Spanish GDP is still set to grow over 3% this year despite uncertainties shrouding the disputed Catalan independence referendum. During the third quarter (Q3) of the year, Spanish GDP rose by 0.8%, according to the latest data released by the government’s central statistics unit.
More than 7 million tourists visited the Costa del Sol this summer, the highest number ever achieved, according to the Turismo Costa del Sol and employment body AEHCOS. The Costa del Sol has long been a top destination for international visitors, but its popularity reached new heights this summer after welcoming over a record breaking 7 million tourists, representing a rise of 5.2% on last year. The region is estimated to have received €7.15 billion from tourist spending this summer season, making it the best in history says the head of AEHCOS, Luis Callejón.
The Junta de Andalucía has decided to change the current level of local inheritance tax, meaning huge savings for many. From the start of next year children and spouses in Andalucía who inherit up to €1 million will be exempt from paying inheritance tax and those that inherit over the threshold will only be required to pay tax on the difference.
Malaga city court has received double the amount of claims over the mortgage ‘floor clause’ than expected. There is just one court in Malaga that has been assigned to deal with the number of claims, which has now reached 2000 since June, twice the number originally expected. Last December, the European Court of Justice ruled that people who believed they were sold a ‘floor clause’ in their mortgage could claim money back; floor clauses were fixed interest rates hidden by banks in the small print of mortgage contracts, which many home owners unknowingly agreed to just by signing.
Socimi Testa Residencial and Acciona’s property rental business have merged to form a new property ‘giant’ in a deal worth an estimate €341 million. Acciona will merge its portfolio of 1,058 rented homes in Testa in exchange for shares in the company; an equivalent to 21% of its capital. The group will become the third biggest shareholder in the new socimi, after Santander (38.8%) and BBVA (26.9%); property development company Merlin will see its stake diluted to 12.7%.
The number of high income earners in Spain, whose assets exceed €30 million, has grown by 23.9% in the last five years, according to 2015 figures released this week by the Spanish tax agency. Spain started to recover from the economic crash five years ago and has made steady progress over the past year with the country recovering at a rate much faster than many of its EU counterparts. However on a more personal level, financial situations have improved faster for those in high-income brackets than those who are not.
Unemployment levels in Spain rise slightly in August, after holiday season draws to a close. During the month of August, the number of people registered as unemployed in Spain stood at 3,382,324, a rise of 1.4% (or 46,400 people), according to latest government figures.
The Spanish property market recovery is being driven by a growing jobs market and favourable economic conditions; however Brexit negotiations could halt property purchases made by British buyers. Spanish property sales have been rising at double digit rates, with a majority of purchases occurring on the Mediterranean coast and in the Canary and Balearic Islands. In fact, over 30% more property sales occurred in these areas than in other part of the country, says a report by CaixaBank Research.
New €5 billion investment highway plan revealed by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. The slump in high speed train construction work and the lack of highway improvement projects has led to the volume of infrastructure investment in Spain fall below 2% of GDP, according to analysts at Bankinter.
Blackstone Group L.P, a private equity and asset management firm based in the U.S, will acquire a 51% stake in Spanish bank, Banco Popular, making it the largest investors in Spanish real estate, reports the Financial Times. Banco Popular was saddle by €37 billion in toxic assets, following the economic crisis which struck nearly ten years ago now. In June, the European authorities declared the bank was ‘failing or likely to fail’ and put the lender in resolution.