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Skyline Newsletter

Our newsletters can be found below in chronological order:

Newsletter Dec 2018-Jan 2019

A warm welcome to all readers. A busy quarter sees us easing into the last months of the year, and before I put on my santa slippers, and tuck into the turkey, a quick summary of the last few months, and what´s to come ahead for the new year…

The market has remained very buoyant this year, and not least the last qtr. German, French, Belgian/Dutch and British (yes British!) clients dominate enquiries and sales, together with a healthy, albeit largely mortgage dependant Spanish clientele.

The new ruling on the Ley de Hipoteca y Impuestos sobre actos Juridicos  (Article 29) has brought shame and uncertainty to the Supreme court who ruled on the 18th October that the banks would pay the Stamp duty on any new mortgages, where previously it was the mortgagee. However, due to instability in the markets and a backlash from the banks, they overturned it on the 7th November, showing their partiality to market forces.

Nonetheless, the current PSOE government has passed a royal decree, brought into force from 10th November 2018 stating that the banks will always be responsible for paying it. The counterside argument is that the banks will only raise interest rates, or create “other” charges to compensate for this. At this moment, the ruling is not retroactive, meaning it only applies to any new mortgages take out.

For those who are renting their properties, please be aware that new legislation was also brought in mid 2018 that obliges all agents and representatives of tourist rental properties to make a quarterly declaration of all owners, properties and rental sums received (Modelo 179). It is an informative declaration, no doubt to double check which owners are actually making their personal declarations on rental income, so please make sure you contact your agent/representative to ensure that both declarations correlate.

On a more positive note, according to official statistics, Spain has seen an increase in house prices in the 2nd qtr vs 1st qtr of 2018 of approx. 2.6% on average, and 2nd qtr 2018 vs 2nd qtr 2017 of 6.8% on average with the majority of this increase seen in the big cities such as Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia etc.

However, before you start going out spending this “equity” on a new Ferrari, or calling your estate agent to raise your house price, please be aware that Andalucia and Cadiz province are still very much behind, meaning that house prices increases here are very slim if non existent.

To finish off, and in keeping with Baywatch tradition, a quick one-liner to jolly up the mood. ¿How do you keep cool at a football stadium?, You ask for a fan!

So we leave you to enjoy a wonderful Christmas 2018 and look forward to a prosperous 2019.
Newsletter Feb 2019-Mar 2019

Feliz año nuevo to all readers. With an extra 5kg of Christmas weight that can be seen even through the thick woolly jumper, I look forward, as I hope you do too, to the new year with the same positive buzz and momentum that we saw last year.

For those homeowners looking to sell their house this year just a quick reminder, that aside from having all the usual paperwork available to hand, such as Nota Simple (deeds), electricity and water bills, IBI (Council tax), community and phone/internet/security bills etc. there is one other important document that you should have available, especially if your house is located in a rural area, or not yet urbanised:

Some of you may have already heard of it, and others may be new to it. Its called the “Certificado de no existencia de expediente urbanístico”. Apart from the mouthful that it is to repeat, what the bloomin´ hell is that, some of you may be asking?

It is a certificate issued by the Town hall confirming whether, or not, there are any existing disciplinary actions against the property. Disciplinary actions would have been initiated on properties which were built without planning permission, where the builder would have been caught building without the appropriate licences. Many builders did not get caught, however, a significant number did.

Why is it important to have this to hand as soon as possible? We are finding that most banks and lawyers are now asking for it, and the application process at the Town hall is taking anything from 6 weeks to 4 months. This is delaying the sales process and causing a lot of frustration and anxiety amongst sellers and buyers alike.

Therefore, to avoid this, we recommend that the certificate is obtained as soon as possible. The homeowner can apply for this directly, or you can ask your agent or lawyer to do it for you. If you have a multiple agency agreement, the selling agent may not apply for it until they have a sale, so it is advisable to obtain it as soon as you can.

However, there is a caveat to this. If you know or suspect that your neighbour, or indeed yourself, have made any extensions or building work without permission in the last 5 years, then if you didn’t have a disciplinary file on the house before, you are most likely to get one now. Therefore, please seek legal or professional advice before applying for the certificate.

This week commencing 14th Jan, will see the swearing in of the new centre right wing Partido Popular government in Andalucia, ending 36 years of socialist rule under the centre left PSOE government in the autonomous region. This is an historic moment, and we wait with baited breath as to whether there will be any change or improvement, or whether we will face more of the same..watch this space!

For those of you going to the Carnaval, whether it´s your 1st or Nth time, I hope you enjoy the delights of this local tradition, and I leave with you with a little bit of humour in keeping with the Chirigotas: An SEO (website optimization) expert walks into a bar, bars, pub, tavern, public house, irish pub, drinks, beer, alcohol…

Newsletter Apr 2019-May 2019

Bienvenidos to all. I write with literally 2 weeks to go before the Brexit deadline of 29th March 2019. I have tried to avoid talking about it until now, due to the frustration that everyone has been feeling, especially the uncertainty that it is causing, and basically the lack of information or knowledge that we have with regards to the real future that it holds for everyone, if it actually goes ahead!

For those that may not be aware, there is a Withdrawal agreement (of 585 pages), and a recently released Political declaration (originally 7 pages, now 27 pages). The first stipulates how the UK will withdraw from the EU during the transition period, which ends on 31st December 2020, time in which the exit must be effected. The Political declaration is a very broad, vague and ambitious guideline as to how negotiations should be carried out for a mutually beneficial agreement post Brexit.

Therefore, the big unknown for now, is what will happen, what actual agreements will be made, and how these will affect all sides, once the transition period is over, and Brexit has taken place. More uncertainty…!

In order to make some sense of things, I have browsed through the 585 page withdrawal document searching for relevant information, in particular relating to property, real estate ownership, buying and selling etc. There did not appear to be anything property specific, however, what was relevant was in terms of residency and citizenship (Articles 15 & 16), which in turn affects your rights to buy, sell, rent, live etc, which I will briefly outline below:

1.       UK nationals or EU citizens who have legally resided 5 years or more in the host country have the right to apply for residency in that country. Residency should not be unreasonably withheld, and the process should be straightforward.

2.       UK nationals or EU citizens who have legally resided less than 5 years upto and including the end of the transition period, have the right to continue to complete the 5 year period. Once completed, residency should not be unreasonably withheld.

3.       The right to residency shall be lost if there is a continuous absence of 5 years or more.

4.       As the Withdrawal agreement only affects the period during transition, there is nothing on future rights. Aside from sovereignty, the popular vote in the UK was largely based on immigration, therefore it is most likely that a visa system for living, working and studying in the UK will be put into place, after 2020. This would apply reciprocally to UK citizens looking to live and work in Europe who would face similar restrictions.

5.       Travel visas will not be required for short term visits, holidays etc, implying that they may be required for longer term visits.

The takeaway from all this is that if you wish to reside in the UK, or Europe, the time to do it is now, and before the end of 2020 transition period, due to the uncertainty that lies beyond.

This is by no means a conclusive, or exhaustive list of residency and citizenship issues, and I would recommend consulting your legal advisor, or the UK government website on www.Gov.co.uk, the website of the individual country, or the European website https://europa.eu for more specific information and guidelines on these matters.

Meanwhile in Spain, for those of you who are renting, whether as a landlord, or tenant. The week, commencing 5th March, saw the issuance of another royal decree by the current PSOE government, changing again the law on housing rentals. 4 key points are highlighted as follows:

1.       The minimum term for long term rentals has been re-introduced, increasing it from 3 years to 5 years.

2.       The price can only be increased by the IPC (Consumer Price Index), similar to the Retail Price Index in the UK, during this period.

3.       A new system will be created, at national level, to keep track of the market, properties, rentals, prices for reference (fiscal) purposes. Basically to keep track of landlords.

4.       Stricter controls will be applied to tourist rental properties, especially those within block apartments with community of owners. The community with a 3/5th majority can restrict or condition tourist rentals, and even demand a greater contribution towards general costs, upto 20% more.

The full decree 21/2018 of 14th December 2018, can be found on www.BOE.es

And to finish on a lighter note: A teacher asked her students to use the word "beans" in a sentence. "My father grows beans," said one girl. "My mother cooks beans," said a boy. A third student spoke up and said, "We are all human beans."

Newsletter Jun 2019-Jul 2019

Well, as suspected, No Brexit (at least until October anyway)! As mentioned in the last issue, I have always refrained from talking about it until now, and shall make no mention of it again! I will do what the Spanish do so well, don´t worry and take it as it comes!

On a more local note, last month saw the approval of a building licence issued to a developer for the construction of 207 properties in the area of Costa Sancti Petri with an estimated investment of 23 Million Euros.

The plot of approx. 60.187m2 is located between the old fishing village and La Barrosa, opposite the sports centre. The developer is a new generation builder specialized in residential new builds.

The properties will consist of approx.. 23 single family (individual) houses and 180 multi family (apartment/duplex) homes.

This also ties in with the plan to regenerate the old Costa Sancti Petri fishing village, to attract further tourism and business there.

It was kept quite secret until now, not least because immediately afterwards, there were protests from green activists, opposing the destruction of the pine trees, and the natural wildlife habitat.

The current mayor, Jose Maria Roman, indicated this is what was needed to launch the recently approved General Development Plan (PGOU), and to create employment in Chiclana.

And it doesn’t stop there, there are other locations in the municipality in which licences are already in advanced stages of approval for the construction of homes in areas such as Carboneros-San Jaime (2312), Hijuela-Carboneros (36), Coto San Jose (24), Las Quintas (119), Pinar eel Eden (157), Soto del Aguila (12) and Cerretera de Medina (35).

I guess any investment in the area is a good thing, especially if it brings prosperity, income and jobs to the people, although the question could be asked, at what cost?
I hope this means that they will use the income raised to sort out the tens of thousands of homes that are still without mains water, sewerage etc., as there seems to be no further word on that situation. But I think that might be wishing too much.

For those that are not aware, the town hall signed a special agreement at the end of last year with Cajasur bank to help individuals in these communities finance the regularisation and urbanisation costs of the houses in areas classified as Urban not Consolidated.

The bank will provide personal loans of upto 9.000Eur for those that need assistance with the costs, payable over a period of 8 years. The conditions should be “favourable”, although a 5.95% interest, it doesn’t seem out of this world, and is in line with what you will find at any high street bank.

For those wishing/needing to loan more can do so via a mortgage of upto a maximum of 15.000Eur payable over 20 years. The interest rate in this case is Euribor + 2.5%, again in line with other high street banks. Of course all applications will be studied individually.

Its an effort at least from the Town hall collaborating with business and entities to help advance the process, however, the big dilemma lies in the proposed cost of the works, which varies depending on the area, but still seems to be disproportionate and out of reach for many people, especially those with large plots and single (small) houses. The cycle continues, and in the meantime, as they say, don’t worry, and take it as it comes…!

I leave you with a little bit of humour to keep us smiling until the next issue, a nod to the Tuna (almadraba) theme of this issue:

Q: What is the difference between a guitar and a fish?
A: You can tune a guitar but you cannot tuna fish.

Newsletter Jun 2019-Jul 2019

A warm welcome to all readers, to what has been a very mild, if not to say quite a fresh summer so far. Temperatures have barely reached 30degrees over the last few weeks.
For those having to work here, it´s a welcome change to the searing +35degrees that we are normally subjected to over July and August. For holiday makers, it may not be so great, especially if you are planning to spend a day at the beach, although, I always find these mild temperatures are a godsend when sightseeing or walking all day.
Touching on the theme for this issue, some may say these unusual conditions are down to global warming, others will say, its just a phase, and it will return to normal next year. I believe it’s a little bit of both. If you look back since records began and further into history, you will see these freak weather conditions were around before global warming was even invented. However, that does not mean to say in any way, that we are not destroying and damaging the earth like never before!
We all know what we can do to help reduce this impact, recycling, reducing emissions, wasting less etc. I will go through a few useful ways in which you can do your part from a real estate perspective.
Most houses in the Cadiz region are not very energy efficient due to the building methods and materials employed. Anyone who is selling, or has sold their house over the last few years will have seen that the energy efficiency rating for their house is laregly in the D-G category, meaning low or very low efficiency.
There are many ways to combat this, and improve your home´s rating. The following are very accessible and relatively affordable ways in which with a little time and investment, you can change not only the way you enjoy and live within your home, saving on energy bills, but also affect the future value of it too, by appealing to the ever growing environmentally conscious purchaser looking for an energy efficient home, and to reducing their carbon footprint.
Windows and doors – Most standard villas and apartments tend to come with either single pane, or double pane aluminium sliding windows. These provide little or no insulation, due to the direct heat transfer through the panes, or through the aluminium frames.
Changing these to PVC double or tripled glazed windows, with some form of thermal point break will ensure that heat loss is reduced, keeping your home warmer for longer and keeping the cold out. The same applies when its warm. With a reflective sunscreen that can be added, and with the air chamber between the glass, this helps to keep the heat out, and the house cool inside.
A note of warning. Keeping these windows closed during the whole time can be unproductive. As the walls are not insulated, and many homes are not built with any ventilation, damp or mould can build up as a consequence. It is important to either open the windows regularly to allow fresh air in, or buy ones with ventilation holes built in. If neither are possible, due to absence, then it is advisable to create ventilation holes in the walls of each room so you don’t come back to a mould infested house.
Heating & Cooling – Though debatable by some, air conditioning is a very efficient way to heat and cool your home. Most air conditioning units are highly efficient, rating from A to A+++, with consumption and noise greatly reduced. They also provide some form of anti humidity feature, very useful in these climates.
They can heat and cool a room within 15 minutes, and when put into silent or eco mode, can be left on with very little consumption. I have noticed a considerable reduction in my electricity bill since installing them.
Many houses still use oil radiators, the built in fireplaces or electric radiators/heaters. The oil radiators, whilst being portable and easy to use, have a very high consumption, using anything from 1.500KW to 2500KW per radiator. Having two or three of these on at a time, will see your electricity bill shoot through the roof, but also risk exceeding your home´s power supply and shutting off your electricity.
Many houses are now using the eco-heat panel radiators. At first they appear cheap and get the job done, however, with the poor quality material, cracks soon appear in the panel, and due to their low range, you need 2-3 in each room to get it warm and turned on for many hours, and at 400W each, that’s 800-1200W per room. Not very efficient.
The traditional fireplace, provides a lovely warmth, and a great place to sit in front of during the winter, but is not as comforting when it comes to your wallet. Most of the heat actually leaves through the chimney.
Therefore, if you want to keep using your fireplace, buy a built-in caseta with turbine to re-distribute the heat back into the room. If you would like to extend this throughout the house, then stove fireplaces with ducting can be a solution for you. Alternatively, a pellet stove with water heater, and traditional radiators can be installed at reasonable costs.
Siding, Cladding & Cantilevers – As many houses are built without any insulation in the walls or floors, another great way to provide a barrier between it and the elements, is to add siding or cladding to the whole house, or at least on walls that are north facing.
On south facing walls, especially those with windows, adding an awning or cantilever will help reduce the greenhouse effect of the sun in the summer, and if rightly placed/angled, will also allow the same sun to provide a warm heat in the winter.
Solar Panels – For heating and electricity. The sun is one of the main reasons we have all made the decision to live in this region. It is abundant and constant throughout the year. Therefore, using this free energy source is a highly efficient way to generate heat (for hot water) and electricity.
Use it as your only source of energy, or combine it with wind power to become truly green, or as a compliment to your existing supplies, and enjoy the pleasure of knowing you are greatly contributing to the worlds resources and reducing the impact of global warming.
These are just a few ways in which you can improve the comfort of your home, increase its energy rating, add value and appeal to a wider audience when it comes to selling. There are many more solutions. If you have any questions or would like more advice, please feel free to contact me.



About us

Skyline is your real estate agent in Cadiz, Andalucia. Are you looking for a house, villa, apartment, plot or property for sale in Costa de la Luz? Skyline offers local knowledge and a friendly and discreet customer service. We have property for sale in Chiclana de la Frontera, Conil de la Frontera, Vejer de la Frontera, Tarifa, Cadiz, ...

Contact

Skyline Costa de la Luz - Real Estate
Centro Comercial Miramar, Edificio Solventa, no. 315
La Barrosa
11139 Chiclana de la Frontera
Cádiz, Spain

sales@skyline-costa-luz.com https://www.skyline-costa-luz.com/assets/img/skyline_costa_de_la_luz_Chiclana.png

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