Aena Airports’ International Passengers Up 4.3% in October

International passenger traffic at Aena airports reached a total of 12,030,583 in October, which is 4.3% more than in the same month of the previous year. This consolidates the positive trend for international traffic, which already grew by 2.5% in September. In October the total passenger traffic across the network was 16,884,959, 0.7% lower than in October 2012.

Madrid-Barajas was the airport in the Aena network which handled most passengers in October, with 3,490,462, reducing its percentage of decline (-9.8% compared with October last year) and registering its best result of the last twelve months.

Passengers numbers are on the rise

Barcelona-El Prat airport registered a 2.1% growth in passenger numbers, reaching 3,119,098, consolidating the positive results of previous months. In addition, in October, Aena’s total passenger traffic achieved significant increases in the network’s main tourist airports, consolidating the growth trend experienced by many of them throughout summer season.

Alicante-Elche Airport recorded an increase of 11.5% in passenger traffic in October (931,260); Ibiza registered growth of 10.2% (415,364); Lanzarote 9.5% (489,396); Malaga-Costa del Sol 5.3% (1,277,955), Gran Canaria 5% (852,358); Fuerteventura 3.1% (396,598); Palma de Mallorca 3% (2,232,917); Valencia 2.9% (419,210) and Barcelona-El Prat 2.1% (3,119,098). Together, the Canary Islands’ airports grew by more than 3% and recorded a total of 2,865,096 passengers.

Worthy of note also, is the growth in the number of passengers achieved last month at other airports in the network, such as La Gomera, which experienced an increase of 88.9%, Burgos, with 46.9% more passengers, and Almeria, up 18.8%.

The good performance of the international data is also observed in the number of operations, with an increase of 1.7% in October and 86,472 flights. In the whole of the Aena network 158,872 flights were registered, 3.5% less than the same month last year. Notable growth was recorded in the airports of Alicante-Elche with 14.1% (6,502 flights); Girona-Costa Brava up by 11.3% (2,833); Jerez 10.4% (3,791) and Reus also up 10.4% (1,607); Lanzarote 8.9% (3,940); FGL Granada-Jaen 7.8% (972); Malaga-Costa del Sol up by 5.1% (9,672), and Gran Canaria 5% (8,364).

In the first ten months of the year the number of international passengers increased by 1.3% reaching a total of 113,614,079. Total passenger traffic from January to October amounted to 163,398,611, which is an increase of 4.4 % over the same period in 2012.

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Belgians are buying more property in Spain

The Belgians are buying more and more homes in Spain.In the second quarter of 2013 about 1,072 purchases , of which 812 as a second residence. In relation to the population no other country buys more property in Spain, writes Time on Thursday.

The rise coincides with the disappointing sales of apartments on the Belgian coast.

With the economic crisis and over demand, house prices have fallen in Spain since 2007 by an average of 37 percent . The market for second homes had totally collapsed by the financial crisis .

Now Northern Europeans are less concerned about the crisis and the real estate prices in Spain seem to be bottoming out , and the foreign buyers are coming back.In the second quarter of 2013, 14.500 houses were sold to foreigners, 22 percent more than in 2012.

Belgians are buying more properties in Spain
Photo:Jimmy Kets  –  Belgians are buying more properties in Spain

Fifteen percent of the homes were purchased by the British, 10.7 percent by the French, 8.7 percent by the Russians , 7.6 by Germans and 7.5 percent by Belgians.In 2007 Belgians accounted for only two percent of all foreign purchases in Spain.

Due to higher taxes on second homes In the second quarter of 2013 there were 78 percent more international buyers than the same period in 2012 .Time notes that the rise from 2012 coincides with the disappointing sales of apartments on the Belgian coast.Brokers suggest that higher taxes are to blame.

For example, four of the ten coastal municipalities increased taxes on the second stay last year. In addition, Belgians’ fear that after the 2014 elections property will be addressed domestically.

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Unemployment rises in October

Queues got longer in October
Queues got longer in October

The number of unemployed people registered at the offices of the public employment services (formerly INEM) rose by 128,242 in October, which is up 2.7% compared to September, and put the total number of people unemployed in Spain at 4,833,521, the highest level in the comparable historical series, which started in 1996, reported the Ministry of Employment and Social Security.

The October increase, a month in which unemployment historically tends to increase, is the third rise in a row after the August and September figures, and the third worst registered for this month in the historical series after October 2008 (+192,658 unemployed) and October 2011 (+134,182 unemployed).

In this regard, the Secretary of State for Employment, Engracia Hidalgo, stressed that although the rise in October cannot be considered a “good thing”, it is less than it was last year, and marks five consecutive months in which “unemployment has performed better than in 2011.”

Since October 2011, unemployment has increased by 472,595 people, or 10.84%.

According to the employment data, unemployment rose in October for both sexes, but more among men, with an increase of 69,008 (+3%), compared with a rise in female unemployment of 59,234 (+2.5%), bringing the total of unemployed women to 2,440,825 and 2,392,696 for men.

Unemployment rose in October in all sectors except in construction, where it fell by 3,670 people (-0.48%). Services accounted for three-quarters of the rise in unemployment in October, with 97,610 more unemployed (+3.4%), followed by agriculture, with 24,401 more unemployed (+15.1%); industry, which added 8,888 more unemployed (+1.7%), and the group without previous employment, with 1,013 more unemployed (+0.27%).

The rise in unemployment in October was more pronounced among those over 25 years of age, with 107,638 more unemployed (+2.5%), while among the under 25s unemployment increased by 20,604 persons (+4.4%).

The foreign population in Spain increased their number of unemployed in the tenth month of the year, recording 17,890 more unemployed than in September (+3%). In total, the number of unemployed immigrants stood at 605,959 at the end of last month, which is a decrease of 9,806 unemployed (-1.6%) compared to October 2011.

Unemployment down in two regions

In October, unemployment rose in all regions, except in the Canary Islands and Valencia, where the number of people unemployed fell by 993 and 867, respectively. Among the increases, the most significant were noted in Andalusia, with 32,139 more unemployed, and Castilla-La Mancha (+16,791).

With regard to the provinces, unemployment fell in five, especially in Valencia (-3,406), Castellón (-820) and Las Palmas (-727), and it rose in all the rest, especially in Madrid (+12,897) and the Balearic Islands (+9,474).

In terms of recruitment, El Mundo reported that in October a total of 1,427,173 contracts were recorded in the employment offices, an increase of 10.2% from October 2011. Of these, 130,632 were permanent, equivalent to 9.1% of the total, and 34.3% higher than the same month of 2011.

In the first ten months of the year, the total number of contracts reached 11,558,721, up 4.1% from the same period in 2011. Of these, only 7.8% were permanent, with a total of 908,090, 5.4% less than in January-October last year.

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Property sales rise for first time in 17 months

After 17 months of decline, the number of property sales in Spain experienced a year on year increase in August. Official statistics report 27,708 transactions, 3% more than in August 2011.

Sales in August constitute the first figures since the government announced changes to tax benefits for home purchases that will begin in January 2013. The removal of tax relief appears to have encouraged some buyers to take advantage of the current legislation.

Specifically, Mariano Rajoy’s government announced in July that, as of 2013, those who buy a home will be unable to deduct income tax benefit. Also ending are favourable tax rates for new house purchases, which will increase from 4% to 10%.

For resales, the transfer tax (ITP) with a tax of around 8% is also rising in several regions to 10% in 2013.

The data released by the INE reveals large regional differences for example in Castilla-La Mancha, La Rioja and the Balearic Islands, home purchases have increased by nearly 30%, while in Navarra and the Basque Country there were similar variations but entirely opposite, dropping by up to 30%.

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Spanish unemployment continues to rise

Spanish unemployment
Queues grew again in December

The number of unemployed in Spain has risen for a fifth consecutive month resulting in a record number out of work as Europe’s fourth largest economy continued to contract.

According to the latest labour ministry figures unemployment rose 1,897 in December to 4.42 million, the highest figure since records began in 1996. This was however significantly lower than the increase in November when 59,536 people found themselves out of work.

Spain had seen signs of a recovery in the first half of the year but tourism and exports weakened towards the end of the year once again weakening the economy.

Union leaders and employers met with Labor Minister Fatima Banez last week after newly elected Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy asked both sides to reach agreement on changes to collective wage-bargaining rules and ways to resolve labor conflicts outside the courts.

At a news conference in Madrid State Secretary for Employment Engracia Hidalgo said “The figures for the number of registered unemployed for the month of December confirm the deterioration of the economic situation during the second half of the year.”

She added that the figures also point to the failure of the labor-market overhaul which had been implemented by the previous Socialist government.

Property prices rise in Spain

This summer has seen record numbers of tourists visiting Spain with over 7 million visitors in August – an increase of 9.4% over the same period of 2010. Many hotels on the Costa del Sol enjoyed 100% occupancy over the summer. Figures show Q3 has been very busy with Spanish property prices rising slightly as a result.

According to statistics from property prices in Spain increased from €263,000 in June to €266,100 in September. This could suggest a shortage of quality properties in some regions or simply an increase in demand.

Conti – overseas mortgage specialists – recorded a 7% increase n Spanish property enquiries in August with many agents noticing an increase in enquiries and viewing trips.

Marc Pritchard, of Spanish developer, Taylor Wimpey España, said “The price rises in certain parts of Spain is an encouraging sign for investors with locations such as the Costa Blanca, Costa Calida, Alicante and Murcia experiencing marked price increases. Alicante, for instance, has experienced improvements in its infrastructure, seeing a second airport terminal open, which is always good news when it comes to attracting more visitors.”

Prices in Alicante have risen steadily over the last year. In December 2010 the average property price was €220,000 rising to €231,000 in September 2011, according to figures from

Surprisingly, with the average price of property in Malaga at €299,500 (September 2011), which is above the national average, buyers do seem to be renewing interest in the Costa del Sol, traditionally a popular area for ex-pats.

Malaga has even been nominated as a candidate for the 2016 European Capital of Culture, which could boost future tourist numbers as well as property sales.