Brexit? What Brexit, we love coming to Spain

Business Premises and Warehouse for Sale / Retail UintSpanish Tourism Minister Alvaro Nadal told a news conference to present tourism figures for 2016 that the number of arrivals last year was up by 9.9 percent over the 68.1 million foreign visitors who flocked to the country in 2015. It was the fourth consecutive year of record numbers of arrivals.

There was no Brexit effect in 2016, it did not affect British tourism in our country,” said Nadal, before adding this trend should continue this year.

Tourism represents some 11 percent of Spain’s gross domestic produc.

Already advance reservations as well as requests for landing slots at Spanish airports are going very well which confirms that the tendency for British tourism remains the same.

Each foreign tourist to Spain spent an average of €1,023 ($1,078), a 3.75 percent increase over the 2015 figure.  They spent a total of €77 billion in the country in 2016, an 8.3 percent increase over the previous year.

So Brits LOVE IT! We at Hondon Villas can’t predict the future but we do echo that 2016 and so far 2017 would suggest Brits (Dutch and Belgiums) are still keen to buy property in Spain. We are as busy as ever and had the confidence to open bigger premised earlier this year.  We are cautiously optimistic of Spanish Real Estate, despite prices being fairly static to showing slight growth.

Costa Blanca Villas For Sale
A property on the Costa Blanca is a dream for many people and once you’ve visited the area, you’ll understand why. As well as an excellent climate, the Costa Blanca boasts many beautiful Blue Flag beaches, superb sports opportunities, lots of festivals and lively nightlife. No wonder so many people are choosing the Costa Blanca for their Spanish holiday home! Here in the Hondon Valley we are surrounded 360 with glorious mountain views bathed in sunshine for over 300 days a year.

On the Hondon Villas website, you can find hundreds of Hondon area properties (Southern Costa Blanca region), from secluded rural houses and villas to town houses, land and apartments. Our property lists are frequently updated and our informed staff can help you understand the local market and make an informed decision when buying any type of Hondon Valley home or property.

Spain’s public holidays in 2017: Official List

Enjoy Easter in AlicanteThat’s right Spain get a lot of bank holidays and unlike the UK a lot of them are not on a Monday.  The Local.es has listed them for you.

Spain will have a total of 12 national bank holidays in 2017 but also there are many regional / local holiday. So get organized and start planning some weekends away.  Here is the official list of all the public holidays across Spain, as published in Spain’s BOE official state bulletin.

The nine national public  (Red Days) holidays in 2017 across all of Spain are:

January 6th: Dia de los Reyes Magos, Three Kings Day, Epiphany. (Friday)
April 14th: Good Friday
May 1st: Workers’ Day
August 15th: Assumption of Mary, (Tuesday)
October 12th:  Spanish National Day, (Thursday)
November 1st: All Saints’ Day (Wednesday)
December 6th: Constitution Day (Wednesday)
December 8th: Immaculate Conception, (Friday)
December 25th: Christmas Day (Monday)

Apart from these national dates, all regions have additional holidays. See below for the full list. Here is our own Valencia, Costa Blanca South / North.
April 13th: Maundy Thursday
April 17th: Easter Monday
October 9th: Valencia Day  (Monday)

You may also find that some Town Halls or Regions have even more extra days or half days for special occasions. And further that if a bank holiday is close to the weekend that in rural areas, like the Hondon Valley, the locals will extend their break.

So that Manaña feeling is very real … if you can’t beat them, join them eh?

Buying Advice: Always Protect Your Deposit

We at Hondon Villas always use a Lawyer (abogado) to collect and receipt deposits on house purchases. We DO NOT HOLD your money in a special account or keep it if the sale goes cold.

We highly recommend to NEVER PAY AN AGENT or BUILDER an advanced DEPOSIT. Always ask for a qualified lawyer or appoint one in advance to take care of your finances.

Unfortunately, some agents in the area who insist on taking a deposit as their commission, whether the sale goes through or not. This is RISKY for the buyer and seller and in our opinion WRONG! The chances are you will never see that money again. We are AIPP registered and adhere to good practice for both buyer and seller.

It is common practice when buying a property in Spain to ask the buyer to pay a % deposit on the home they wish to buy in advance of the completion. The main reason is to show good will and for the agent to remove the property from sale whilst the paperwork is checked. So you are making a reservation on the property by signing an “arras agreement“.

This actually helps both sides of the deal. The buyer is assured their offer has been accepted and there will be no further viewings or offers on the property and the seller has some peace of mind that the buyer has the good intention to purchase.

Bare in mind  that you may lose this deposit if you don’t complete the sale on the date stated, or that the vendor shall return double the amount deposited, was he finally not to honour the contract in the stated date. But your contract should be clear on that.

A deposit can be any amount depending on the sale price and circumstances. In the Hondon Valley and surrounding areas a €3000 deposit is common but can be more if the property is of a high price, a special deal or maybe an off-plan new build. The latter can be 10% of the purchase price so a a builder can commence with the work.

Of course integral to this should is trust and a signed contract spelling out the terms of the deposit, what it is for, costings and any other due fees or staged payments until completion. Make sure you understand the terms and if a deposit is refundable or not.

The lawyer will have a special holding account for these deposits and importantly is the legal guardian whilst the house sale goes through.

There are many good estate agents in Spain but the industry is more loosely regulated than in the UK and unscrupulous estate agents sometimes target overseas investors. So be careful!

Sean Adams, international director of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, says:  “Do not hand over any money to an estate agent until you have taken formal legal advice. You should always choose a lawyer who specialises in Spanish land,” he said. “Ask for their registration number and check that they are registered and practicing with the local bar association (Colegio de Abogados). It would be wise to also check that your lawyer has professional indemnity insurance.”

Need more advice on deposits, purchase fees and buying in Spain?
Please call Hondon Villas and we will be happy to help. Or read this article for background >

At the time of writing, Hondon Villas are the only Hondon Valley based AIPP agent with this prestigious membership and we now have the right to show the AIPP badge. Which of course we do with pride.

Drones in Hondon Valley. Good or Bad?

As an established estate agent in Spain, Hondon Villas are always keen to use new technology if it helps present and sell our clients houses, improve our real estate services and help speed up our work flow.  [ Published on: 29 May 2017 ]

We did consult an experienced lawyer on the use of drones ( see below). She advised us that in a nutshell: it seems clear that currently in Spain (2016) it is not advisable to fly drones for commercial purposes or anywhere over urban or populated areas, particularly government owned or where security and privacy is paramount. To do so can incur massive fines.

Background: Well we saw some excellent promo’ footage of luxury properties in places like Marbella, Florida, UAE, etc. After seeing these we thought that for some luxury properties with a global appeal, aerial photographs or video would help the prospective buyer in their potential property choices.

But are they of use in Hondon? Does the law allow us? Well,  about two years ago we at Hondon Villas researched the use of Drones for aerial photography as we were unsure of the appetite for such a service, the cost to do it or even if it would help or hinder or business.

Of course it is early days for such technology and because of mass production and a relatively low price entry level, unmanned remote aircraft are now in abundance. Rightly or wrongly, many people already have them. But as a result, there are now numerous reports of some pilots abusing their use with no regard for others. In short aerial photography has become a “wild west”  situation.

So it turns out that the use of retail drones, particularly over private land, government buildings, urban land & housing estates is contentious across the globe. Indeed there are few places you can fly them legally unless the drone and pilot register and get permissions, particularly for commercial purposes.

Indeed, a local Hondon Valley real estate agent has already used a drone to film the area and some of our own clients have expressed to us the dismay they have that their home, location and land layout have been exposed without permission. Did the agent get permission? Well the law would suggest it would be necessary as it’s used for commercial advertising (branded with a logo) and the flights are over populated urban land and critically within the Alicante airport flight paths.

So whilst the use of drones in Real Estate seems a good idea, it is not as straight forward to just buy a drone and willy nilly film whatever you want – even though many agents here are already doing so! Indeed, it is risky in many ways. The Spanish government has collected almost €2 million from drone fines alone since 2015 as they actively looked for breaches of the law. There is a total ban on drones in around the Balearic Islands for instance.

Pro’ versions of drones with high-end UHD cameras can be costly and difficult to fly. So the EU & USA in general are keen to legislate on their use and limit the areas they can be used. The reasons are mainly on safety, privacy and security grounds. After all a falling drone could damage property or hurt someone and people are quite precious about their privacy and can feel spied on.

We think in general, the above reasons for laws on drones have some merit in this uncertain world. And of course many people will and do misuse this new technology for criminal or dubious activities.

So Drone laws make sense to us. And whilst the main manufacturers and retailers pile drones high on shop shelves and sell them to anyone, there are actual laws to govern their purchase, registration, use and permissions. It can be a “red-tape” paper chase, especially in Spain. ( Royal Decree-Law 8/2014 on Air Navigation and Law 18/2014, of 15 October )

We certainly advocate laws on grounds of privacy in built-up areas. E.G. In Spain a property vendor may list their house with many agents, so do we really want those many agents “droning” over properties on a regular basis? We don’t think so. We get the impression that local residents would take a dim view of regular “spies in the skies“.

So, after a lot of questions to legal eagles, near-by flying clubs and asking people in the Hondon Valley, plus taking into account the price of a pro drone purchase, accessory costs and training, we at Hondon Villas concluded that currently (2016) using drones in Real Estate might not be the way to go until the laws are changed over these temporary 2014 ones in place now.

So, yes we’d love to offer the service to those that want it but as the Hondon areas are predominantly an urban sprawl we think that many locals would soon complain about noise, nuisance and security issues. In short, we respect the law and our prospective clients privacy and safety. We can’t rule it out for the future of course so we will be keeping an eye on any developments and laws.

Our SOLICITOR spelt out the current stance in Spain:

The matter of private or commercial “drones” is regulated in Royal Decree-Law 8/2014 on Air Navigation and Law 18/2014, of 15 October, approving urgent measures for growth, competitiveness and efficiency.

Article 50 of that Law establishes provisions relating to civil aircraft piloted by remote control.

That provision primarily regulates identification, features, possible uses, operating conditions, enabled airspace, security, accreditation of pilots and authorization certificates. An important remark is the obligation to obtain the necessary authorizations and make the flights always during daylight, in good visual meteorological conditions and out of congested areas of cities, habituated towns or settlements and outdoors gatherings of people.

Also, the drones can only be used for technical or scientific works; which in accordance with European standards it includes specialized operations such as research, pest control, photography, surveillance, security, patrol, advertising, fire fighting, rescue and scientific works. So, although the law does not define what is meant by specifically technical or scientific works, it seems clear that in Spain is not currently allowed the use of drones for commercial purposes.

On that regard, State Aviation Safety Agency showed, in his note of April 7, 2014, the following statement: “is not allowed, and has never been, the use of aircraft piloted by remote control with commercial or professional purposes “.

As a final note, it is important to know that this regulatory framework is provisional and will apply until the approval of the regulatory rules laid down in Final Provision second, second paragraph, of the Act. So, it is possible that operating drones in Spain in urban areas and for commercial purposes can be allowed despite that is not what Law has permitted so far.

Update May 2017 …

The Spanish RPAS regulation (Ley 18/2014) is only applicable to flights for commercial purposes and all professional activities.

But for recreational use (hobby) you should comply with the provisions in Spanish Law “Real Decreto 552/2014” (rules of the air), article 15, that allows RPAS flight at low altitude “as long as they do not involve any risk or harm to people or properties on surface

So in particular you should:
– operate at Visual Line Of Sight (VLOS) and below 120m height.
– not fly in urban areas and over buildings and people. Overfly of populated areas and crowds is not allowed.
– not fly in controlled airspace (near airports) and avoid flying in areas where flights are conducted at low altitude with manned aircrafts.
– not fly at night or in bad weather conditions.
– please ask your local authorities prior to flying.
– other special restrictions may apply, for example in some special areas like Natural Parks and Biosphere Reserves.

Update Jan’ 2018

Spain has recently changed the laws on Drone usage for both commercial and hobby use. They are still quite strict however. In a nutshell, the pilot has a legal responsibility to fly with consideration of the safety, security and privacy of people and buildings, including him/her self. Commercial or paid drone pilots must be registered, insured, medically certified as fit and trained to use a drone (currently about 4 day course and an exam). Certain flights, locations and areas require authority from the AESA (Spain’s state aeronautic organisation). There are distance rules for built-up areas and “sensitive buildings” like hospitals, airports, schools and urbanisations.

Hondon de los Frailes – Commercial Building for Sale

Business Premises & Warehouse For Sale
Type & Location 0 bedrooms + 2 bath/shower Commercial
in Hondon de los Frailes, Alicante Region. Costa Blanca South

OFFERS in the region of:  € 274,950
2,400m2 of Commercial / Retail Building in central Hondon de los Frailes with parking in very good condition and easily reformed.

Business Premises and Warehouse for Sale / Retail Uint

MAIN POINTS:
Commercial building / Office and Reception
2 Floors
Industrial Lift
Warehouse and Loading Bays
Public Parking

Description: Hondon Villas are pleased to bring onto the market for sale this extremely large commercial building of 2,400m2, situated in the centre of Hondon de los Frailes.

The property has two floors, the ground floor comprises of an office, a reception, a large sales floor and customer toilet facilities. At the rear is a large warehouse and loading bay. There is a commercial lift to the first floor.

The first floor can be accessed by two staircases which lead to another large sales floor.

The property benefits from a heating system and private parking.

CONTACT OUR HONDON PROPERTY OFFICE: (0034) 965 075 357
» Hondon Villas Real Estate Web Site

It’s about holding your hand…

Professional Service

In what is often a bewildering or complicated maze of property paperwork, admin’ and rituals, we at HONDON VILLAS ESTATE AGENTS offer YOU a wholly personal service. We do our best to hold your hand through your life changing move and beyond.

We always aim to give you 100% of our attention, expertise and help. We live here so it’s our local knowledge and local contacts that gets you through that maze and helps take away the worry.

Please feel free to contact us with NO OBLIGATION.

Call us to discuss your needs. We are open Mon-Fri 10am to 5pm
Email: property @ hondonvillas.net
Office: Calle Juan Carlos Plaza #24, Hondon de los Frailes

Please be clear: Hondon Villas only do real estate BUY, SELL or RENT, we do it well and always have! We do ONLY collaborate with agents that we can trust and have a high quality threshold to customer service as we do.

Easter Time (Semana Santa Holy Week)

We hope you all have a great break and make the most of your time off with friends and family over the spring time break.We have to legally close for the national bank holidays but we’ll be out and about in the Hondon area and you can call our mobile number or email us if it is urgent.

Easter is a very important festival in Spain for obvious religious reasons. The event is well over a week, starting with Palm Sunday before the Good Friday and of course that whole weekend sees Spanish families get together to celebrate and worship.

» Find out What’s On Near You for Easter

So, Easter Eggs are a rarity here, but they do have chocolate treats along with the more serious church events. If you get a chance to attend a local parade or ceremony you should do, as the Spanish love to dress up (very glamorous) for Easter and the children are a big part of the festivities too.

» Learn About Semana Santa in Spain

Wikipedia says: Spain is known especially for its Holy Week traditions or Semana Santa. The celebration of Holy Week regarding popular piety relies almost exclusively on the processions of the brotherhoods or fraternities.

Check out YouTube for Easter Parades

https://youtube.com/watch?v=38HnLJgihfU%3Frel%3D0

These associations have their origins in the Middle Age, but a number of them were created during the Baroque Period, inspired by the Counterreformation and also during the 20th and 21st centuries. The membership is usually open to any Catholic person and family tradition is an important element to become a member or “brother” (hermano).  Some major differences between Spanish regions are noticeable in this event: Holy Week sees its most glamorous celebrations in the region of Andalusia, particularly in Málaga and Seville, while those of Castile and Leon see the more sombre and solemn processions, typified by Semana Santa at Zamora and Valladolid. This is a religious holiday.

A common feature in Spain is the almost general usage of the nazareno or penitential robe for some of the participants in the processions. This garment consists in a tunic, a hood with conical tip (capirote) used to conceal the face of the wearer, and sometimes a cloak. The exact colors and forms of these robes depend on the particular procession. The robes were widely used in the medieval period for penitents, who could demonstrate their penance while still masking their identity. These nazarenos carry processional candles or rough-hewn wooden crosses, may walk the city streets barefoot, and, in some places may carry shackles and chains on their feet as penance. In some areas, sections of the participants wear dress freely inspired by the uniforms of the Roman Legion.

The other common feature is that every brotherhood carries magnificent “Pasos” or floats with sculptures that depict different scenes from the gospels related to the Passion of Christ or the Sorrows of Virgin Mary. Many of these floats are art pieces created by Spanish artists such as Gregorio Fernandez, Juan de Mesa, Martínez Montañés or Mariano Benlliure. Brotherhoods have owned and preserved these “pasos” for centuries in some cases. Usually, the “pasos” are accompanied by Marching bands performing “Marchas procesionales” a specific type of compositions, devoted to the images and fraternities.

Free Prize Draw Winners…

FREE PRIZE DRAW WINNERS : LANCE & GAIL
The Hondon Villas team are pleased to announce the winners of our Free Prize Draw. You’ll remember we recently opened our bigger office in the main plaza of Frailes. All those that attended were entered into a draw to win a prize.

Hondon Villas Priz eDraw 01

Congratulations to Lance & Gail on winning the Hondon Villas Free Prize Draw, a dinner for two at Restaurante 28, in Hondon de los Frailes, a dinner for two. Enjoy your meal guys!

Thank you to all those that attended, sorry you didn’t win! Remember we will be having more free prize draws so you can enter again. Keep checking and join the Hondon Villas FACEBOOK page for details

So many unloved homes in Spain!

WOW! It is estimated (2015 survey) that well over 3 million Spanish homes / houses are unoccupied. There are many reasons for this: held for future investment, unfinished urbs, unpopular areas, occasional holiday homes, derelict or failed projects, illegal builds, land-grab, etc. Many of these are still unoccupied since the financial crash in 2008. Not all are for sale or rent of course but there is a massive glut of homes across Spain, especially on the Costas.

It does now mean lower property prices and indeed it is a buyer’s market right now. Many who want to sell their Spanish property are finding that offers are well below their desired asking price (-25% – 40%). And here at Hondon Villas we know first hand that very few sellers in the Hondon areas get a price they want. And further, with the passing of time and on-line knowledge, all modern buyer’s are much more savvy in making “cheeky” offers and negotiating. Unlike the pre-crash market when we had to fight to get our dream home in Spain!

Be realistic about Hondon house prices

So, as facts are, it is best to be realistic and to expect a lower offer, especially if you want to sell quickly. We have seen clients refusing to budge on price or have a house on the market too high for too long (years) to find that the inevitable has to be done: i.e. to lower the price and magically more people are interested.

You may think you have the most wonderful home, tendered with loving care and hard-earned money but it is the buyer’s market.  Of course we know people don’t want to give their homes away but the question is: Is it worth putting your life on hold?

Factor in relative prices or differing exchange rates

It might help your reasoning if you can factor in that if you want to re-buy in Spain then the national % reductions will also be relative to your next house purchase. So if your home to sell is about 25% lower than when you bought then a new home in Spain may be similar or more.

And, if you are returning to a non-Euro country like the UK perhaps the low Euro is now in your favour as opposed to when you bought years ago. E.G. The low Euro to the pound  can mean significant difference when returning to the UK.

2006 : £200,000 sterling @ 1.46 would buy €292,000
2017 :  €292,000 Euro @ 1.19 would now buy £245,000

As a basic example (not withstanding fees) and of course depends on the exact rates you bought at / sold at. And factor in the price reduction and just maybe there is still some profit or at least a reasonable break-even.

Need help selling your Hondon Villa or Hondon Valley Home?

If you wish to discuss your property situation or get a free valuation then please call into our Frailes office (in the Plaza)
or call our team Monday to Friday : (0034) 965 075 357.
» www.hondonvillas.net