RE­GION DODGES FUEL PRICE HIKE

Diesel and petrol prices re­main the same de­spite new na­tional tax

Costa Levante News - - FRONT PAGE - By James Parkes

THE PRICE of fuel at petrol sta­tions through­out the Va­len­cia re­gion did not go up at mid­night on Mon­day - un­like the ma­jor­ity of re­gions in Spain where the price per litre has in­creased by up to 4.8 cents.

The ap­pli­ca­tion of a new tax ap­proved by the pre­vi­ous PP gov­ern­ment re­places the op­tional re­gional tax. Some re­gions were ap­ply­ing the max­i­mum rates (in­clud­ing Va­len­cia and Mur­cia), oth­ers only par­tially – and oth­ers not at all and in these re­gions driv­ers faced a huge hike on Tues­day (Jan­uary 1) of €2.4 to fill a 50-litre tank.

This tax mod­i­fi­ca­tion is not the spe­cific diesel fuel tax rise planned by the cur­rent PSOE gov­ern­ment - which re­mains frozen due to the in­abil­ity to pass the 2019 bud­get.

More New Year good news for con­sumers came from the phar­macy sec­tor. From Jan­uary 1 the prices of 1,200 com­monly-used med­i­ca­tions were re­duced.

RE­CENT fig­ures show there are more houses sold in Spain to for­eign buy­ers that ever be­fore, even sur­pass­ing fig­ures re­ported be­fore the con­struc­tion bub­ble burst in 2008.

The lat­est fig­ures re­ported by gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials are for the first quar­ter of 2018, which shows 53,359 prop­er­ties were sold to non­Span­ish na­tion­als. In the sec­ond half of 2007, when the bub­ble was still grow­ing, the fig­ure was of 33,000 ­ which plum­meted the fol­low­ing year.

The mar­ket has been re­cov­er­ing slowly since 2014, and since 2015, the an­nual in­crease of sales to for­eign buy­ers has al­ways been two­digit per­cent­age points more than the pre­vi­ous re­ports.

One rea­son for the new boost is the price per square me­tre. For­eign buy­ers pur­chased at an av­er­age €1,687 per square me­tre tag – but this is only a 0.9% in­crease on the pre­vi­ous year.

Bri­tish are best buy­ers

One thing that doesn’t change is which na­tion­al­ity buys more prop­er­ties in Spain. For decades the top spot has been Bri­tish and it stays that way.

In the first half of 2018, Bri­tons pur­chased 7,613 prop­er­ties through­out the coun­try – an 8.8% in­crease on the fig­ure for the first se­mes­ter of 2017. French (4,211 prop­er­ties pur­chased) and Ger­mans (4,138) fol­low way be­hind, and in both cases fig­ure dropped (4.6% and 2.1% less re­spec­tively).

Ro­ma­nian na­tion­als and Moroc­cans are rapidly catch­ing­up, with 3,872 and 3,662 prop­er­ties pur­chased re­spec­tively in the first half of 2018.

Where do for­eign na­tion­als buy?

The Va­len­cia re­gion is still way ahead of the rest in terms of prop­er­ties pur­chased by for­eign na­tion­als. 15,613 prop­erty trans­ac­tions in­volv­ing non­Span­ish res­i­dents (of the grand to­tal of 53,359 na­tion­wide) were re­ported in the re­gion, which has seen this type of trans­ac­tion in­creased by 16.7% in the past year.

Way be­low is An­dalu­cia, the Costa del Sol, with 9,737 prop­er­ties sold to for­eign­ers (8.2% rise) fol­lowed by Cataluña (7,570), although in this re­gion the in­de­pen­dency cri­sis has seen the fig­ure drop by 5.3%.

The Ca­nary Is­lands ac­count for 5,312 trans­ac­tions with for­eign na­tion­als in­volved and Madrid lies in fifth place with 4,911.

Who buys where?

No­tary re­ports make a clear dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion be­tween for­eign na­tion­als liv­ing in Spain (ex­pats) and those who sim­ply pur­chase hol­i­day homes. The first group ac­count for the ma­jor­ity of trans­ac­tions (56%).

Bri­tish ex­pats and hol­i­day home seek­ers pre­fer the Va­len­cia and An­dalucía re­gions, more specif­i­cally the Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol.

Bri­tish ex­pats rep­re­sent 12% of all trans­ac­tions car­ried out in the Va­len­cia re­gion, on a par with the num­ber of Ro­ma­nian ex­pats in this case, but as for hol­i­day homes, Bri­tish buy­ers pur­chased 21% of the to­tal fig­ure, way ahead of sec­ond­placed Swedish buy­ers (14%). The same ap­plies to An­dalucía with sub­tle dif­fer­ences. There, Bri­tish ex­pats and Mo­roc­can ex­pats ac­count for 16% of pur­chases, while the dif­fer­ence be­tween Bri­tish hol­i­day home buy­ers and sec­ond­placed (again) Swedish na­tion­als is far wider (28% against 13%).

In Cataluña the ma­jor­ity of ex­pat buy­ers are Mo­roc­can na­tion­als (13% of the to­tal) fol­lowed by the neigh­bour­ing French (10%).

In the hol­i­day home mar­ket, the French lead the way ac­count­ing for nearly half the pur­chases (44%) with Ger­mans in sec­ond place (7%).

Madrid is the favourite spot for Ro­ma­nian ex­pats to buy (19% of the to­tal fig­ure), but in this re­gion Chi­nese na­tion­als are the main non­res­i­dent buy­ers ac­count­ing for 18% of the trans­ac­tions, fol­lowed by Ital­ians (7%).

As for other re­gions, Ital­ian ex­pats are the main buy­ers of Ca­nary Is­land prop­er­ties (31%) while the Ger­mans are the main hol­i­day home cus­tomers (20%).

In Balearics, as ex­pected, Ger­man na­tion­als are the main buy­ers in both cat­e­gories, fol­lowed by Bri­tish and Ital­ians. Bri­tons are also the main for­eign prop­erty buy­ers in Mur­cia, As­turias and winecoun­try La Rioja. French buy­ers are the main cus­tomers in the Basque Coun­try, Aragón, Navarra, Cantabria, the two Castil­las and Ex­tremadura. Gali­cia is the only ex­cep­tion to the rules, where the ma­jor­ity of non­Span­ish buy­ers come from neigh­bour­ing Por­tu­gal.

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