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Spanish property 2016: Year in review, part II

The final six months of 2016 carried on the positivity evident in the first half of the year, riding roughshod over the naysayers who thought that ongoing and new political turmoil across Europe and the rest of the world would dent the optimism. Far from it…

As 2016 draws to a close, thoughts can now turn to what 2017 has in store.

July: Just marvellous

Midway through July, some of the most respected voices on the Spanish property market spoke glowingly about the current state and future prospects of the sector, suggesting that the market is on the cusp of “five marvellous years” of growth, beginning in 2016. These words were uttered by the University of Barcelona’s director of the real estate programme Gonzalo Bernardos, and were echoed by the UK’s very own expert, Mark Stucklin, who added that growth was a given for the regions of Barcelona, Madrid, Marbella, Ibiza and other hotspots.
August: Job’s a good ‘un
Data revealed in August this year showed that in June, Spain recorded its lowest fall in unemployment for more than 20 years as more than 84,000 new jobs were added in the space of a month. While the bulk of these additional roles were seasonal, the figures still showed a 3% year-on-year increase of people in work, prompting economy professor Marcel Jansen to state: “These figures are a clear reflection of positive momentum in the Spanish economy.”

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September: Expat enjoyment
All this positive data would count for nothing if Spain was unable to provide a suitably attractive lifestyle. After all, other countries have strong economies and affordable properties… so what makes Spain so different? Well, it’s a whole range of things: the climate, the culture, the people, the history. And it is this excellent balance that prompted 92% of expats living in Spain polled to state that they were satisfied with their life, with most of those surveyed saying that Spain is an easy country in which to settle down.

October: Food for thought
And it’s not just the climate and the welcoming locals that is world-beating: according to travel review platform TripAdvisor, Spain also boasts the best restaurant in the world in the form of Lasarte, a three-Michelin starred establishment located near San Sebastián. The restaurant clung on to the accolade first dished out to it in 2015, and was joined by nearby Azurmendi Gastronómico in the top ten – serving up further proof that Spain really is a world-beater when it comes to quality dining.

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November: Sustained sales growth
By November, the Office of National Statistics (INE) had a pretty good idea just how well the Spanish property market had performed in 2016, offering up data that showed, in the 12 months to September 30, close to 400,000 properties had been sold. This figure represents a 13.2% increase in the space of a year, and represented a wider period of stability that saw 24 out of the past 25 months record an increase in home sales. Spain is now on course to end 2016 with more properties sold than in any year since the recession.

December: 2016 a record-breaker for the Costa del Sol
Want to end the year on a high? Well how about this little nugget – the Costa del Sol has recorded 12 million visitors in 2016, which is not only a 10.2% increase on last year, but also the highest amount ever recorded for the region. With 26 million overnight stays and more than €11.1 billion spent by tourists, this year has been a real record-breaker for the Costa del Sol, with the president of the Turismo Costa del Sol tourism authority Elias Bendodo confident that the region can smash this record again in 2017.