|February 17, 2017||No Comments|
Spain has changed unrecognisably since the days when it became known to the British public as a sunny holiday destintion with flamenco dancers and cheap sangria. It has advanced into a well developed member of the EEC. However, the heart of Spain has not altered; the cultures, traditions and lifestyle have not been lost.
Since the death of Franco, Spain’s democracy has fast tracked into forming a modern society with excellent public and health services. The infrastructure and communications links have greatly improved with new motorways, modern airports and fast train services. However, during the last few years the country has been suffering an economic recession and unparalleled unemployment. The good news is that latest reports say that 2015 spelled the end of the recession, and in 2016 the country has just about recovered.
With slow economic recovery starting in 2014, moving to Spain is once again a tempting option. House prices are still very low, although the taxes and fees involved will add to a property purchase. Tighter legislation has been introduced to encourage rental at reasonable prices and there is a wide choice of available properties. The unemployment figures are still the second highest in Europe, but the Spanish people are optimistic. Good business opportunities are available for new investors.
Barcelona – the capital of Catalonia
However, before you go putting your UK property up for a sale, there are some things to consider. Unfortunately, the autonomous community of Catalonia, in the north of Spain, pushed for an election for independence in November, 2014. This localised nationalist movement could cause an economic decline in this area and damage Spain’s recovery as Catalonia is one of the better developed areas in Spain. If you are thinking of moving to Barcelona or the Costa Brava, this should be considered as an independent Catalonia will not be an EEC member and the terms of residency may be different.Combined with the uncertainty due to Brexit, you will have to look at your options regarding your pension and healthcare carefully, as each individual case will be different.
Spain’s situation on the Iberian Peninsula in the south of Europe means that this country enjoys a warmer climate and boasts an extensive and beautiful coastline with the Mediterranean Sea on one side, and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. The countryside is diverse, with impressive mountains, woods, forests and rich agricultural land. There are stunning volcanic landscapes and amazing wild life reserves. Despite the politics and economical problems, it is a lovely land to live in with beautiful cities, towns and villages to suit every lifestyle.
Brits moving to Spain have always found the local Spanish communities to be friendly and welcoming. They delight in their culture and will expect you to appreciate and respect the local customs and enjoy the local cuisine. The fiestas, food and wines of Spain are highlights in all towns, and celebrated every year.