News from Andalucia & Costa del Sol
In association with
Week October 24th to October 31st 2002
PROPERTY PRICES SHOOT UP
Málaga properties cost 23 per cent more than last year
By Cathy Humphreys and Eve Gallagher
THE PRICE OF PROPERTY HAS RISEN DRAMATICALLY OVER THE LAST 12 MONTHS, IN SPITE OF PREDICTIONS THAT THE CONSTRUCTION MARKET WOULD SOON START TO SLOW DOWN.
The rapidly increasing prices of property throughout the whole of Spain have caused alarm in various sectors and many experts now fear that the situation will result in a negative knock-on effect for both consumers and the industry in general. Málaga City has seen an increase of 23 per cent in property prices over the last year, although areas like Teatinos has had a much higher rise. Elsewhere in the province an increase of 20 per cent has also been felt and again areas such as Marbella have seen the figure triplicate. Although the largest rise has been seen in re-sale homes, the price of new property has also risen throughout the country, by an average 14.2 per cent. Official government figures show that it now costs an average 72 per cent more to buy a property than it did four years ago, before the construction boom took off in 1998.
As an example, a 90 square metre property in Málaga Province that cost 7,650,000 pesetas in 1998 was valued in June this year at 97,830 Euros, or approximately 16 million pesetas. Experts in the Government and at the Banco de España have blamed the disproportionate increase on varying factors. These include: Higher wages in general The market demand for property The increasing practice of buying property as an investment Competitive mortgage interest rates In a recent study, the Banco de España found that between 1995 and 1999, 82 per cent more properties were built than were occupied as family homes, revealing that more people were buying property to either rent out, use as a holiday home or keep for re-sale at a later date. This figure shot up to 152 per cent between 2000 and 2001. In part, this could be attributed to people trying to get rid of 'black' money before the Euro was introduced.
GETTING OUT OF CONTROL
The Government has expressed fears that if the situation does not stabilise in the near future it could create a serious "social problem" which would result in a plummeting market and crisis in the construction industry. But many experts believe the property boom will continue, at least for the next 12 months, particularly on the Costas where more and more ex-pats from other European countries are deciding to settle.
A recent report predicts that prices will continue to rise by about 15 per cent during what's left of this year, slowing down to around 12 per cent by the end of 2003. Experts say that the construction industry will then be likely to experience a drop in the market. A reduction in mortgage rates means that more people are now buying property in preference to renting. The official 'Mibor' rate from the Banco de España now stands at its lowest ever - 3.24 per cent - while the average bank rate is 6.6 per cent and that of savings banks is 4.9 per cent.
BRITON SHOT DEAD IN MARBELLA
By David Eade
A 37-YEAR-OLD BRITON, INITIALS A.M.D, WAS SHOT DEAD LATE AT NIGHT AS HE ENTERED HIS HOME IN THE EL GAMONAL WHICH IS CLOSE TO THE LUXURY MARBELLA URBANISATION OF LA QUINTA.
The victim was killed on the spot by a number of shots, which caused mortal injuries. The presumed killers were waiting for their victim in a car parked by the gateway to the housing development. When the Briton returned home at 23.20 a number of shots were fired from the window of the car. As the victim fell to the ground the car drove off at speed. The murder of the Briton is being investigated by officers of the organised and violent crime squad of the National Police (UDEV). Police sources say they that one line of investigation they are following is that the killing was the 'settling of scores' and probably drug related.
NO ARRESTS YET
At the time of going to press no arrests had been made. However the testimony of a witness has produced some important information which police believe might well lead to the identification and capture of the killer or killers. It has not been revealed how many people were in the car.
BODY FOUND IN JEFFREY HUNT
News Staff Reporter
Ibiza police have discovered a decomposed body close to the hotel where missing Brit Jeffrey Hodgson was last seen in July 2001. Police have found clothing and other items not far from the hotel in Cala Llonga where Jeffrey went missing. Forensic examinations of the remains are now to be checked against DNA samples provided by the family. Early this month, Derek and Beryl Hodgson extended their search to the Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol after no leads to their son's whereabouts had been found on the island.
DRINK DRIVING ACCIDENTS FALL IN MÁLAGA
Traffic Authorities pleased with results of campaign
By Dave Jamieson
THE NUMBER OF ROAD ACCIDENTS WHICH ARE ALCOHOL RELATED IS FALLING MÁLAGA.
The provincial chief of the traffic authorities in the province, Luis Lorenzo, says that intensifying controls is producing results. Excessive consumption of alcohol was the third most common cause of incidents, after excessive speed which causes 70 per cent of accidents, and collisions with pedestrians. Accident numbers are down slightly overall, with a total of 1,503 in the first nine months of the year showing a one per cent drop on 2001, although total deaths, at 80, are 17 per cent up.
TRÁFICO TO REMAIN TOUGH
Tráfico has been operating a random stop and test programme for two years, and early results saw a four per cent drop in positive breath tests. Sr Lorenzo said that a typical batch of about 30 motorists tested by a patrol would normally produce two drivers over the limit. He has promised to remain tough on drink driving.
HOSPITAL COSTA DEL SOL TO BE ENLARGED
News Staff Reporter
Regional government is looking at various possibilities for solving the space problems at the Hospital Costa del Sol in Marbella. According to the health spokesman for Málaga Province, José Luis Marcos, one answer could be to construct a number of annexe buildings. Sr Marcos stated that because of the large amount of land given over to parking there would be little free space for the building of these additional units. One of the challenges in the project will be to accommodate the new units on the adjacent land while at the same time dealing with complaints from hospital users with regards to what they consider as insufficient parking space.
The health spokesman added that at the end of this month he would be meeting with the director of the hospital, Antonio Pérez Rielo. They would be discussing the creation of a strategic plan for the hospital including the works to enlarge the emergency unit, which are due to start in less than a year with a budget of 1.5 million euros.
MOBILE TELEPHONE ANTENNAS OBSERVE THE LIMITS
By David Eade
RESIDENTS OF ESTEPONA WHO HAVE EXPRESSED THEIR FEARS OVER THE EMISSIONS FROM MOBILE TELEPHONE ANTENNAS NOW HAVE ACCESS TO THE FIRST REPORT ON THESE INSTALLATIONS.
The study was carried out by a consultant who specialises in telecommunications in conjunction with the municipal town planning and environment offices. The findings of the report show that the 17 telephone antennas located in the municipality do not emit radio-electrical levels in excess of those laid down by the European Union. Residents in central zones of Estepona had called on the Town Hall to have the telephone companies move their antennas to less populated area and the municipality has reacted to their concerns.
ESTEPONA FIRST TO MOVE
Estepona Town Hall is the first in Málaga Province to have introduced a municipal ordinance regulating the placing of mobile telephone antennas. This bars antennas from such zones as the coastline, dense population areas, zones of natural beauty and river banks and is in line with the EC directive of March 9, 1999.
The 17 antennas tested in the survey were located at: Plaza del Reloj, Calle Maspalomas, Edificio Puertosol, Kai-Alde and the Palacio de Congresos in the town centre. The following antennas on various urbanisations were also included: Punta del Castor, Guadalmina, Playa Bella-Centro La Resinera, Don Pedro, Pantoja, Atalaya Park, Nueva Atalaya, Hotel Playa del Sol, Padrón-Kempinski, Parque Antena, La Alberdina and El Reloj.
NERJA ASKS FOR SECOND OPINION
By Dave Jamieson
Nerja is going ahead with an independent study into the health effects of high tensions power lines. Residents in the Calera de Vidrio area had voiced their concerns about possible harmful electromagnetic radiation from aerial cables near their homes, but electricity suppliers Sevillana replied by claiming there were no ill-effects because houses were at least 35 metres from the lines.
Now, the Town Hall has approved the need for a second opinion from a specialist firm, Bureau Veritas, which has been contracted to analyse what the true situation is, at a cost to the town of 880 euros. Local residents have welcomed the move, saying they were not satisfied with Sevillana's response to the original complaint, in which the company stated that no health risk would be incurred since their installations met E.U. guidelines.
XVII MÁLAGA JAZZ PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED
Festival director talks of "ambitious" week of music
By Dave Jamieson
The seventeenth Málaga Jazz Festival is set to start on November 12. The festival's director, Javier Domínguez, launched the six day programme last week, saying it was one of the most ambitious of recent years. The festival will include a concert by the renowned Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés, and another by one of Europe's leading saxophonists, Stefano Di Battista. Chano Domínguez will open the programme with the work "Lincoln Center" by Wynton Marsalis. Málaga musicians, including Javier Denis and the Andalusí Jazz Band, and local resident David Lenker, will give regional colour to the event. Concerts will be staged in the Cervantes Theatre, in the sala Romero Esteo, and in the old conservatory María Cristina.