January 2014 Archive

Monday 20th January 2014

British head to Alicante and Murcia

British flocking to Alicante and Murcia

Alicante-Elche airport recorded the largest rise in passenger numbers during 2013 of any of Spain’s A list airports – up 8.8% on 2012

For the year ending December 2013 the airport registered figures of 9,638,860 just short of the record set in 2011 of 9.9m

The increase in numbers has largely been attributed to a 20% increase in international flights while domestic flight numbers dropped by 10%

Low cost airlines Ryanair and Easyjet accounted for 41% of all flights while British travellers made up 45% of passengers

In Valencia the airport at Manises recorded 4,599,990 passengers in 2013. This was 3.2% down on 2012 but numbers for November and December were both up on the previous year.

It was a similar story in Murcia and San Javier where overall passenger numbers fell by 3.5 % - however the figure for December was up an extraordinary 31.5% on the previous year,  this followed an equally impressive 14.3 % rise in November.  Over  28,000 of the people arriving in Murcia in December were British.

This is an edited article from a report in the Costa News – Jan 17th 2014

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Friday 10th January 2014

Scandanavian Currency Outlook versus the Euro in 2014

Scandanavian Currency Outlook versus the Euro in 2014
Property for sale in Spain

For those based in Scandinavian countries we have seen a fairly flat start to 2014 for your currencies against the Euro. The NOK dropped against the Euro almost consistently throughout 2013 however since December we have seen this currency pairing start to remain a little more stable. There is potential for the NOK to gain back a little ground it lost last year however I would be a little cautious as for a period of time as it appears that Norway are quite happy to see the NOK devalue to help with their exports. The Krone lost over 12% against the Euro last year and if they continue with this plan of action we could easily see further movement downwards throughout 2014 so it is key to keep in close contact with a currency broker if you are looking to buy this year.
The SEK – EUR rate has been fairly stable throughout 2013 and I have a few regular clients that I deal with on a monthly basis with this pairing, it seems reasonably range bound however there will be great buying opportunities that arise throughout the year I am  sure.
The Scandinavian currencies can follow suit with the Euros movements as well as they are closely linked however timing the currency purchase can still save you an awful lot of money. Even saving an extra 2% on a €80,000 purchase with NOK can save you over 13,500 NOK.
If you are looking to carry out a property purchase in 2014, then it may be prudent to get in contact with me directly and I will be more than happy to assist you. I have assisted Girasol Homes clients with currency conversions for a number of years and will be more than happy to assist you no matter what your requirement. Go here for more information 

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Friday 10th January 2014

Girasol Homes Cave Houses on Channel 4's A Place in the Sun

Raving about cave houses on A Place In The Sun

Property for sale in Spain

The spotlight falls on iconic Spanish cave houses in this week’s edition of A Place In The Sun.

Property specialists from the popular TV show help two friends find their ideal property for sale in the Granada area of southern Spain, famous for its white cave houses, mountains and the world heritage site of the Alhambra palace in Granada city itself.

With the help of local expert Sean Lummis, award-winning Spanish Property finder Girasol Homes’ man in Granada, the show features two stunning traditional cave houses in the picturesque rural Andalusian countryside.

One property is amazing value at just €45,000 with three double bedrooms on the outskirts of a pretty Spanish village of Galera. The home has far-reaching views over the countryside towards the mountains.

The second property is part-cave part-townhouse in the peaceful village of Caniles. This three-bedroom property with plunge pool has lovely views and is on the market for just €48,000.

Sean Lummis of Girasol Homes said: "Cave houses are appealing for many reasons – they have a curious charm and each one has its own unique character. They are remarkably cheap compared to more modern homes and are often on the outskirts of villages, so you can enjoy the peace and quiet of the beautiful Spanish countryside and mountains.

"Cave houses are very environmentally-friendly. Because they are carved out of the rock, they keep the same temperature throughout the year, more or less. They are cool in summer and warm in winter.

The cave houses in the Granada region feature in A Place In The Sun: Winter Sun on Tuesday January 14, 2.10pm, on Channel 4.

Girasol Homes have over 17,000 live properties for sale in Spain on their website which is updated in real time. Their staff speak Spanish, Dutch, German, French, Russian and Hungarian.

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Wednesday 8th January 2014

Foreign Currency Update

Foreign CurrencyWith 2013 firmly behind us and the global economy finally looking like it is starting to head in the right direction, 2014 may be the perfect time to start the ball finally rolling on purchasing your dream home overseas.

The Pound had a good solid end to the year against most major currencies and finally managed to breach the 1.20 mark against the Euro once again which is great news for those looking to buy in Europe this year.


Should the U.K economy continue its charge in the coming months then the Pound does have the possibility of strengthening further against the Euro, however be aware of the fact that the Pound does have a record of losing ground against the Euro just as everything starts to look rosy, so if you are in the process of purchasing it may be prudent to consider the many options that are available to you inclusive of a forward contract.


Economies right across Europe appear to be heading the right way, albeit slowly, so do not expect  the Pound to trample all over the Euro, the key factor now is any mention of interest rate hikes from the bank of England throughout the year. An interest rate hike is generally seen as positive for the currency concerned and a rate cut negative and with the markets moving on speculation as well as fact then even the mere mention of an interest rate hike for the U.K could give the Pound a boost.


If you are waiting for the global economy to pick up before you look to buy then do remember that you need to take into account that house prices within Europe may start to climb once things do pick up so it may be prudent to start searching sooner than you had planned as at the moment there are two things that are firmly in your favour:


To bear in mind : The Pound is almost at the highest point it has been in 12 months against the Euro!


Further information on foreign currency can be found here

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