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June 2015

Spanish Property Sales on the Increase

In last week’s Spanish property news, summer has arrived and, as temperatures start to soar into the 30s, house sales have been rising too.

The latest figures from Spain’s network of notary offices reveals that the number of property sales in April is up by nearly two percent.

Their data shows that the low point in transactions took place at the start of 2013 and, since then, a sometimes erratic but sustained growth in the overall number of transactions has been experienced.

The notaries believe that the market is now at a crossover point, with the demand for land, housing and mortgages increasing steadily, in response to cheaper prices and an improvement in the economy.

The most significant economic improvement being a rise in employment – Spain has benefitted from the third largest increase in workers in the eurozone so far this year.

With interest rates at a historic low, the average Spanish household is reported to have a financial burden of around 22 percent of their income. It's a highly sustainable figure, which makes owning a home in Spain cheaper than renting, as well as helping to reduce mortgage defaults.
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Cansalades Park (popularly known as Pinosol) now offers children a new playground. The space, which has been completely restructured in accordance with the requests of the Consell dels Xiquets (Children’s Council), has a large central structure with slides and play elements and games for younger children, benches are provided for resting.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Town Council inaugurated the area; the improvements made during recent months and were funded by the Alicante Provincial government. As the mayor, José Chulvi explained, this project has been especially exciting because it has emerged from the Consell dels Xiquets, the participatory body involving children from all the schools in the town. It has now become a reality like the other requests which have been fulfilled such as the skate park and the children’s safe school routes which are currently being developed.
With this new playground the Pinosol Park now offers a completely new image as an area for families to enjoy casual outdoor celebrations. In addition to the games and picnic areas there is a barbecue area (whose use is allowed only when there is no risk of fire) and a kiosk with a bar.

The opening ceremony was attended by the councillors for the departments involved including Citizen Participation, the former councillor Cesc Camprubí and his successor Montse Villaverde, and Doris Courcelles, the councillor for parks and gardens.

Jose Chulvi – Historic Landslide Victory

It was the result that nobody could have predicted yet it would seem most people wanted – Jose Chulvi’s PSOE clinches 60% of the vote in the municipal elections to win 14 seats and take full control of the council. As soon as the first few results started to come in, there were audible gasps as it quickly became clear that the socialists were sweeping away all before them, dominating every count by a huge majority. As the final result came in at just before 10.00pm, the PSOE had attracted 5,655 votes with Oscar Antón’s Coalición XD-CPJ a very distance second with 1,591, Tere Ern’s PP third with 1,050 and Compromís and C’s Ciudadanos even further behind. It is a historic event, the first time a single party has gained overall control of the council in Xàbia for more than 30 years and almost certainly the largest ever number of seats. The Chulvi effect continues.

The polling stations had opened at 9.00am and the day couldn’t pass without some drama. At the IES Nº1, news broke that a voter had managed to slip two envelopes into the ballot box at the same time, an action that caused the box to be removed and another put in its place. There were rumours of people voting twice in different boxes and even a fracas between supporters of PSOE and Podemos. The foreign vote was disappointingly lower than expected with provisional numbers suggesting that less than 30% of the 3,782 who were registered to vote actually did so. The overall turnout was 58.62%, just over two points lower than 2011.

Within minutes of the results being confirmed, Jose Chulvi was embraced by his wife Monica and several of his supporters as well as other party candidates, including Juan Ortolá from the Coalicíon XD-CPJ and Vicent Colomer from Compromís. Down in the Casa del Poble in the Placeta del Convent, supporters had already started to gather to welcome him as he made the short walk from the Ayuntamiento building to the PSOE HQ. Disco music and fireworks kicked off the party with Chulvi ensuring that the 13 other representatives received the same credit as they gathered on the stage in front of their headquarters. His supporters cheered as he made a short speech, threatened to stage-dive into the crowd and then was last seen calmly playing football with youngsters in the square. This is the Chulvi effect, badly misjudged by the other parties it would seem. He promised to be a man for the people and it has been clear that the almost two-thirds of the people agreed with him. It has been a historic evening. But now the hard work resumes …