Thursday, January 26, 2006

When is a law not a law?

If you bring in a law surely the idea is to enforce it. Not this year in Spain it seems. It is now illegal to smoke in public places, and for public places read bars and restaurants. There are exceptions, for example if the bar/restaurant is over 100m2 then there need to be two seperate sections, one non smoking and one smoking. Logical! Except that nobody is actually following the law. I was in Asturias for the New Year and 99.9% of the bars had a note on the door or window saying that you could smoke. Some advised that smoking was bad for your health but you could still smoke. I didn’t actually see anywhere it was banned but I am leaving the 0.1% as such because I am sure that somewhere in Asturias there is a bar where you cannot smoke.

Here in Valencia I saw the first bar with a no smoking sign today in Segart. They had five customers, three of whom were smoking outside while drinking their coffees and boy it was cold this morning. Don’t hold your breath for a change very soon.

Saying all of that there are many restaurants where smoking is now banned, almost all of Heron City/Kinepolis is now smoke free.

Amazing Price Rises

It has just been revealed that, against all predictions at the start of 2005, there was not a slacking off in the price rises in second hand flats in Valencia. 2004 registered an average price rise of 25% whereas this past year that figure was 34%. In certain areas, such as Fuente de San Luis, prices have now risen by an average of 110% over the last two years. The average flat in Valencia is now around 2400 Euros per square metre. The old town, El Camren is the most expensive part of the city with prices currently averaging 3411 Euros per square metre. Obviously the prices are still much lower than Madrid or Barcelona but as Valencia grows in importance and communications improve, price differentials are reducing.
ps. The house pictured is for sale 4 bedrooms, two bathrooms, huge through lounge and a great pool -only 353,000 euros.

Friday, January 13, 2006

How we work

Today we were asked to value a house for a client of ours who is moving back to the UK for family reasons. They bought from us two years ago so we know the value of the land and everything about the house. We gave a true market valuation of 195000 Euros. It turns out that they had had two agents round to value the place and one had valued it at 225000 Euros and the other said well if they are putting it on at that price so will we. At Valencia Property we work for the buyer and could not justify taking clients round to a house overvalued by 30000 Euros in our opinion. Our years of experience mean that we know the market.
Having said that the other companies may find that they can sell the house at that price to somebody who leaves their brain at the airport but we don’t think that this somebody would be very happy if they then found out that they could have saved themselves 35000 by buying through us. Shop around when you buy a house. We currently have a house at 335000 Euros in Olocau which is on a site of an agent from Javea at 359000 Euros and they didn’t even have the decency to write their own description, they copied ours and changed two words, or even visit the place, the photos were sent to them by the owner. 24000 Euros extra for their “professionalism” is a tad expensive.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Beautyfying La Pobla de Vallbona

Politics is a strange game, especially when members of one party form their own independent movement because they are sick and tired of the corruption in the party they have left. This has happened recently in La Pobla and now there is a huge war of words between the PP (In power in it’s various forms from 1973 until last year) and the independents who left. The independents joined with the PSOE and UV to outvote the PP and get rid of the Mayor (And the last remaining bust of Franco in the region!) and they are now trying to justify their existence with a programme of public building works which although not pharoahonic should make La Pobla a much better place to move about in.

The main road is being relaid with new wider pavements, the park is being revamped, the roundabouts at the entrances to the town landscaped and letters have been sent out to owners of any particular eyesores to smarten them up or clean the plots on pain of receiving a fine. Most of the building plots within the town are now showing activity and the municipality is showing interest in increasing the activities available for young people. There is a new youth club for kids between 14 and 19 years old and they are organising a huge number of activities including camps and fully blown holidays. They have also stopped the building on all of the illegal projects authorised by the previous council leaders.

It should be fun for the near future around here!

ps. the image is of a house for sale at 228,500 euros through Valencia Property

The business of ethics...and sharp practice

At Valencia Property we really pride ourselves on good service to the customer and an excellent after sales service. We have been here longer than any of our direct competitors and we think we have sold more houses and have more happy clients than anyone else too. We are crystal clear about our pricing and who pays what. So we were very surprised to hear this story about one of our competitors - actually ex-customers of ours - this week, as we thought that they had totally copied our business model.

We have a client who bought a small house from us two years ago and is now upgrading to a bigger place and selling the old one. He is buying the new one from us but unfortunately, from our point of view, another agent sold his current house. When he was presented with the sales contract yesterday he was surprised to see that the buyer would pay 2.5% but he would pay 2.5% too. Now he hadn’t agreed to this when he put his house with the agent and he had been specifically told that they didn’t charge him anything. So he told them to take a hike, risking losing his sale of course. They tried to justify themselves by saying we can do this because we give the best service in the area (we are told that he told them in no uncertain terms that that is rubbish but what the hey!) Anyway, they eventually dropped the charge and settled for the buyer paying their part. Valencia Property never charges the seller anything, never adds a penny to the price the seller wants, and therefore we always have the house cheaper.

We think that it is sharp practice and quite immoral to try and squeeze what amounts to a hefty sum based on the sale price of a house because you might be able to get away with it, but we don’t name names. Let people decide themselves which agents give a good service. We don’t badmouth other agents when taking people round and we give the best service in the local area without exception in our opinion and also the opinion of the vast majority of our clients. Come and try for yourselves and look at our site

New lanes on The Pista de Ademuz and more...

The CV-35, also known as the Pista de Ademuz, is the road out of Valencia to the north-west. It takes you into the Vall de Turia and past many of the towns that form the area where most of our houses are situated. First opened in 1992, the effects have been amazing from the point of view of demographics.
People have moved in to these towns and villages to get out of the city as it now takes only twenty minutes into Valencia from Lliria and fifteen from La Pobla de Vallbona and La Eliana.. In the 13 years since the dual carriageway opened The Camp de Turia as a whole has increased its population by 64%, with the population of La Pobla rising by just over 100% to 17000. In Lliria the situation is similar and La Eliana has risen from 15000 to 22000 people (it cannot grow any more currently, due to a lack of building land). There are many new development plans in place for the area now and this will lead to an increase in population up to the year 2020 which is expected to bring the population of Lliria up to 75000 and La Pobla to 64000.

However, this is not the end of the story. Now the road is to be widened from Valencia to Lliria to have three lanes, and extended to Losa del Obispo with two lanes bringing these areas into a more reasonable driving time to and from Valencia and bringing economic advantages to the areas. Losa del Obispo, for example, is currently a town of 700 inhabitants some 50 minutes from Valencia and the new PAI (Development Plan) for the town will make 500 new chalets and a new trading and industrial estate bringing jobs to the town, reducing rural depopulation and increasing the population to around 2200. The road should bring down the time to get to Valencia by between ten and fifteen minutes.

When you include all of the golf courses, the new artificial Ski centre to be constructed at Lliria and the new developments it looks like a bright future for businesses based in the area and exciting times for all who live here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Welcome to Valencia Property Comment

Anyone interested in buying a property in the immediate vicinity of Spain's third City, the beautiful Valencia should bookmark this blog now. There will be regular news and views on living and buying in this delightful part of this amazing country. The team at will be trawling the news on your behalf and will endeavour to bring you pertinent stories and information on a very regular basis. Information on prices, laws, customs, getting the most out of Valencia, how to settle in.
Based in La Pobla de Vallbona, is much more than an estate agent. We pride ourselves in getting the right property at the best price for our customers and, because we don't charge the seller a single penny, we are able to offer properties considerably cheaper than our competition. The friendly and efficient multi-lingual team work hard to make sure the often stressful business of finding the right house goes as smoothly and easily a possible. And, once you have your property, they are on hand to make sure that settling in to your new home and environment is hassle free as well. It is all part of the service.
Welcome to Valencia Property Comment.

Ebay Auctions of Spanish Stuff

About Me

Today is a new day, the sun is in the Sky. I wake up this morning and greet the new day.