Spain Ranks Third For Investment in Europe

Madrid remains popular amongst investors
Madrid remains popular amongst investors

Further to my previous article regarding foreign investment in Spain, research released by the CBRE has placed Spain as the third choice for European investment in real-estate.

According to the ‘Global Investors Intentions Survey 2016’, 10.2% of respondents suggested that Spain would be their third choice for European investment during 2016. Only Germany and the UK came ahead with 17% and 15.1% respectively, beating other once popular European countries like France and the Netherlands.

When looking at cities within Europe, Madrid maintained its position as the second most attractive city on the continent for real-estate investment, chosen by 12.2% of respondents, just behind London, but ahead of Paris, Berlin and Warsaw.

Diversification is the word of 2016 according to the report with more cities getting a mention than in similar research conducted in previous years. The top 15 saw first time entries for cities including Budapest, Prague and Bucharest.

Product Choice

While 30% of investors specified the housing market as their first product choice, other markets have also made gains with student residences, health centres and leisure facilities all being noted as worthy of investment this year.

The retail sector also appears to be making a recovery thanks to rising consumer confidence and increased consumption. The sector accounted for 22% of investment in 2015 with a predicted rise to 27% in 2016.

Despite this, office property continues to hold high interest for investors with 37% of respondents stating they have or would invest in business premises.

Backing up thoughts that residential property is back on investors’ shopping lists is a 7% increase in residential investment making it the fastest growing sector with 12% of respondents putting their money into homes.

Of the respondents 82% stated that their investment activity during 2016 will be the same or greater than in the previous year.

Rest of the World

North America was the global first choice with 48% saying they had or would invest in the USA in 2016, while 26% named Europe as their first choice. Other once popular regions didn’t fare so well with Asia Pacific seeing reduced interest partly due to concerns about the China slowdown and a “murky outlook” for other emerging markets in the region.

Only 4% suggested Central and South America as their investment choice while 1% chose Africa for their money. Central & Eastern Europe also failed to make an impression attracting only 8% of the reports respondents.

 

Andalucia Promoted in Madrid

The Andalucian Ministry of Tourism and Sport has been in Madrid to promote Andalucia as a tourist spot for internal travellers.

The conference, attended by some 500 travel agents, aimed to promote the southern region to the domestic market which is the main source of tourism. More than 9.3 million domestic travellers visited Andalucia in 2015, a 4.4% increase over the previous year. Together they amassed 23.6 million overnight stays, an increase of 3.5% over 2014.

Madrid is a prime choice for this type of event as Andalucia is a first-choice destination for Madrileños (people from Madrid), second only to itself. Last year the south coast was visited by 1.4 million travellers from Madrid who accounted for 4.1 million overnight stays, increases of 4% and 3.1% respectively.

The ministry was joined by officials from the eight provincial boards and representatives from around 60 Andalucian businesses eager to promote themselves alongside the region. The aim of the meeting was to impart knowledge of the region and it’s attractions as well as to create business ties between the two areas.

Ornithological Tourism

Monfragüe National Park
Monfragüe National Park

The Ministry also attended the FIO (International Tourism Fair Ornithological) over the previous weekend which was held in the Natural Park of Monfragüe, Cáceres. The aim of this fair was to promote the area as a tourism spot for nature lovers and bird watchers. This is an increasing segment of tourism attracting 13,000 visitors last year

Andalucia has around 150 protected areas covering a total of 3.3 million hectares. Within those there are 60 Special Protection Areas (SPA) and 190 Sites of Community Interest (SCI). Together the areas protect around 300 species of animals and birds.

According to the Ministry, ornithological tourists are characterised by long stays and high average expenditure, with the average stay being 7 days and average daily spend of just over €1,000 per person.

 

Spanish cities

Spain
Spain

Lately, I have received lots of guest submissions about Spanish cities, from a tourist point of view. As I have received another today I thought you lot might like to read some of them. If you’re planning a trip to any of the cities included then the articles could be very useful.

The first one, entitled “Barcelona – the Purest Spanish Happiness” will follow this post and I will try to post at least one per day.

To follow will be articles about Barcelona, Madrid, Sevilla, Valencia, Malaga, Zaragoza and Murcia.

If you have an interest in any other Spanish city please let me know and I’ll do my best to provide for you.

Four days in – protesters staying put

Spanish Indignados
Protests into their fourth day

A year after their first protest in Madrid, the Indignants took to the streets to protest the austerity measures introduced by Mariano Rajoy’s Partido Popular.

The protests are now into their fourth day with many people still gathering to lend support.

On Tuesday morning up to 300 people protested along the river bank in Madrid with the carnival atmosphere still holding. Musicians and other performers kept the protesters entertained on a warm spring day with many protesters enjoying “al fresco” dining (picnics).

It wasn’t all jugglers and tortilla though and as protesters moved to Puerta del Sol to celebrate the anniversary of the indignados, they were met by 40 police vans blocking the route.

A few arrests were made taking the total since Sunday to 28. Only three people were injured and two of them were police officers, allegedly hit by stones thrown by protesters.

The regional government of Madrid congratulated police for what it described as “faultless behaviour” during the protests despite repeated complaints from protesters of heavy handedness from the police.

More protests over cuts in Spain

Protesters hit the streets across Spain
Protesters hit the streets across Spain

As Spain slips back into recession thousands of protesters took to the streets this weekend to oppose cuts to healthcare and education.

The government plans to cut 10 billion euros from the services as part of it’s austerity measures and to enable it to meet it’s deficit targets.

The protests took place under the slogan “Don’t play around with healthcare and education”, with protesters demanding “another way out of the crisis.”

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he had “no alternative” to the cuts if Spain was going to meet it’s targets and recover from it’s economic downturn.

Cayo Lara, from the United Left party, said in Madrid that many protesters believed the government was using the financial crisis as an excuse to sell off public services to the private sector.

Last week, it was announced that Spain was officially in a recession following two months of negative growth. In the same week came the announcement that Spain’s unemployment figure had increased to 24.4% during the first quarter, the highest for 18 years, and the following day the country’s debt rating was downgraded two notches by ratings agency Standard & Poor.

It’s all bad news for Spain at the moment!

Spain hoping to avoid Greek style bailout

Mariano Rajoy’s conservative government will be meeting today to discuss, and approve, an extra 10 billion euros of spending cuts and increased charges in health and education as part of his austerity drive and an attempt to convince investors that Spain does not need a Greek style bailout.

“The fundamental objective at the moment is to reduce the deficit,” Rajoy said in Madrid this week.

“If we don’t achieve this, the rest won’t matter: we won’t be able to fund our debt, we won’t be able to meet our commitments.”

Rajoy said his government is committed to making cuts and reforms to ensure the Spanish economy becomes stable and  productive. “We need this process of adjustments in order to grow and create jobs,” he said.

Despite a high demand for long-term bonds at auction earlier this week, the country’s economy is still struggling to get moving following the crash of 2007.

With the highest public debt Spain has ever seen and the highest unemployment in Europe, Rajoy’s government have already introduced 50 billion euros of austerity cuts across the country which has resulted in protests from unions and the public.

With many Spaniards already doubting that the country can bounce back Rajoy’s announcement may be seen as a threat to encourage the people of Spain to accept the new cuts as a necessary evil that may be the only choice Spain has left.

“No one can expect such deeply rooted issues to be resolved in a few weeks,” Rajoy said.

Luis de Guindos “convinced” by labour reforms

Luis de Guindos
de Guindos is positive about reforms

Speaking at a banking seminar in Madrid, the Minister of Economy and Competitiveness, Luis de Guindos, said that if the government had implemented its labour reforms earlier there would be a million fewer unemployed. However, he also said that he had hopes that the reforms would generate “positive effects” on employment by the end of 2012 and would “moderate” negative developments seen in the market during the last quarter.

“The Government is convinced that the labour reform will have medium-term positive effects on employment at the end of this year”, de Guindos said at the meeting organised by El Pais and Bankia.

He also added that with the flexibility of the reforms, Spain could have “saved” a million people from unemployment.

He referred to the reforms as the most “wide-ranging, most substantial and decisive” reforms introduced in the last 20 years. “It lays the groundwork for an effective recuperation of employment,” he explained.

Sr. de Guindos went on to say that those who “have most” should show solidarity and “pitch in” to help achieve the objective of the adjustments. “The Government will continue asking those who have more to contribute more,” he told reporters.

Diario Sur reported that de Guindos made assurances that the Government’s reform agenda “does not end here”, mentioning a reform of the regulatory bodies. He also said the reforms for the approval of business licences for opening small shops would happen “shortly”.

The minister also hinted that the economy is heading to another recession, but expressed his confidence that there is “light at the end of the tunnel”.

“The banking reform will lay the foundation for the economy to create jobs again, 2012 will be a tough year, but it will pave the way for future growth,” he concluded.

Huge numbers attend Fitur 2012 in Madrid

FITUR 2012
Over 200,000 visitors this year

Madrid hosted the annual International Tourism and Trade Fair (FITUR) last weekend and this years event was a great success, attracting more than 200,000 visitors.

The fair was inaugurated by the Prince and Princess of Asturias, Don Felipe de Borbon and Doña Letizia Ortiz.

Organisers said there were more attendees and exhibitors than last year with 10,100 companies presenting their products from 167 countries.

Representatives from troubled Egypt and Tunisia were in attendance keen to woo back the tourists lost following recent uprisings and violence. Japanese officials were also in attendance as part of efforts to revive the tourism industry following the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. Tourist numbers in Japan had fallen 29% by November.

Officials from Tunisia said they had lost most of their Spanish trade following last years troubles.

“We have lost 30 to 40 percent of tourists. The Spanish market is the one that has caused us the most difficulties. It has fallen 60 percent”, they explained, adding that this is because many Spanish tourists have instead chosen to visit the Canary Islands or Turkey.

Based in Madrid, the United Nations World Tourism Organization said on Monday that “tourist numbers across Europe surged in 2011 as conflicts drove many tourists away from the Middle East and North Africa.”

The 2012 International Tourism Fair opens

FITURThe International Tourism Fair 2012 (FITUR) opened yesterday in Madrid covering 75,000 square metres, over 9 pavilions and with 9,500 companies participating.

Although the numbers sound impressive there are almost 1,000 fewer exhibitors than at last years event. There is also a reduction in the amount of space used for the exhibition as a result of budget cuts within various public offices.

FITUR is held each year to bring tourism professionals together and to promote trade activity and is described as “a meeting point for tourism professionals in which they can establish lines of action, strategies and business alliances to energise and consolidate the tourism business, innovating to answer the changing demands of the market.”

Participation by businesses has increased by 4% with companies such as Iberostar, Oasis Hotels, Iberia, ADIF, AENA and RENFE reinforcing their presence at the show.

Of the cutbacks one of the biggest was registered in the autonomous communities. Murcia does not have a stand this year while Andalusia, whilst still represented, is on a reduced budget. Castilla-La Mancha has also reduced its space at the exhibition, as have Benidorm and Ceuta whose budgets were reduced by half.

Organisers anticipate that this 32nd edition of the trade fair will attract similar numbers, or even higher, than in 2011, when attendance reached over 200,000. This contradicts comments from the French public tourism promotion organisation who said they would not participate this year as it is more expensive (up 12.5%) and has fewer visitors (5% less than five years ago).

This years event was inaugurated by Don Felipe de Borbón and Doña Letizia Ortiz, the Prince and Princess of Asturias.

Madrid Real Estate Exhibition – Winter Edition

SIMASIMA Winter Edition is a commercial show that lets exhibitors make contact with qualified and segmented buyers and small investors interested in buying residential properties.

Both consumers and private investors attend this show.

Dates: 24-26 February 2012

Location: Ifema – Parque Ferial Juan Carlos, Feria de Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Official Website:
www.simaexpo.com

Info and registration:
SIMA ESPECIAL INVIERNO