditions, visitors can play golf, stroll around the city or hit the beach year-round, with the cooler autumn climes making sightseeing more enjoyable.

It’s a gastronomic and cultural delight – Malaga’s reputation lies above all on its cultural identity and autumn brings a large number of fairs and festivals to the province. Beyond the summer months, the city offers many traditional food festivals with autumn bringing chestnuts, grapes and ‘aguardente’ (brandy) to the table. Also well known for being Picasso’s birthplace, Malaga has a rich cultural heritage and a short stroll will bring visitors to the finest art exhibitions in the Picasso Museum or the regenerated Carmen Thyssen Museum. Without the usual queues during peak season, autumn is the perfect time to enjoy the enchanting attractions that the city offers.

It’s easily accessible – With Malaga being just a couple of hours’ flight from the UK, long autumn weekends abroad are easily achievable. Whether booked ahead or not, flights are more affordable in autumn than during the peak summer season, and as Malaga airport is the third largest in Spain, there are countless low-cost airlines flying into the city from across the UK. Travel platform GoEuro has even ranked Malaga as the top choice for an easy commute from the airport to the beach.

It’s golfing heaven – Malaga boasts world-class golf courses, including La Cala Golf Resort, and the region hosts numerous national and international championships. The playing conditions are impeccable, and with Malaga province having one of the longest coastlines in the country, many courses offer sea views. Taylor Wimpey España’s newest golf complex development, Horizon Golf, boasts breathtaking views over the famous Campo Asia golf course. At this time of year, great golfing package deals can be arranged as fares fall within ‘mid-season’ rates.

 

 

 

 

Record number of UK expats spend their silver years in Spain

Data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that Spain is home to more UK expats aged 65 or over than the UK is home to Spanish citizens.

The number of British elderly living in Spain has doubled in a decade, having reached 121,000, and with the majority of UK expats relocating to Spain for retirement, there is a steady increase in British expats receiving their state pension upon Spanish shores.

Concerns about the freeze of state pension post-Brexit have also been wiped out as the Government has stated that British pensioners will continue to have their state pension increase. Interest from British pensioners to relocate in Spain is believed by many not to slow down in the near future, with many UK pensioners retiring in Spain. In 2016, 40% of the 300,000 British citizens living in Spain were retired, according to ONS figures.

Leading Spanish homebuilder Taylor Wimpey España, which offers a range of second homes on Mallorca, the Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol, has witnessed the marked growth of those of retirement age choosing to relocate, receiving more than double the number of enquiries from this demographic than it did ten years ago, a trend which the ONS data also reflects.

According to Marc Pritchard, Sales & Marketing Manager, Taylor Wimpey España: “The majority of British buyers we welcome here to Spain are aged 50 – 65 years old; those who are lucky enough to have retired early but more often than not, those thinking ahead and planning for their silver years in the Spanish sun.”

Opportunities are ripe for new investors

Global property markets are booming and clued up investors are facing a plethora of new opportunities. Those are two of the key messages to come out of the latest Property Frontiers Global Market Roundup. The quarterly guide reveals insights into markets around the world, giving investors the intel they need to know where to look next.

According to Ray Withers, CEO, Property Frontiers, global property markets are constantly shifting, and keeping up with an entire planet’s worth of opportunities is no easy task. “That’s why we’re constantly researching and reviewing data, to identify emerging trends and seek out the most promising areas for investment, no matter which country they may be in.”

Whilst London’s residential market continues to decline, elsewhere in Europe, cities such as Madrid are attracting significant capital when it comes to residential real estate investment. With European regulators currently considering loosening solvency restrictions on real estate investments by the insurance industry, that capital flow could double to as much as €500bn in the near future.

“Europe is alive with opportunity right now. There’s something to suit every budget and risk appetite,” says Ray Withers. “Wherever you look, there are some outstanding property investment opportunities available right now, from residential accommodation to hotel rooms. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be a part of the sector.”