Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

So 2008 ends with the Spanish property market in a bit of a rut. Hopefully 2009 will be the time when you realise yur dream if you want to live in Spain as banks start lending again and new businesses sprout up everywhere to react to the economic situation.

So Happy New year from Valencia Property and we hope that it turns out to be your best one yet.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Is the bottom of the housing pyramid stable? Here it might well be.

So how far will prices fall in the housing market? Estimates of the UK market this year vary but about 15% would seem to be the average. However where is the bottoming out point of house prices in the UK and elsewhere? As prices fall the possibility for first time buyers to get into owning a property grows and surely this means that at some point the demand outstrips supply and prices bottom out and maybe even start rising again. The issue at the moment would sem to be lack of lending by the banks and building societies rather than lack of real demand, nobody can get a mortgage.

Anyway in Spain and, more particularly for me and this blog Valencia, the government is going to force lenders to do just that, lend, very soon. So it is possible to look at a potential bottoming out of the market in the following way. The average Spanish person earns around 1500 Euros per month and when both partners in a couple earn that, then they have 3000 Euros income with which to play with at the bank. The banks will use around 1000 Euros per month as a rule of thumb for repayments. At an interest rate of 4% which will be in place by about March time this would mean repayments on a loan of some 200k would come in at around 958 Euros pcm over 30 years on a repayment mortgage. Therefore we can surmise that any property under 200k has the potential to be bought by these new first time buyers and properties around the 100k mark can be bought by those average wage single people who are looking to buy. So has Spain reached the bottom? Well there are a few other factors to consider but bear in mind that the cheaper areas of Valencia are now seeing properties in the 100k mark and other provincial capitals the same and there is a good possibility that it may have in the cities where demand is still good. However the negatives that need to be sorted are as follows;
1) The banks will only give up to 80% of price.Therefore people need to have saved 20% plus costs of purchase or have, more usually, a family member who can supply them with it.
2) You need to jump through a lot of hoops to get funding at the moment.
3) Interest rates at 4% may well drop in the short term but be aware that if they went up to 6% where they were a few months back then repayments would be 230 Euros pcm more (More or less)
4) Oversupply of rubbish on the coasts.

The good news is that buying BMV property in Spain now and renting it out will give a really good return if you can get the mortgage as an interest only loan on a property at 100k will cost about 350 Euros pcm and return some 550-600 Euros in rental. (Remember I am talking about cities not the coast)

For any advice regarding your mortgage or investing in Spain then get in touch with me. We may be able to get you a much better deal than you would otherwise be offered. And remember also that the lifestyle here and the cost of living is certainly cheaper than the UK or many other areas despite the drop in value of the pound.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Waiting for the right exchange rate

So many people getting in touch at the moment wanting to rent with an option to buy. Why? Well as mentioned in my last blog entry about the imperfect storm enveloping the market why buy if you are coming here from the UK when you can wait and maybe the pound will recover some of the lost ground and get back toards where it was earlier in the year, around 1.27 Euros to 1.30 Euros to the Pound? Now there is no guarantee it will although many "experts" feel that is where the sensible point is. However, the likelihood is that as soon as parity with the Euro is reached then hedge funds and speculators will stop betting against the pound as they have been doing and shift the momentum in the opposite direction.

Therefore we are getting more possiblities for renting into the site and some of the for sale houses are also available for rent. Get in touch and ask for more info on if you are unsure. Six month option contracts are becoming more and more prevalent. Make sure your contract protects your rights and gives you the right to buy without being gazumped when the right time to buy turns up.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Imperfect Storm

The market is a tad moribund at the moment. An imperfect storm is brewing. The reasons are as follows

1) Sterling has dropped from 1.47 to 1.06 Euros in just over a year.
2) Interest rates hit a peak of just over 5.7% in August meaning the revisions of peoples' mortgages were fixed for a year at 6.7%
3) Point 2 doesn't matter as banks are still not lending
4) Prices are falling so people generally will wait.
5) The UK market is moribund so people who want to buy cannot sell their place.
6) People believe fallacies like those reported by Trevor MacDonald and the Daily Mail.
7) Recession means that jobs are being shed just like the UK.

So in order to give you a reason to buy here we need to point out the lifestyle advantages, the excellent possibilities for starting up solid businesses, the cost of living which is still much lower than in the UK, the social factors affecting your life here, the availability of rentals with an option to purchase further down the line, possibly when sterling rebounds, and finally the fact that our prices are already dropped markedly, especially those being sold by English speaking clients because if they are selling to repatriate the money back to the UK they have dropped the price a lot so that for you in pounds it costs no more. Ask me for more info.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Last real week of work

I am currently laid up a bit, relying on public transport to get me round with the broken collarbone, and yes I know I am too old to be playing football especially for everyone who has told me, but I will be back. Anyway, I have just had a realization. This is the last week before Xmas in effect because schools finish on Friday and from then everything slows down in Spain until after Kings' Day on the 6th of January. So if you need anything doing here make sure it is arranged this week because otherwise it might be a long time before it gets done. Meanwhile Skype me on grahamvp or ring me on +34 961662892 if you want anything because I will definitely be out and about this week trying to get my stuff out of the way.

Friday, December 05, 2008

200th Post so More Good News

Thanks to my friend Robert Burns for the info. If you have a pension you want transferred outside of the UK he can help you.

Despite all the bad news we are still seeing investment and infrastructure projects into the Valencia Region. Recent announcements include:

# The Alicante Trade Fair (IFA) is to invest 360m euros including a new multi purpose sports and events pavilion.

# The opening of a "Short Sea" connection between Valencia and Sardinia. Expected 25 percent increase in traffic between Spain and Italy.

# Hits Mobile jointly owned by a Kuwaiti Group and Metrored from Valencia are setting up a base in Valencia to target international mobile calls.
And if you want a Hits phone to get cheap phone calls to the UK and elsewhere then sign up with me here and I will get back to you

# Molino Real are to donate 15m euros for the rehabilitation of the Paterna area of Valencia.

And finally, to quote the Chamber of Commerce, the Air Cargo Center in Manises Airport "is a strategic area for multimodal transport since Valencia is situated in a privileged location in the Mediterranean Rim."

It's the place to be...the Generalitat de Valencia.

Oh and Valencia are in the Champions League places and the new stadium is moving along nicely now.

Do you want to reduce your mortgage payments?

If you are following the updates here and on our other sites you may already know that we have been negotiating for clients who want to reduce their mortgage payments with their banks. This is being very successful and we have currently reduced mortgage repayments for people between 500 and 1400 Euros per month for times ranging from 2-3 years. If you want us to get you a better deal on your mortgage in Spain then for a fixed fee we can get you a much better deal and take that pressure off you.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Free online gaming and then more

If you go to the above site and register then you can soon start playing some cool free games as the site rolls out. It is on online gaming, shopping mall and gambling site that will have all sorts of opportunities for future development. We are currently looking at many options for things to put into the island. So have a look, register for free and tell us what you think of the site. (and if you want to become an associate then sign up on that too and promote this business to your friends.)

If you want a Spanish mobile phone that allows you to phone abroad for costs often less than half the price of the big three in Spain then this is for you too but get in touch with me first as it is still under construction.

We hope soon for you to be able to advertise your property on there to a potential worldwide audience of millions for just pennies.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Other Options for Property and Loans in Spain

If you want to earn some money in something apart from just simply buying a property here in Spain off the main site,, then here are some options. We can help you out with all of the things below and if you have friends or colleagues you refer you can get a commission.

In principle there are four main areas and then of course there are other ops that come up;

1) Private Capital Loans.

These can range from 6000 Euros up to a few million. They are loans making the loanee the first debt on a property or second when the first debt is very low compared to value. The guarantee is notarial and the loan is inscribed in the property registry. Time periods for PCL's are 6 or 12 months. Interest rates are 20-25% and payment has to be made in full if done before the end of the time period. If a PCL is not repaid then you start the process of repossession of the property that guarantees the loan. This usually takes about 6-8 months from the beginning to the end of the process but is very open and transparent. We earn from the person who we have obtained the money for initially and then on the earnings of the investor. If the investor gets the money back then we take just 15% of earnings, see example below. If the investor gets the property then we earn 30% of income if rented on an ongoing basis or 25% of net capital gain if sold on, again see example. These earnings would be split with anybody referring clients.

Example 1
PCL of 1 million Euros. Paying 20% in one year.
Return 1.2 million Euros.
Valuation of Property. 3.2 million Euros with no debt on it currently.
Property consists of 10 flats and a shopfront right by the Plaza de la Reina in Valencia. Dossier available.
Probable outcome. Payment by the debtor.
Possible Outcome. Get the block of flats and be able to sell on at 200-240k each unit for very quick sale plus 200k for shopfront.

Debtor profile.
Builder needing liquidity to finish off other projects and sell them. By being able to finish off he expects to sign for them and therefore have the money to pay within the year. If not repo process starts on day 366 and is guaranteed.

Commissions. 45000 Euros on obtaining funding, paid for by builder. And then the 15% if repaid (30000 Euros) or 25% if we get the building and then sell on. Estimate of net gain around 1 million Euros therefore 250k commissions.

More simple example 2
21000 Euros PCL
Property value 72000. Suggested sale price for quick sale 60000.
One year for repayment at 20% = 25200 Euros.
Potential earning 4200 Euros. Costs 15% = 630 Euros.
Potential Earnings if Getting Property 25% of 60000 - 30000 (Approx after lawyers/barrister and costs.) 7500 Euros.

Debtor Profile
A man who has just got a new job in Northern Spain and needs the money to set up his business there and get working. He expects to refinance after around 6 months and pay back the money at that point as he will have been working for six months and the banks may be lending better by then

2) Purchasing bank debt.

If a property is already in the repossession process then we can make an offer to the bank to purchase that property. We would usually do this in blocks of 5, 10 or 20 properties that we would offer at a certain price from the bank. Obviously the higher the number of properties bought the better the discounts. On some properties however we do not need a discount as the LTV is so low so we pay what the banks call the foreclosure fees. We then offer a service of taking the property through the repo process. What we charge on this is the initial study fees for each property purchased (1700 Euros) and a percentage of earnings depending on IRR for the batch. The investor needs to realise that they purchase the debt and then pay for the lawyers to conduct the process, we have an agreement at 4500 Euros per property for lawyer and barrister fees reducing to 4000 on the purchase of multiple units. The lawyers are paid half up front and half on completion. Barristers are paid on demand.

If we earn 25% in three months on one property it is annualised to 100% roughly. If we earn 10% in two years it is annualised to 5%. I am sure you get the picture. Our earning capacity depends on the higher IRR (Annualised Return) because we take a percentage of earnings. If the real return is less than 10% and the IRR less than 20% we take nothing. We choose debts and properties very carefully to make sure a good IRR and fast turnaround is possible but we also choose the investors carefully as we need to be sure that they let us work for them and use our methods rather than using the baseball bat method of recovering debt. The investor needs to provide a power of attorney for the lawyers and barristers to act on their behalf and a letter of intention showing their interest in the project. We are happy to visit or receive visits to explain the process.

3) Purchasing Repossessed Properties.

Properties that have already passed through the bank's repo process are sitting on their books gathering dust. Through our contacts in the banks we can identify the best purchases and negotiate discounts on the asking prices for properties in their portfolios. Banks are happier giving big discounts to cash buyers and the more units purchased the bigger the potential discounts are. We can supply blocks of properties or indiviudal properties for the investors. In these cases the investor pays a commission fee equivalent to 3% of purchase price to cover initial studies. They are also asked for their business plan and we can help them out with that. If it is disposal at market values then we arrange the sale through an exclusivity contract again at 3% on sale. If they wish to hold and rent out then we can come to an arrangement for property management too. (This can also be done for investors in option 2) Sometimes we are able to have a purchaser ready for purchase before taking on the property and in these cases the earnings are huge. If we do this then we take a percentage of net gain.

4) Purchasing off plan projects and excess capacity from developers.

Sometimes a developer runs out of money and needs to sell up. Sometimes they just want to get rid of the last few units and realise some sort of profit but there are always ops at the moment as the banks won't lend. Opportunities that come up require a good background knowledge as most developers are massively overexposed on their borrowings. Therefore we find developers who although in need of liquidity are not too endebted because then there are too many charges on the properties and they cannot sell at the prices we want to purchase. Here there is a simple commission payment structure and a disposal or business plan can be arranged post purchase too.

All investors will need a NIE number in Spain or a company through which they purchase the debts/properties. We can discuss this further down the line as there are many different ways to structure the investments to make the best returns.

Hopefully this helps you go through the ideas. If you have any questions feel free to ask of course.

Graham Hunt

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Who Owns Valencia Property?

Lots of people feel that buying abroad is a risk. So in order so that you feel more comfortable when you are visiting Spain for purchase or rental I thought it might be useful to show you who you will be dealing with. I belong to an online business community called Ecademy, you can also find me on Linkedin amongst others. But have a look at my Ecademy profile here and follow what I am doing on Twitter here

If you have any questions or doubts about buying in Spain get in touch and I will send you an ebook on the purchase process or give you info and recommendations of people in Spain and elsewhere that can help you out.

I look forward to networking with you and helping you out online.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Urbe Time Again

If there is one thing that marks the changing of the seasons for an estate agent in Valencia it is Urbe Desarrollo, the Valencia property and development fair. This year it has changed the nom de plume to Urbe so that it doesn't get compared with previous years' events I suppose.

So anyway I went this morning and was out within an hour, truth be told 50 minutes of that time could have been better employed. The deals from the developers ranged from 12-62% off previously listed prices. There was nothing new or planned (Some very small developments) apart from the Valencian Council's plan for the area around the Grand Prix circuit for which they are looking for collaborating construction firms.

There was not one golf development represented, last year I counted at least 12 and last year I described as a funeral! Well for developers the time to make hay has gone and they need to adapt to the new realities. Most of what was shown is already finished or on the point of being so. Therefore it is competing with second hand resales which usually have established gardens or an infrastructure around them and are therefore much more attractive to a potential purchaser.

Marina D'Or, the biggest carbuncle of them all, was represented selling off their project in Egypt.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

El Menu Del Crisis

Walking through La Pobla this morning there was a TV crew filming outside our local Tapas Bar. They have introduced something on their blackboard outside the shop the Menu of the Day for 4.95 Euros and they call it the Menu Del Crisis.

I will get a fuller report on it later this week because I may be there for lunch tomorrow or Friday. Photos to follow.

(I have still not got the photos but just to tell you the bar is Tapas y Jamon on the main through road of La Pobla right next to the Caixa Catalunya bank.)

Lovely Rental Flat in Valencia. Short or Long Term

Now finally finished and ready to be used this excellent third floor flat comes very well furnished and presented and can be found in the Ruzafa area of Valencia. It has three rooms, a good sized living room, a large kitchen/dining area, two bathrooms and hall. You can rent it for short term or longer term rents and prices start from 800 Euros pcm for longer term rents to weekly rates on demand starting from 400 Euros per week.

Have a look at the pictures and get in touch if this is something that may interest you.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

More Rain in Spain. Bumper harvest to follow

And it just keeps on coming. Expect a bumper harvest of olives, oranges and all of the other stuff you get from Spain because the last month or so has been virtually every day and apparently in the vast majority of places the "good" rain that comes down not in a torrential torrent but at a more leisurely pace making sure that it soaks in rather than running off.
Christmas mandarins should be really juicy this year.

In Valencia we are consdiered to have had a real Gota Fria this year, this is a type of monsoon that engulfs this specific area of the Med around October time. Anyway if you want to know what it can look like check out these images from the Riada of 1957 in Valencia. (Turn the music off though)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


If the main website, disappears for a time today just keep checking back. It is being moved from one server to another and will take time to do. Also if you cannot get in touch remember that the numbers are +34 961662892 or to get in touch


Sunday, October 26, 2008

How to Make Great Paella - The Ingredients Count

So if you didn't read the Times online last week you can find the answer and some of the names of the best restaurants in this article here. remember that the piccie illustrating this article is not the traditional stuff you get served around here. Just a clue. When you see the old biddies walking round a field with a plastic bag or at the side of a road, they are not picking up fag ends, they are getting the snails for the paella.

Personally I would go for Raco de La Olla in El Palmar as the best paella restaurant in El Palmar but opinions are valid of course.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Is it me or is it getting busy here?

The last week has seen a rush of enquiries and interest in many properties from both a rental and a purchase viewpoint. Why is this? I have a few theories but my favourite might just well be the following. Are people in the UK now so sick and tired of hearing about the impending doom and gloom and how everything is going to be horrible for a couple of years that maybe they just want to step off the treadmill and experience something different for a while?

Spain will undergo a transition too of course, it is inately tied up in the World economy just like everywhere else but despite the last three weeks of rain, and today it is even drizzling which never happens here, the country, the people and the atmosphere always seem less oppressively depressing. Any ideas why? Are we all ostriches waiting for the nuclear winter of recession to freeze our upturned backsides?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lovely House. Villamarchante 399000 Euros

So if you want a great place to live, totally modernised yet having tha loving touch and oozing rusticity about a fifteen minute walk from the village with lovely views over the Turia River Valley and just twenty five minutes from Valencia or the airport then maybe you should be looking at this property. 399000 Euros will get you this and it has everything you could possibly want including an excellently stocked Bodega currently but you would have to pay extra for the wine if available.

Check out the video below and make your appointment to come and see this excellently put together property.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Valencia International Fireworks Festival. Oct 8th 2008

Now in Valencia they do fireworks well. They do them often and probably most importantly they do them loud

Here is a little video of what can be achieved with a little imagination, a shedload of experience and an absolutely unlimited budget (despite the crisis).

Every year the international fireworks festival is one night starting at midnight and attracts thousands of people into the town and out onto their balconies to watch it. 8th October 2008 was one such night. This year they had an interloper from China and the local boy Caballer. If you are not that interested in fireworks and don't want to watch the whole ten minutes then just wait for You Tube to load (It will take time it is a big file) and watch the last 2 minutes. That is how to climax!!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Follow me on Twitter

If you want to know what is happening day to day here then why not sign up to Twitter and follow my updates on a daily basis there. This will tell you what is selling, what is renting, who is coming and what happened.
Sign up here and keep an eye on my updates about property in Valencia

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Spain Considering Scrapping IHT on Property

An article printed in CityWire and Kyero states that Spain is considering scrapping IHT for property transactions in order to help bolster the sector. Well in Valencia it already has (Almost). IHT is not payabale to descendents of people as long as those descendents re resident in the community. There is a nominal fee of 1% to be paid. Thus if you leave a property to resident family members the rather onerous IHT in other countries or regions does not exist here. Obviously this means that from a tax point of view an investment in property in Valncia region is long term an extremely attractive option for those bringing their families over to the area to live.

Expats spending their lives in Valencia therefore not only get to live an area considered to be one of the healthiest in the World by the World Health Organisation but also are safe in the knowledge that when they pass away the government will not be gnawing away at their nest egg.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Banco de Santander Success Story

Banco de Santander has developed from a small regional bank to become one of the major players in European banking and the biggest bank in Spain over the last few years. It has now decided that it wants to dominate the European scene, starting with the UK, as it does the Spanish banking scene. In Spain where Santander goes the other banks soon follow and it seems that they have started to open the tap to new mortgages, a tap that has been closed now for almost a year. Expect other Spanish banks to follow.

Banco De Santander HQ in Sao Paulo

So what made the Santander strong in the current market? Spanish banks never bought into toxic debt to the same extent as other European banks as they were too busy being parochial in Spain by funding developers here, hence the huge construction boom of recent times, and also they looked to Argentina and other Spanish speaking South American countries as well as Portuguese speaking Brazil to develop their brands in new markets. So busy were they that when all of the newly repackaged toxic debt from the States was offered they didn't even bother looking at it. So now they are cash rich and picking up good deals like Abbey, Alliance and Leicester and Bradford and Bingley in a sort of Buffett way, buying in at the best time.

So why is the Spanish housing market dropping so much, just like the UK market? The major reason that transactions in Spain are down 26% this year is the lack of availability of credit. The 33% drop in mortgages given out is one of the proofs of that. People still want to buy but cannot because of the restrictions on lending and therefore the market in dropping in price bringing in even more people who want to buy. Obviously there is an oversupply of two bed two bathroom flats in coastal areas but the latent demand for the larger conurbations (Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Bilbao) is still there as the population grows year on year and rural depopulation increases as people look for opportunities in the cities. If the Santander open the taps again expect the Spanish market in the major towns and cities to perk up, especially if, and that is a big if currently, it coincides with a drop in interest rates from the European Central Bank.

So what will be the next target for Santander in the UK and when will the Competition Commission start looking into their adquisitions?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Art Exhibition in Barcelona tonight

If you happen to be around Barcelona you can go to a great exhibition this evening of work by Lynda Cookson and you can also meet a load of Catalan based Ecademists. Here is what Simon Harris says about the meeting.

Ecademy Catalunya is having its first meet-up at Sala Barna, C/ Sant Eusebi, 57 at 8pm on Friday 26th September. Lynda Cookson is holding an exhibition of her scrumptious paintings there, and although it's a bit early for this part of the world, the gallery closes (in theory) at 9pm, so we need to get together before then. The idea is a meet-up and not a meeting, so it's going to be informal and relaxed.

So a good chance to see a great exhibition, have a good chinwag and get to know a bit of Barcelona that maybe you wouldn't otherwise without a local guide.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Leave the key under the rug and put the cat out.

I have read so many negative blogs about the situation in the UK today due to banking failures in the States and the stock market plummeting that it surprises me that there is anyone left in the country. Why don't you just leave and join the exodus? So anyway, if anyone wants to come and join us here in Valencia please make sure to bring a few things.

1) The intention to learn the language
2) A positive can do attitude
3) Respect for the culture of the country even if that means putting up with goats been thrown from towers etc...
4) Money. Two years of it minimum so that you have time to learn the language and set up a business you can be proud of.
5) An intention to add something to where you are. Remember givers gain.

We will be delighted to help you.

Referring back to my blog last week on Ecademy and to my podcast from the weekend which you can listen to below have a look at the positivity pouring out of the first and the news from Valencia and Spain too. It is not all doom and gloom. If you still decide you want to go then get in touch, ask me about anything regarding living in Spain or particularly Valencia and start planning your future. Remember you do have a choice. Sit back and let the media batter you into following the crowd into a recession or get off your touche and do something to make your life better.

(The photo refers to a house newly reduced to 345000 Euros to live the good life in Turis. Stunning place reeduced because the owners have moved back to Buenos Aires and need some cash. See it here)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Must know info taken from The Times

The article copied below from the Times newspaper is useful to know especially if you already have a house bought through us or other agents in the past. For people wishing to purchase now it is also useful to know if you are not going to be resident.

The document is easy to get hold of but if you receive a letter informing you of your need to produce it then make sure you plan a quick getaway so you can get yourself down to the ploice station and get it or if you have Powers of Attorney with a lawyer make sure that the lawyer does it for you.

All clients of Valencia Property who have a mortgage have this document as a matter of course as it is a requirement for opening a bank account and the bank itself asked for it before.

"Owners of Spanish property could lose their homes if they fail to produce new identification documents proving their non-resident status.

Britons who use their overseas accounts to pay for their Spanish mortgages and essentials such as utility services and council taxes, have been required by Spanish banks to produce a residence certificate or “Residencia” since March last year.

Failure to produce the new documents could result in bank accounts being frozen and mortgage repayments stopped.

However, some Spanish banks have failed to contact homeowners or given short notice to produce the papers.

One reader, Simon Wells, 52, from Walthamstow, east London, said that on August 15 he was told by his Spanish bank, Cajamar, to produce the documents by September 15.

“This is not easy to do as you have to register in person at a Spanish police station and then have it stamped by a town hall official. We were warned our account could be frozen.”

The requirement is part of an EU initiative to crack down on tax dodgers. Spanish residents are taxed at source, so to avoid paying tax there you have to prove non-residence status.

Britons — there are about 145,000 with bank accounts and properties in Spain, said broker Savills Private Finance — have to declare gains made in Spanish bank accounts to the UK taxman.

You qualify for non-resident status in Spain if you spend fewer than 180 days a year in the country and are able to produce the new document.

Anyone who bought a property before the new rules came into effect may be asked by their Spanish bank to produce the Residencia. Those who bought property after they were introduced will have been told of the requirement.

Residence certificates include your name, address, nationality, date of registration and the “Numero de Identificacion de Extranjeros”, a tax number for foreigners in Spain.

The Spanish Tourism Office said: “If you have a Spanish property, and have not been asked to produce this document, I suggest you contact your bank directly.”

Homeowners can contact the Spanish Ministry of the Interior’s immigration directorate helpline for more advice on 00 34 91 363 9071.

To apply for the non-residency certificate you usually need to go in person to the Oficina de Extranjeros or police station in your province of residence.

The document costs about €10-€13, although if you go through a lawyer you may have to pay more than ¤120 (£97.20)."

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Fourth Podcast Links

I have just recorded the fourth in the series of podcasts that I have done. This analyses the current situation in Spain and Valencia, has info about some great deals on rentals and sales and tells you more about reasons to live here. Within it I mention some links and here they are.

Of course we also have mentioned a few times and our mail address at for more info on any aspect of the podcast. You can subscribe to the series in iTunes using VPAudio in your search. The raw feed is here Download the MP3 directly into your iTunes player and listen to my dulcet tones again. You also have the option to subscribe for future podcasts of which there will be many.

PS; I forgot to metion that Mdonna plays in Valencia next week. How many people will go to see the recently turned 50 superstar?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

An Afternoon Out Walking Around Olocau

Today i decided that it was hot and sunny, I was too tired to stare at a PC all afternoon and it was time to make sure i got some exercise and air after the World not ending on Wednesday in Geneva.

So I went out with a packed lunch for a walk in the mountains around the picturesque village of Olocau, my favourite place around here. Anyway here are some photos, the walk was hot, sweaty and just over an hour and a half accompanied by an MP3 recording of a marketing book and my thoughts.

My legs are now totally jellified and obviously the worst bit was dropping down into Olocau as the brakes needed to be applied liberally. Enjoy the photos.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Hola Valencia

If you want to see some great photgraphy and read about some interesting places in Valencia then go to this page and have a look Excellent references to everything happening in Valencia. Things to do, things to see and things seen.

A Question Well Answered

I put a question up on Linkedin, if you don't know it it is a sort of grown up Facebook! Here it is;

What is the single most important thing that an estate agent can do to attract you to purchase a property?

Anyway I had some great answers but one stood out because it meant research not just a gut feeling. It came from Colin Gorvett and this was the answer.

"I asked this question of my office this morning; and the top 5 things they believed their clients (purchasers) required of them were:
1. Positive/reassuring attitude
2. Knowledge - of the market, neighbourhood, and industry
3. Interest in the purchaser and their needs
4. Understanding of the possibilities and options of improvement to a property
5. Punctuality and respect of the client"

Colin has a real estate agency in Cape Town, South Africa being a Consultant at PRO-PROP Property Consultants. He shares with me, and it seems his office does too, the ethos that we have here. First seek to understand the needs of the client and then work from there to help as much as possible.

With all the negativity associated with being an estate agent it is good to know that others see things in the same way. To see all of the answers go here

Thanks a lot Colin and hopefully if anyone who reads this blog is coming your way they will keep you in mind. Here is Colin's link
PRO-PROP Property Consultants Cape Town
PRO-PROP is an innovative property consultancy based in Cape Town, South Africa.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

September Finally Arrives

And after the fiestas and Formula One we now have people actually working again from tomorrow. If i seem a little slower on replies then bear in mind that my wife goes back to work this week and I get to spend some time in the mornings with the little ones and the not so little one.

Just to accompany this here are some images taken from the Tomatina in Buñol last week and yes it is totally mad. Come one year you will like it.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

One Seriously Cheap Property

Some friends of mine have just emigrated leaving their properties for sale. The jobs they were offered were just too good to be true. Anyway, they need to sell up some properties and because of this they have dropped the price on the properties they have got for sale. So if you want a lovely stone village house for under 100,000 Euros we have a bargain here for you. Five bedrooms, mains, water, electric, telephone line with broadband, two bathrooms, kitchen open up into the living area and a good sized storeroom with the possibility of opening up a lovely roof terrace with storming views, it must be worth 99,997 Euros of anyone's money.

It is in the village of Bodegas just outside Casinos and a mere 30 minutes away from the airport at Valencia and the city itself.

Look at the photos and get in touch with your offers. for more details.

Valencia; Capital of Cool

This article is taken from the Times last week and you can see it here. Great article by Sue Mallia and not one mention of the Land Grab Law...

Valencia is gearing up to stage its first Formula One grand prix this weekend and to capitalise on the tourism spin-off. As the competitors race through the streets of its port and around the America's Cup marina, the spotlight will also fall on the city's abundant attractions and its emergence as one of Spain's most avant-garde destinations.

This reputation is best embodied in the bold complex of futuristic cultural and leisure venues that make up the City of Arts and Sciences. The wow factor generated by Santiago Calatrava's dazzling architecture helped to draw a record number of visitors to Valencia last year.

Tourists are also flocking to the new Bioparc, where people can enter the world of wild animals with barely any visible barriers. The innovative zoo, which opened in February, re-creates the habitats of creatures ranging from leopards to lemurs and gorillas to giraffes, with the animals living side by side as in nature.

On the other side of the city, curious fish can watch human beings at feeding time in the Submarino underwater restaurant attached to the Oceanográfico. More than 45,000 examples of 500 marine species inhabit the ecosystems of the world's seas created at the marine park, the only structure within the City of Arts and Sciences not designed by Calatrava.

The other buildings within the futuristic complex are the science museum, with its ribbed skeleton and roof line of shark fins; the Hemisfèric, which is shaped like an eyeball and, appropriately, houses an IMAX cinema and laser show; and the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, a world-class concert hall that is a work of pure theatre.

A pleasant way to reach the complex is to head for the Turia gardens, a ribbon of parks and gardens stretching for 8km around the eastern edge of the old city. The gardens were created in the dried-up bed of the Turia river when it was diverted after serious flooding. They are now the domain of cyclists, joggers and walkers and the only sound of water is the gentle splashing of fountains.

Set off in the morning from the 16th-century Puente del Real, passing under several of the other bridges that span the gardens, including one resembling a Spanish comb, designed by Calatrava, who was born in the city. Look out for the playground where little people clamber over a giant outstretched Gulliver. After a gentle stroll of 30 to 40 minutes the complex, linked by shimmering lakes, lies ahead of you, the spectacular white buildings sparkling in the sunshine.

Valencia's climate is one of its biggest natural assets - it enjoys 300 sunny days a year. It is also a family-friendly city and easy to get around. As well as a modern metro and good tourist bus services, there are 75km of cycle routes, making it possible to explore any part of the city at your own pace. You can also pedal out to the long sandy beach at the port.

A good reason to head to the beach is to eat paella at one of the traditional restaurants, such as La Pepica, that line the Mediterranean shore. The dish was created in Valencia after the Arabs brought rice to the city during their rule from 714 to 1238. They also brought oranges and tiger nuts, from which the drink horchata is made.

Despite the emphasis on new attractions, the old city has much charm and is the most popular area for nightlife. The Plaza de la Virgen behind the cathedral is still the heart of the city as it was in the days of the Romans, who founded Valentia in 138BC. Remains from Roman times as well as the Islamic period and the years after the Christian Reconquest in 1238 can be seen in the nearby L'Almoina archaeological centre. The city's rich heritage also lives on in the wealth of medieval buildings, notably La Lonja de la Seda, the 15th-century silk exchange - the Arabs also introduced mulberry trees and silkworms to Valencia. The elegant Gothic exchange is a World Heritage site in itself. Its combination of architectural detail from Islamic, Christian and Jewish cultures is a lesson in physical and spiritual harmony.

Across the street is the Central market, one of the city's Art Nouveau gems, along with the glorious Colón market, which looks like a gingerbread house topped with speckled icing, and the north railway station.

Valencia also boasts more than 30 museums, many housed in restored historic buildings and palaces, such as the ceramics museum with its flamboyant 18th-century alabaster entrance.

Particular to the city is the Fallas museum, which features papier-mâché figures saved by popular vote from the flames during the city's big festival, Las Fallas. During the celebrations on March 15-19, cars are banned from the Old City and revellers pack the streets to enjoy the parades and firework displays, and to welcome spring. Within days the scent of orange blossom pervades the city, confirming that spring has indeed arrived., which is currently promoting Spain, offers discounts of up to 70 per cent on hotel rates. Accommodation ranges from five-star luxury hotels to budget B&Bs.

Deals on offer at four-star hotels in the city until August 30 include £80 a night for a double room at the Vincci Lys from this Sunday, saving up to £224; £76 for a double at the Melia Plaza from Monday, saving up to £85; and £107 including dinner, B&B at the Hotel Zenit on selected dates next week, saving up to £209 on the room.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Formula One Weekend and Daily Mail

Google says it is going to rain but today, the first day of practice, the weather was rather glorious. Valencia's life as a host of the Formula One circus started today and the atmosphere in the city was great. Also Formula One suits Valencia because the noise is the same as the Mascletas and Firework displays. I took my three year old and saw about five minutes as the visceral noise of the engines scared him senseless and we had to leave.

Anyway, today Valencia Property was featured in the Daily Mail in an article about Formula One and the purchase of flats in the city. If you didn't manage to see it then I will be able to send you a copy next week as currently there is no link on their website and I will have a scan available.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Summer Lull

As usual everything is relatively quiet in Spain in August. Many shops shut up their doors for the whole month but this year the shutting up for the second half of the month is paticularly pronounced. It will be interesting to see how many estate agents, building companies and promotors don't bother to open up when September comes around.

Meanwhile, things are moving on apace with property as bargains are to be found throughtout the site at and you have a chance to get a great deal through the people who wish to seel and release some equity on their property. Check out the site for more info and book your visit early because September looks very busy so far.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

And Now The Good News

When Spain won the Euro champs recently the front page of one of the newspapers said "46 million people say thank you". Spain's population when I was studying was stuck resolutely at 38 million with the second lowest birthrate in Europe. 8 million people have come into the country in just over a decade and they require housing and services. The base of the pyramid is therefore strong as price drops bring properties into the range of these recent immigrants, as long as banks are lending, and that is the issue at the moment. The banks have totally lost confidence in the same lemming like way that they all jumped on the bandwagon in the first place.

However, notaries in and around Valencia for example have reported an increase in signings in the last month or so after Banco Santander opened up the taps to borrowers a bit. Where Santander goes the rest of the financial institutions follow in Spain. In northern Spain where the overdevelopment of the Costas has not happened prices are holding up. Yes they will get caught up in a ripple effect but not in a maelstrom.

Another example is Sagunto north of Valencia. It is not the most beautiful place in the World in my opinion but OK as it has a beautiful Moorish/Roman fort at the top of the hill and the old Jewish quarter is lovely. They are starting work on the largest freeport in the Mediterranean with between 40 and 70000 jobs to be created as a result. This will being people into the area and price drops will be minimal from now as demand will outstrip supply, they have already dropped but by less than other areas and are currently holding up well.

Spain will always be a favourite for Brits as it is a home from home and you can get satellite TV, football at the right times and be back in blighty for important things very quickly. The young professionals that can work from anywhere due to the internet will still look to bring up their families with bilingual children in sunnier climes and less perceived crime. People will still want to retire or semi retire here as fuel bills are cheaper and lifestyle is also cheaper, not as cheap as it used to be but cheaper.

And to finish off being a tad controversial, what is wrong with those who offer nothing to the Spanish economy being forced out because life is getting too difficult for them. These are the same people who spend all day in the UK deriding excessive immigration and those immigrants coming over here to take our jobs etc etc... Come to Spain, learn the language, bring a profession, add something to the mix and mix with the Spanish, they are extremely friendly.

Have a life plan and work on it and Spain will most likely work for you.

Spain's Triple Whammy

Last month inflation went up to 5.3% officially, unemployment rose to over 10% which is the highest in the EU currently and the Euribor, the gauge by which mortgages are set went up to 5.37% meaning a typical mortgage is now around 6% interest in the first year, the highest for years.

Spain is undergoing a transition that is going to be brutal. However opportunities abound now for anyone coming into the market with cash. It is now easier to get negotiated prices with sellers, many of the properties on our site have been modified to take into account the current reality and we have factored in the drops in price. The top of the market was during the first quarter of 2006 whatever official figures may say and we have prices some 20% off those prices now. Sellers are willing to negotiate on price and you can pick up some great long and medium term property bargains at the moment. They will be around for about another two years as repossessions come into the market at BMV prices. For more information about how you can pick up a bargain get in touch on or give us a ring on +34 96 166 28 92 and we will tell you all about it

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Formula One Track

Just four weeks to go before the Formula 1 race here in Valencia and still lots of work to be done. I have attached a load of photos here for you to peruse and make up your own mind. The track itself is finished but appraently it was reported today that access points are too limited currently in case of crashes. In the photos you can see, stands that will be erected, the track itself at various points, tyres and various views.

Today I was given tickets for the first day of practice, thanks Will, and I will keep you informed of any major news right here.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Do You Want to Care for An 85 Year Old?

An absolute bargain of a house has come up for sale in Javea reduced from 270000 Euros to 180000 Euros for very urgent sale due to liquidity problems of the builder who owns it. This is 40% BMV compared with the local market as the owner needs money now. (I only have outside photos at the moment but I am assured it is very well kept inside and you can see it here) The only downside is that it has a sitting tenant with lifetime usage of the property. It may be possible to buy her out of this right for a price as she is 85. Meanwhile the house itself is 128m2 with three bedrooms, a couple of bathrooms, kitchen, lounge and covered and open terraces. The plot of almost 1000m2 is spacious and it is set in an excellent area of Javea, Portichell, near to all the local amenities.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

More About a Beautiful Guest House

My friend Amanda down in Cordoba has updated her website and it now looks even more appetising to visit. Have a look here Just a short drive from the beautiful white town of Iznajar, if you want a really good place to wind down with a great hostess then this could be the place for you.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Nice Sunday Times Article

The Sunday Times this week has come up with a great selection of the 22 best coastal restaurants in Spain. Do you agree with their choices? Two are in Valencia and I have had the privilege of going to both of them. One day I will get to El Bulli though. Check out the article here

Have a great day

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Hot in the City

Based on the last week's weather let's just put a video up today should we? For all you children of the 80's a total shocker.

and another that is a bit more Latin.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

24/7 Valencia

Just to let you know that the best magazine for finding out what is happening in Valencia is still going strong. Check out the latest edition online at the following link

Loads of great photos and a special article about the Malvarrosa beach area.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Summertime and the living is easy.

Fish are not actually jumping and we don't have cotton as far as i know around Valencia but the sun is now cracking the tiles finally so bring your sun cream and T shirts when you do a viewing trip and expect the air conditioning in my car to be on because summer has arrived, just as we get to the longest day and officially summer is here anyway.

Enjoy the many pleasures that Valencia can offer you when the heat arrives and that includes loads of ice cream parlours and walks through the riverbed in the shade of the trees.

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.