Costa del Sol is the cheapest

Costa del Sol still pulls in the crowds
Costa del Sol beaches still pull in the crowds

The Costa del Sol has been named as the cheapest holiday destination for British families during October.

The Post Office Travel Money carried out a half-term survey comparing the total cost of 10 items commonly purchased while on holiday in the 12 top destinations for half-term holidays

The total cost of items, including toiletries, drinks and eating out, was £59.58 on the Costa del Sol, compared to £86.28 in Turkey.

Sarah Munro, head of Post Office Travel Money, said: “Price is bound to be a big consideration so it is good to report falling prices in five of the destinations that attract UK families.

“… in these uncertain times people would be wise to plan their trips carefully and make sure they are fully protected. A package taken with a well-established and ATOL-protected tour operator, together with comprehensive travel insurance, is probably the safest bet.  Families can also avoid wasting cash through expensive last minute airport currency purchases and can cut costs abroad by using a credit card like the Post Office card with 0 per cent commission on purchases overseas.”

The survey found that although prices for some of the items had increased in Spain by as much as 15% in the last year it was still the cheapest destination in Europe.

The most expensive Eurozone destination, according to the survey, was Tenerife where the 10 items cost £111 (€127), 86% higher than the Costa del Sol. Miami topped the list overall with a cost of £138.87 for the 10 items.

Full details and results can be found here: RoyalMailGroup.com

2 Bed Apartment For Sale – New Golden Mile

2 Bed Apartment For Sale in New Golden Mile – Ref: MFSA413

2 Bed Apartment For Sale - Marbella

Price: 230,000€

Lovely South West facing apartment overlooking tropical gardens and pool area.This unit comes fully furnished ready to move in, this residential and family complex is situated on the new golden mile synonymous of luxury and quality living.Walking distance to comercial center and only 15 min walk to the beach. Close to some of the coasts finest golf courses.

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Spanish unemployment almost 5 million

Unemployment in Spain increased during the third quarter to a record high of nearly 5 million amid financial uncertainty, according to government figures.

The actual amount of unemployed, 4,978,300, equates to a jobless rate of 21.5%. This is the highest figure since 1996 and is up 0.6% from the previous quarter. It is the highest unemployment rate of all the 17 Eurozone members.

Valeriano Gómez, Spain’s Minister for Labour and Immigration, said he thought the figures, released by the National Statistics Institute, were “bad, in no uncertain terms,” adding that the summer months were usually a good period for job creation.

Speaking after the Council of Ministers, Gomez admitted that a loss of this size “is not usual” during the third quarter and had never before dropped  “with such intensity.”

The minister said that the third quarter figures could be explained by the “bad performance” of the construction industry, adjustments in public employment and the reduction in employment within the domestic service industry.

Government spokesman and Minister of Public Works, José Blanco, said there is a “magic solution” to the problem of unemployment and to say otherwise would be “fooling” the Spanish. “There is no magic solution to the crisis, but there is a path to economic recovery and job creation,” he said.

Blanco thinks it is necessary to continue with reforms in Spain and to guarantee unemployment benefit “in the strongest terms” adding “We can travel the road to economic recovery and job creation, but concrete steps are always more useful than words,”.

5 Bed Villa For Sale – Benahavís

5 Bed Villa For Sale in Benahavís – Ref: MFSV410

5 Bed Villa For Sale - Benahavis, Marbella

Price: 1,750,000€

Spectacular contemporary villa recently constructed to the highest specifications, situated in a quiet and natural environment along the 11th hole of this gated community offering 24 hour security and a clubhouse with restaurant, equestrian centre, within a 10 minutes drive of the coast, Benahavis, Estepona, San Pedro de Alcantara. Set on a large plot of over 4000m2 this modern west facing property enjoys uniterrupted views over the golf course and towards the surrounding mountains. The villa is designed on 3 levels and offers an entrance hall with guest cloakroom.

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6 Bed Villa For Sale in Nueva Andalucía

6 Bed Villa For Sale in Nueva Andalucía – Ref: MFSV409

Stylish, luxury villa for sale in Nueva Andalucia

Price: 5,750,000€

Villa – Detached, Nueva Andalucía, Costa del Sol. 6 Bedrooms, 10 Bathrooms, Built 725 m², Terrace 329 m², Garden/Plot 1800 m². Setting : Close To Golf, Close To Town, Urbanisation. Orientation : South East. Condition : Excellent. Pool : Private. Climate Control : Air Conditioning, Hot A/C, Cold A/C, U/F/H Bathrooms. Views : Sea, Mountain, Country, Panoramic, Garden, Pool. Features : Covered Terrace, Fitted Wardrobes, Private Terrace, Satellite TV, ADSL, Gym, Storage Room

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Andalusian homes improved for disabled residents

Since the beginning of the year the Basic Functional Adaptation Housing Program has helped over 5,000 Andalusian families to improve mobility access to their homes. The program is part of the Agreed Housing and Land Plan 2008-2012.

Families with people over 65 years or with a disabled member were awarded grants to pay for the work which also included assistance to improve security at their homes. Almost 7  million euros has been spent on the program so far.

The types of work carried out include widening of doors and gates, installing non-slip floors, installing handrails, and ensuring gas and electrical installations are safe.

Seville has received the most aid so far with 1.55 million euros which has helped 1,167 families.  926 families were helped in Malaga with 1.25 million euros in aid.

Up to 70% of the work (with a 2000 euro maximum) is paid for by the Andalusian Government. They will also pay 70% of any technical fees with a maximum budget of 600 euros.

The grants are awarded to those with a degree of disability equal to, or above, 40% or those over 65 years old, with an annual family income below 18,000€. The grant must be for their permanent residence.

No money for San Pedro beach

San Pedro beach
San Pedro beach

The renovation of the beach at San Pedro de Alcantara has been postponed, probably indefinitely.

This is most likely due to a lack of resources. Marbella’s Councillor for the Environment, Antonio Espada, claims that the State authorities made the decision to suspended the renovation works, which included the area around San Pedro due to a lack of funds within the region.

The government had previously pledged an investment of 400,000€ to renovate areas of the coast line around the Marbella municipality and work had already begun in the town centre. It now seems uncertain as to when the beaches will be improved, if at all.

2 Bed Apartment For Sale – The Golden Mile

2 Bed Apartment For Sale – The Golden Mile, Marbella – Ref: MFSA406

2 Bed Apartment For Sale - Golden Mile, Marbella

Price: 1,200,000€

Apartment – Middle Floor, The Golden Mile, Costa del Sol. 2 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, Built 125 m², Terrace 25 m². Setting : Beachfront, Town, Commercial Area. Orientation : South. Condition : Excellent. Pool : Communal, Indoor, Heated. Climate Control : Air Conditioning, Hot A/C, Cold A/C.

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Stunning Modern Villa For Sale in Malaga

4 Bed Villa For Sale in Pinares de San Anton, Malaga – Ref: MFSV405

4 Bed Villa For Sale in Malaga

Price: 2.500.000€

Spectacular villa overlooking the city of Malaga in one of the most exclusive urbanizations of the coast.The villa is located on the edge of a natural reserve with outstanding views of the mountain and Port, very spacious and offering natural light throughout the dwelling.This unique property has 24 hour security large swimming pool 17mts, fruit trees,separate apartment for guests, work room, cinema, gymnasium, basketball, open lounge with views to the pool and garden.

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Commercial property sales slow in Spain

Another business closing
A familiar site in many Spanish towns

You can walk along any road in Marbella, Puerto Banus, San Pedro or any other town on the Costa del Sol, and see commercial units with paper covered windows or “Cerrado” scrawled on the front. Some of the coasts “polígonos” (industrial estates) are increasingly baron with many vacant buildings falling into disrepair.

This is happening for two reasons: lack of investment in new business and falling income for existing businesses.

According to data released by Savills Plc, a mere 1.25billion Euros of commercial property was sold in the first 9 months of 2011. Although that sounds like a lot it is in fact a huge 52% less than the same period in 2010. This is based on sales of offices, shopping malls, hotels, warehouses and retail outlets. The fall comes despite a 3.2% drop in average rental costs. In 2008 office rental prices peaked at 41€ per square meter, 33% higher than the current average or 27.5€ per square meter.

Commercial investment has dropped to it’s lowest level since 2001 due to the economic crisis spreading throughout Europe. Investors are staying away from Spain until the government has created a clear plan to deal with the growing sovereign debt problems. This may now take longer than expected as the current governing party, Jose Luis Zapatero’s Socialist party is not expected to remain in power following elections due in November. Analysts predict the Popular Party are likely to win and if this is the case the new government will have to start the whole process again.

Tighter lending controls have also been a factor in keeping the investors away. Banks have made it harder and more expensive to get financing following a large rise in the number of “bad loans”. During the boom of the late 90’s and early noughties it became increasingly easy to get finance for your property with interest only and 100% finance deals readily available. Many of those loans have defaulted resulting in the banks costs increasing. Many banks have a huge number of repossessed properties on their books.

Many planned investments and new developments have been postponed or cancelled due to a lack of financing and continuing uncertainty surrounding Spain’s economic outlook.

A poll of 600 real estate investors conducted by CBRE Group Inc. revealed that 73 percent thought the outlook for Spanish real estate would improve in 18 months. Patricio Palomar, head of research at CBRE in Spain said that was not good news adding “They are saying they see no improvement in the short term.”