The madness of the boom in the valencian region

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  • #56412
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I was sent this article by email but I can’t find the original source to link to, so I’m just going to paste it here because it is so interesting.
    ********
    CONSERVATIVE-RUN VALENCIA IS BEST EXAMPLE OF SPANISH BUBBLE MADNESS

    Valencia’s dazzling City of Arts and Sciences, with its glazed domes, turquoise pools and cloistered pathways, was built by the regional government during Spain’s boom years of easy money and uncontrolled building. Now the centre, inaugurated in 1998, is a monument to a disastrous construction lending spree that has crippled Spain’s banks and threatens to undermine government efforts to avoid insolvency as the euro zone debt crisis deepens. The complex, encompassing an opera house in white ceramic mosaic, a planetarium and Europe’s biggest aquarium and partly financed by unlisted regional banks, or ‘cajas’, made losses of 51.2 million euros in 2010, with debts of over 700 million euros at end-December. Unsustainable lending to private developers, government and individuals was the hallmark of Spain’s decade-long property boom, fuelled by ultra-cheap interest rates after the country joined the euro zone in 1999. Cajas were at the front line of the credit binge. These lenders were first set up hundreds of years ago to tide over farmers at times of poor harvest, with a remit to donate some of their profits to charitable works. Many were used by local politicians to fund pet projects and morphed from modest provincial lenders to real estate speculators. In recent years, cajas made up about half the country’s banking system. “Those that were well-run were very cautious and didn’t get their fingers burnt,” says Charles Powell, history professor at CEU-San Pablo University. “Others were outrageously generous, probably because political priorities weighed more heavily than business concerns.”

    ONE OF THE BURNT ONES Caja de Ahorros del Mediterraneo (CAM), a 135-year-old Valencia-based savings bank, was one of the profligate ones. CAM sits in a moderately sized Spanish region -Valencia is home to around 5 million people- but it financed grandiose projects like the Terra Mitica theme park in the coastal resort city of Benidorm, which emerged from receivership in 2006, and opened offices in Shanghai, Miami and Geneva. When the government slashed the number of savings banks by more than half last year and forced them to take on private investors or face nationalisation, CAM was one of those that failed to generate interest because of its real estate losses. On taking the caja over in July, the government found much bigger losses than expected. It also found that CAM directors and their equivalents at fellow failed savings bank NovaCaixaGalicia had awarded themselves multimillion euro severance pay packages while racking those losses up. Union data shows the pay packages of CAM directors increased more than sixfold over the 2004-2010 period, while profits grew 3 percent over the same period. Five directors at CAM got payouts of 12.8 million euros in total, while three top staff at NovaCaixaGalicia got 23.6 million between them, press reports say. Both banks were bailed out with public money. “There has been an embezzlement of public funds destined to bail out the bankrupt cajas,” said the speaker of the United Left party, Gaspar Llamazares. The reports shocked Spaniards suffering the highest unemployment amongst industrialised nations — one in five is out of work — and the threat of deep cuts in health and education. CAM director, Maria Dolores Amoros, was fired and put under investigation for falsifying accounts. Roberto Lopez, a former director at CAM, had to leave an Alicante tennis club in October after people booed and shouted insults at him, according to a local paper. “It is an absolute disgrace that the managers of the bankrupt cajas should receive such massive bonuses,” says Jose Luis Corell, lawyer and bankruptcy expert, at a cafe outside Valencia’s 17th century basilica. Bank of Spain Governor Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez called the behaviour of the CAM executives “scandalous” and said the bank was “the worst of the worst” at a press conference in September.

    GREED DESTROYED NEIGHBORHOOD One casualty of the real estate debacle can be found in the communities that were supposed to have been torn down to make way for new developments and instead have fallen into blight. Up the coast from the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, for example, lies the Cabanyal district, which was due to make way for a highway extension lined with apartment blocks under city council plans drawn up at the height of the property boom. Residents complain how the boom blinded politicians, banks and investors to everything but the allure of fast cash from property taxes and ever-rising house prices. “The plans were an outrage, because they were going to pull down a unique kind of architecture to make a road and a neighbourhood like any other,” says 39-year-old artist Bia Santos standing in the central patio of her tiled house. Cabanyal was placed on the World Monuments Fund watch list as a threatened cultural site in October. Charitable donations — a percentage of cajas’ profits go to help everyone from battered women to homeless people — have dried up. “The social donations from the cajas have declined greatly, in some cases they have practically disappeared,” said Jaime Valcaneras, the director of Caritas charity in Alicante.

    BAD PRACTICES The mismanagement at the heart of the problem continues today, resulting in practices that have kept real estate prices artificially high and masked the bank’s losses, market participants said. After the property collapse, banks and cajas wrote off loans to bankrupt real estate developers in return for taking on their portfolios of unsold properties, which allowed the lenders to avoid registering losses on their own balance sheets. Now those banks, lumbered with huge real estate assets, will not give mortgages unless the buyers buy the properties from the banks themselves. This has strangled the market and kept prices artificially high. Property prices that rose 155 percent during the boom have fallen just 22 percent in the bust, consultancy Spanish Property Insight says. Meanwhile the market shrank 40 percent in August from last year, official data showed, with 2011 registering the lowest number of housing market transactions since the bust. “Now the banks have got the property and the money and they only provide funding for their own properties,” said real estate agent Vicente Beltran, sitting in his modern offices near the City of Arts complex. “This is throttling the real estate market on all levels,” he added. Banks will continue to refinance developers to avoid registering a loss, said bankruptcy lawyer Corell. “I am in the frontline of refinancing processes and I see every day that banks will not accept the reality of the problem until they have no choice,” he said. The Bank of Spain reported banks and cajas had 176 billion euros of potentially troubled exposure to construction and commercial real estate as of the end of June, which is over half of banks’ total exposure to real estate development and equivalent to around 18 percent of Spain’s gross domestic product. If more of these fall into arrears, they could end up draining billions of euros in additional rescue funds from the government. October’s Europe-wide recapitalisation programme for banks did not include real estate exposure. The centre-right People’s Party (PP), forecast to take power with a sweeping majority in November elections, has said it will force banks to write down real estate assets to restore credibility to the financial system.

  • #106464
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I gave warnings about CAMs bad portfolios way back if you guys remember that. Even worse was that before they went belly up they used CAM as a way for healthier banks to dump of their worst assets and it’s incredible that more haven’t been made aware about those dealings. Had friends that worked their and when they confronted their bosses about that they got told to either look away or face unemployment. The tax payers will in the end foot the bill.

  • #106491
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    @mark wrote:

    BAD PRACTICES The mismanagement at the heart of the problem continues today, resulting in practices that have kept real estate prices artificially high and masked the bank’s losses, market participants said. After the property collapse, banks and cajas wrote off loans to bankrupt real estate developers in return for taking on their portfolios of unsold properties, which allowed the lenders to avoid registering losses on their own balance sheets.

    Exactly right. This was discussed on these forums recently as the explanation for artificially high property prices. The question is are the new government going to force down these prices by ordering the Cajas they have bailed out to write down their portfolios?
    That is probably impossible since I know CAM in particular obtained massive funding of around €7bn from the ECB some time ago, offering an overvalued property portfolio as collateral.
    The sheer scale of malpractice and corruption that occurred during the boom in Spain is breath taking. They have just only scratched the surface.
    There are signs these Cajas are starting to weaken their prices but my best guess they are waiting for the PP to move once in power.

  • #106492
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    peterhun
    Participant
  • #106495
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    And here’s what will push the price of housing down to where it probably should be:

    The centre-right People’s Party (PP), forecast to take power with a sweeping majority in November elections, has said it will force banks to write down real estate assets to restore credibility to the financial system.

  • #106939
    Profile photo of DBMarcos99
    DBMarcos99
    Participant

    @garysfbcn wrote:

    And here’s what will push the price of housing down to where it probably should be:

    The centre-right People’s Party (PP), forecast to take power with a sweeping majority in November elections, has said it will force banks to write down real estate assets to restore credibility to the financial system.

    On a couple of other forums they’re talking about bargains to appear in Valencia city itself. For instance the following 3 bedroom flat for 35k. Ok, it probably needs work on it, but there are quite a few other flats listed for around £40 or £45k.

    http://www.fotocasa.es/vivienda/valencia-capital/san-juan-de-la-pena-126838446?opi=1&tti=1&pagination=1&RowGrid=15

    Of course you can still justify a place in Hackney for 350k if you have a high-earning city job. 😕 Otherwise, if you like sunshine and can cope with buying all your drinking water, Valencia looks like a place to consider. I’m going to email my Valencia friend -see what his impression is. To be fair he’s been predicting for a long time that prices would eventually revert to this level, unemployment levels have been quite high along the coastal regions of Spain.

  • #106940
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    @dbmarcos99 wrote:

    To be fair he’s been predicting for a long time that prices would eventually revert to this level, unemployment levels have been quite high along the coastal regions of Spain.

    Him and a few contributors on this forum as well. 🙂
    Spanish property is falling and will continue so to do until the economies of Europe return to substantial growth.

  • #106941
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    @dbmarcos99 wrote:

    @garysfbcn wrote:
    And here’s what will push the price of housing down to where it probably should be:

    The centre-right People’s Party (PP), forecast to take power with a sweeping majority in November elections, has said it will force banks to write down real estate assets to restore credibility to the financial system.

    On a couple of other forums they’re talking about bargains to appear in Valencia city itself. For instance the following 3 bedroom flat for 35k. Ok, it probably needs work on it, but there are quite a few other flats listed for around £40 or £45k.

    http://www.fotocasa.es/vivienda/valencia-capital/san-juan-de-la-pena-126838446?opi=1&tti=1&pagination=1&RowGrid=15

    Of course you can still justify a place in Hackney for 350k if you have a high-earning city job. 😕 Otherwise, if you like sunshine and can cope with buying all your drinking water, Valencia looks like a place to consider. I’m going to email my Valencia friend -see what his impression is. To be fair he’s been predicting for a long time that prices would eventually revert to this level, unemployment levels have been quite high along the coastal regions of Spain.

    Is this the Valencia friend who is supposedly selling to the Chinese 😆 Sunshine…probably but has anyone stayed in Valencia in December….freezing!

    If this is a credible advert (many are not!) then Spain must be in a worse situation than I thought.

  • #106942
    Profile photo of DBMarcos99
    DBMarcos99
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    @dbmarcos99 wrote:
    To be fair he’s been predicting for a long time that prices would eventually revert to this level, unemployment levels have been quite high along the coastal regions of Spain.

    Him and a few contributors on this forum as well. 🙂
    Spanish property is falling and will continue so to do until the economies of Europe return to substantial growth.

    I dunno. If it gets to be common knowledge that flats can be had in Valencia for 40k, I know a few here in London who’d be mightily tempted. I’m not joking about small houses costing 350k in Hackney you know! Indeed just find a deposit and pay 120 a month mortgage – you need that just to pay council tax in the UK each month. I’d resent having to fork out on drinking water each week though ( I know the big containers aren’t that expensive but then you have to factor time/cost of transporting water back to the flat)

    Katy – the friend I mentioned has nothing to do with the Twitter bloke, and is a good Spanish friend – one of the best I’ve known. He was predicting the bust back in 2005/6 for western economies. Not alone in that I accept. As for the cold in Valencia – well I’ve been on a Valencian beach in 20C sunshine in December and in January. I’ve even seen 27C in March (for the Fallas festival). It can get cold (often just for a few weeks) but it’s the steamy heat of summer that can be a little hard to cope with, otherwise a good duvet for those two weeks of winter should suffice. A drive up into the Teruel hills soon gets you cooler conditions in summer. Also the Gota fria in Autumn (or a summer storm) can create amazing amounts of water on the street, which is perhaps why they like living in flats or apartments so much?

  • #106943
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Almost half of all of those in the Valencian Community lucky enough to have jobs earn €800/month or less, according to an article in El Pais today (Spanish). Valencia has one of the highest unemployment-rates in Spain (something like 25pc).

    In the long-run, once insane credit booms have run their course, house prices always converge on ability to pay (cost of housing = 30pc of income). Half of Valencians with a job can spend up to €270/month on housing. Go figure.

    That said, holiday-homes on the coast need different figures to work out affordability.

  • #106945
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Exactly Mark. As the economy worsens so does unemployment and so do house prices and everything else. It’s called the vicious spiral of economic decline. Crisis of demand creates over supply which in turn forces deflation.
    However deflation creates eventually buying opportunities. Knowing when an upturn is about to begin is the holy grail.
    I personally believe that’s a long way off but it will come one day.

  • #106948
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    @dbmarcos99 wrote:

    @logan wrote:
    @dbmarcos99 wrote:
    To be fair he’s been predicting for a long time that prices would eventually revert to this level, unemployment levels have been quite high along the coastal regions of Spain.

    Him and a few contributors on this forum as well. 🙂
    Spanish property is falling and will continue so to do until the economies of Europe return to substantial growth.

    I dunno. If it gets to be common knowledge that flats can be had in Valencia for 40k, I know a few here in London who’d be mightily tempted. I’m not joking about small houses costing 350k in Hackney you know! Indeed just find a deposit and pay 120 a month mortgage – you need that just to pay council tax in the UK each month. I’d resent having to fork out on drinking water each week though ( I know the big containers aren’t that expensive but then you have to factor time/cost of transporting water back to the flat)

    Katy – the friend I mentioned has nothing to do with the Twitter bloke, and is a good Spanish friend – one of the best I’ve known. He was predicting the bust back in 2005/6 for western economies. Not alone in that I accept. As for the cold in Valencia – well I’ve been on a Valencian beach in 20C sunshine in December and in January. I’ve even seen 27C in March (for the Fallas festival). It can get cold (often just for a few weeks) but it’s the steamy heat of summer that can be a little hard to cope with, otherwise a good duvet for those two weeks of winter should suffice. A drive up into the Teruel hills soon gets you cooler conditions in summer. Also the Gota fria in Autumn (or a summer storm) can create amazing amounts of water on the street, which is perhaps why they like living in flats or apartments so much?

    Drivel…it is cold in valencia in winter. I have friends there!!

  • #106949
    Profile photo of DBMarcos99
    DBMarcos99
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    Drivel…it is cold in valencia in winter. I have friends there!!

    I’ve been there several times in winter – one of my best friends, possibly the best, lives there. That trumps your “I heard it was… ” from an internet friend. I suggest before you accuse others of talking drivel, you look at your own utterances.
    And yes you can get a few weeks when it’s cold, but often you get marvellous warm (compared to the UK) sunny days. It does help that Valencia is on the coast, at sea level. Different if you go inland and at a higher altitude.
    Now Teruel – that does get cold!

    Now looking at the weather page for Valencia. This week the max will vary between 18C and 23C. If that’s drivel, give me more of it! What’s the maximum at home? 8 ? 9C ?

    http://eltiempo.elpais.com/espana/valencia/valencia/7243

  • #106950
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    And how do you know it wasn’t a blip when you were there, I have been there in Dec…..I had a big coat on….It IS COLD most of the time. Stop bullshitting. You know everything and yet looking for a place in Almería…says it all 🙄

    This one says different

    http://uk.weather.com/weather/10day-Valencia-SPXX0082

    And I did NOT say internet friend tosser!

  • #106951
    Profile photo of DBMarcos99
    DBMarcos99
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    And how do you know it wasn’t a blip when you were there, I have been there in Dec…..I had a big coat on….It IS COLD most of the time. Stop bullshitting. You know everything and yet looking for a place in Almería…says it all 🙄

    This one says different

    http://uk.weather.com/weather/10day-Valencia-SPXX0082

    And I did NOT say internet friend tosser!

    You’ve been busted. You’ve only been there once in December, and yet you’re claiming to know more about the place than someone who’s been there several times in winter. Stop lecturing to people who know more about a place than you do. How can you state “It is COLD most of the time” when you’ve only been once in December?

    I don’t claim to know everything and will certainly accept advice about Almeria from others here, as I know little about that area. Not you of course, it’s obvious you’ve set yourself up as an expert whilst knowing J-S. Hence you’re shouting “drivel” and “tosser” once you’ve been found out.

    btw I’d sooner trust the elPais weather site than a UK site (and that still shows max temperatures a LOT higher than in the UK).

  • #106953
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    You are an agent and I claim my prize :mrgreen:

    Everyone says it’s cold in Valencia. What are your credentials, only what you say which seems to expand from looking to buy a place in Almeria to knowing everything about everywhere….yet you follow an agent on Twitter 😆

    I lived on the CDS for 15 years and that is also cold in winter, exacerbated by poorly built/heated houses. Yes it is warmer than the UK but we know that. Perhaps you should ask people who really live there….and are not agents!

  • #106958
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Most of the Spanish coast east of Motril is far cooler in the winter than the CDS or western Cadiz. It also receives very cold north and easterly winds. I have spent many winters in Spain over the years and the CDS is the only place to be and even then only certain parts such as Marbella or Estepona.

  • #106960
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    Most of the Spanish coast east of Motril is far cooler in the winter than the CDS or western Cadiz. It also receives very cold north and easterly winds. I have spent many winters in Spain over the years and the CDS is the only place to be and even then only certain parts such as Marbella or Estepona.

    I have been in winter to Murcia and it was pleasant. Cold at night but pleasant during the day.

    This year I am going to Almunecar-Nerja, just to see how cold it is during the Christmas period (and to do some skiing in Pradollano).

  • #106962
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Of course it depends how long you actually spend there. If it’s a short period of say 2-3 weeks you might hit great weather and think it’s like that all the time. That can be a false positive.
    My periods of wintering and living in Spain have been many consecutive months so a more realistic picture emerges.
    Murcia last winter had snow!

  • #106964
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    The spanish forums are full of discussions re. log fires, electric blankets etc. Winters may be milder but the houses aren’t built for anything less than 20C. It is not unusual for it to be a few degrees colder indoors than out. Our heating bills are less here than in Marbella for a similar sized house. The only difference is we don’t run a pool pump, but, we do have a warmer house 😀

    There has been some winters where we have sat on the beach Xmas day at 22C and others where it has never stopped raining for months. We also noticed a big difference when we moved from sea level to a house on the hill.

  • #106968
    Profile photo of DBMarcos99
    DBMarcos99
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    Of course it depends how long you actually spend there. If it’s a short period of say 2-3 weeks you might hit great weather and think it’s like that all the time. That can be a false positive.
    My periods of wintering and living in Spain have been many consecutive months so a more realistic picture emerges.
    Murcia last winter had snow!

    That’s a fair point. I’ve been visiting Valencia city since the late 80s, and while it’s certainly the case that you can get cold spells, no-one I’ve met in the city would ever state “it’s cold most of the time” like our self-appointed expert from the CDS claims. The thing about Valencia is it is on the coast (it actually has a large container port facility iirc) and so is milder in winter than places inland or on a hill. Don’t have to take anyone’s word for it, just look at weather reports – generally if it’s 5 or 8C in say Birmingham or Norwich day-time it will be 16C or 18C in Valencia. I wouldn’t go out at night without a jacket though! I do remember visiting once when there was a cold spell – not icy, but certainly colder than normal, so I’m aware it’s not always 20C sunshine in winter.
    I had written off getting a place in a city, as I thought the prices would be higher there (they certainly are in places like Madrid and Barcelona) than in somewhere like Murcia or Almeria – I’m certainly not bothered about buying a place as an investment. But it does seem as though prices are coming back down to a realistic level in Valencia. It may be somewhere I could definitely retire to, but I’m fortunate in that I can speak Spanish (only the odd phrase of Valenciano though). Not sure it would be a brilliant choice for the average British retiree.

  • #106970
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    petej
    Participant

    Links to average weather for Valencia and Malaga, i have also put Benidorm which is only to show buy going an extra 70 miles or so down the Valencian costa the temps are more or less the same as CDS 8)

    Valencia,
    http://www.holiday-weather.com/valencia/averages/#avg_temp
    Malaga,
    http://www.holiday-weather.com/malaga/averages/#avg_temp
    Benidorm
    http://www.holiday-weather.com/benidorm/averages/#avg_temp

  • #106974
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Yes cold, I did 15 winters there, plus one in sevilla and it was very cold there. True it’s warmer than the UK but not warm enough for 6 months of the year to be a deciding factor in upping sticks :mrgreen:

    A few weeks ago there was Bike racing from Valencía, the crowd was muffled up with coats and scarves. If anyone wants to check it was warmer in the UK.

    Agents still dwell on sun and sangria, G&T on the terrace stuff. They don’t realise that people have moved on, they are stuck in the 80’s

  • #106975
    Profile photo of DBMarcos99
    DBMarcos99
    Participant

    24C in Valencia today according to the El Pais weather site http://eltiempo.elpais.com/espana/ That’d do me for December, even if it does drop to 10 overnight (higher than daytime UK) ! Mind you , they’re forecasting only 22C tomorrow. Besides which it’s probably all a conspiracy hatched up by mysterious agents! 😆 😆
    Actually I find UK countryside can be amazingly beautiful when it gets cold. It’s the mild overcast cloudy type of weather that gets me down. I live close to Regents Park in London and it’s joy walking around the little lakes in Autumn or Winter time. Unless it’s completely overcast/raining of course. Rain is a downer in any country I find. But I suppose if you’ve spent all summer on the hot Med coastline the first Autumn rains come as a great relief? (until the floods start…)

  • #106976
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    And when the sun goes down and the temperature drops you will be in that cold spanish house. You can’t fool us. Why do you think people of considerable means don’t move there? I am suprised that anyone living close to Regents park would actually choose to buy in a shithole like Almería. Can’t account for nutters I suppose 😆

  • #106977
    Profile photo of DBMarcos99
    DBMarcos99
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    And when the sun goes down and the temperature drops you will be in that cold spanish house. You can’t fool us. Why do you think people of considerable means don’t move there? I am suprised that anyone living close to Regents park would actually choose to buy in a shithole like Almería. Can’t account for nutters I suppose 😆

    Like I’ve mentioned before, a small house in riot prone Hackney (some of the worst murder rates in the UK) can cost 350k,and the prices increases for better areas, horrendous where I’m based. A bit of a no-brainer to retire to a place where the equivalent house can cost as little as 50 or 80 k. It now seems that you can get cheap flats/apartments in Valencia city too, and I know that place a little, which I can’t say for Almeria. But hey Katy “the expert” states it’s cold most of the time in Valencia! She also describes Almeria is a “shithole” despite claiming to have been 15 years in a completely different part of Spain. No skin off my nose, I’ll pretend to agree with her. The fewer expats I’m competing with, the better.
    Meanwhile, time for some flying penguins. I understand they had to film the cold scenes in Valencia, it was too warm in Antartica.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dfWzp7rYR4

  • #106980
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    My former Spanish partner once said to me if you think of the Iberian Peninsula as a human bottom, Almeria is it’s exact arse hole. He was not wrong. 🙁

  • #106981
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    I was allowed to leave marbella now and them 🙄 I would never return to Almería again. Here is a Youtube. Who in their right mind would settle here with all the ugliness and social problems just for a bit of sun!

  • #106984
    Profile photo of DBMarcos99
    DBMarcos99
    Participant

    So apart from the ice sheets, what are the major disadvantages to living in the city of Valencia? I imagine the street noise is a bit of a pain, although I’ve become used to plenty of that in London.

  • #106985
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    I was allowed to leave marbella now and them 🙄 I would never return to Almería again. Here is a Youtube. Who in their right mind would settle here with all the ugliness and social problems just for a bit of sun!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0AMqUCvWnQ&feature=related

    Very depressing film, yet on the other hand it’s a triumph of the human spirit. 🙂

  • #106986
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    As these guys get €30 per day times 30 days is €900. ( Its not clear to me which year ) According to another thread the Spanish in Valencia & perhaps other parts of Spain are earning the similar amount a month. This means the legals & illegals are getting the same net take home pay !!!!!.

  • #106988
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I come accross these people in various cities in Spain. They are mainly selling cigs, lighter, tissue papers etc. As I do not smoke I dont buy anything from them. I would however like to help them but dare not open my valet etc for security. After watching the link on youtube I will now ensure to carry some change.

  • #106991
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    @katy wrote:
    I was allowed to leave marbella now and them 🙄 I would never return to Almería again. Here is a Youtube. Who in their right mind would settle here with all the ugliness and social problems just for a bit of sun!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0AMqUCvWnQ&feature=related

    Very depressing film, yet on the other hand it’s a triumph of the human spirit. 🙂

    now that film is 3 years old i wonder if any unemployed spainish workers have tried to find work there,

  • #106992
    Profile photo of DBMarcos99
    DBMarcos99
    Participant

    Well it’s an interesting subject and perhaps deserves its own thread – are Spanish taking on the low level jobs that previously migrants did – but isn’t this thread mainly about property in the Valencia area? I only ask because I’d like to hear genuine drawbacks of retiring to Valencia city. I’m not interested in making money, and indeed am prepared to rent if it’s cheap enough. But are there problems that you wouldn’t get by (for example) getting a place in Murcia (or Skegness for that matter)? What is the local council tax like in Valencia? What is the health service like?

  • #106993
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Valencia City is like any other large bustling city in the world. Noisy, crowded, crime ridden, expensive and dirty. However the people are friendlier than in UK cities, know how to party and have an active social life.
    Most of those things are hardly compatible with retirement. Spain has many other places that suit retirement far more. I suspect you have not thought through what ‘retirement’ actually means. 🙂

  • #106996
    Profile photo of DBMarcos99
    DBMarcos99
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    Valencia City is like any other large bustling city in the world. Noisy, crowded, crime ridden, expensive and dirty. However the people are friendlier than in UK cities, know how to party and have an active social life.
    Most of those things are hardly compatible with retirement. Spain has many other places that suit retirement far more. I suspect you have not thought through what ‘retirement’ actually means. 🙂

    Au contraire. You’re far more likely to be close to neighbours, care workers (if needed), hospitals etc in a city than in rural areas. I may (just) be able to walk up steep stony paths now, but I suspect I won’t be able to do so as I get older. Public transport is far more widely available in a city, and local shops, supermarkets are far easier to find than in a small village. In fact I’m not sure of your argument at all – I have certainly come across many retired Spanish in cities and they seem to cope just fine. Can you elaborate please?

  • #106998
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Well I suppose it’s just a case of ‘horses for courses’. If your used to city life then it’s unlikely you would want a sea change in retirement. Just be prepared for constant high volume noise, Spanish cities never sleep.

  • #107001
    Profile photo of DBMarcos99
    DBMarcos99
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    Well I suppose it’s just a case of ‘horses for courses’. If your used to city life then it’s unlikely you would want a sea change in retirement. Just be prepared for constant high volume noise, Spanish cities never sleep.

    Oh yes, I know about the noise, especially at Fallas time.
    Having said that, my part of London has noise around the clock too, so I’m used to it.

  • #107015
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I must say, and have said it before, the hatred towards Spain shown by many commentators on this forum is astounding. I can understand the resentment from those who have somehow ‘failed’ in Spain and have had to return home, but even that doesn’t explain it properly.

    I’ve lived in Spain for many years, both on the CDS and later (presently) on the Costa Blanca in the Valencian community, though to the south of Valencia itself.

    I can confirm that the winters are much warmer than in the UK.

    I suppose for having said that I will be accused of writing drivel and be called a tosser.

  • #107017
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Hatred towards Spain because we debate where the winters are warmer and discuss the noise level in cities.
    Come on Rocker, what are you on? 😯
    I love the country but do not think it’s nirvana. This forum is called insight and warts and all discussions are valuable.

  • #107019
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I’m not on anything, but you have posted hundreds of times with an obvious hatred for Spain and anything Spanish. If you don’t believe me, look back on your posts.

  • #107021
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    There is a difference between hatred and pointing out that Spain isn’t perfect…even the weather. You shouldn’t be so touchy. If people didn’t come on making sweeping untrue statements then perhaps posters wouldn’t be pointing out the negatives. This discussion started because someone said at least it is sunny in Valencía…no it isn’t all the time, it can be very cold in winter, the summers can be unbearably hot. Suppose you know the saying “Tres meses de infierno, nueve meses de invierno” Translated “3 months of fire, 9 months of winter”. Don’t you think that people reading the forum are entitled to look at all views if they are contemplating the move, or would you prefer to brush it under the carpet!

  • #107026
    Profile photo of DBMarcos99
    DBMarcos99
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    There is a difference between hatred and pointing out that Spain isn’t perfect…even the weather. You shouldn’t be so touchy. If people didn’t come on making sweeping untrue statements then perhaps posters wouldn’t be pointing out the negatives. This discussion started because someone said at least it is sunny in Valencía…no it isn’t all the time, it can be very cold in winter, the summers can be unbearably hot. Suppose you know the saying “Tres meses de infierno, nueve meses de invierno” Translated “3 months of fire, 9 months of winter”. Don’t you think that people reading the forum are entitled to look at all views if they are contemplating the move, or would you prefer to brush it under the carpet!

    Funnily enough I do know that saying, and it doesn’t apply to Valencia. It’s a saying that is attributed to Castilian cities, and Madrid in particular.
    As for making “sweeping untrue statements” I can’t think of a better example than someone trying to claim “it’s cold most of the time in Valencia”. What alternative universe are you from?
    No-one here is saying Valencia is always perfect weather wise, but it generally has warmer weather than the UK either in winter or in summer. Certainly winters are a lot more clement than in Blighty, but if you’re looking for winter heat maybe Oz or south Africa are better destinations. It’s true too, that it can be hot in the summer months. The one major downside is that when it rains, it pours. Luckily this is not too often.

  • #107027
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I understand what you’re saying, Katy, even in Spanish, but the negativity towards Spain on this forum is unbelievable. It’s totally unbalanced. Poster after poster prattles on about the negatives, only very occasionally someone pops up and praises the country, usually someone that actually lives here. And they get shot down immediately, as tossers who post drivel.

    It’s ten o’clock in the evening here and we switched on the heating an hour ago. This afternoon we walked along a Spanish beach in brilliant sunshine and had tapas in a Spanish restaurant overlooking the sea, in the company of Spanish people who were also enjoying the winter sun.

    Today is a national holiday, there was another one two days ago, not helpful for an economy in trouble, and house prices are tumbling, including mine, but by Christ this is better than England, by miles and miles.

  • #107030
    Profile photo of DBMarcos99
    DBMarcos99
    Participant

    @Rocker wrote:

    I understand what you’re saying, Katy, even in Spanish, but the negativity towards Spain on this forum is unbelievable. It’s totally unbalanced. Poster after poster prattles on about the negatives, only very occasionally someone pops up and praises the country, usually someone that actually lives here. And they get shot down immediately, as tossers who post drivel.

    It’s ten o’clock in the evening here and we switched on the heating an hour ago. This afternoon we walked along a Spanish beach in brilliant sunshine and had tapas in a Spanish restaurant overlooking the sea, in the company of Spanish people who were also enjoying the winter sun.

    Today is a national holiday, there was another one two days ago, not helpful for an economy in trouble, and house prices are tumbling, including mine, but by Christ this is better than England, by miles and miles.

    Thanks for your comments. I think you’re probably the best person to ask a balanced reply. What, in your opinion, would be the major drawbacks of retiring (as an English person who speaks Spanish) in Valencia city? I know some Spanish people there already, so I have an advantage in that respect.

  • #107032
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    @Rocker wrote:

    It’s ten o’clock in the evening here and we switched on the heating an hour ago. This afternoon we walked along a Spanish beach in brilliant sunshine and had tapas in a Spanish restaurant overlooking the sea, in the company of Spanish people who were also enjoying the winter sun.

    Today is a national holiday, there was another one two days ago, not helpful for an economy in trouble, and house prices are tumbling, including mine, but by Christ this is better than England, by miles and miles.

    Yes you are entitled to have an opinion but lets be honest, you are on about sun and tapas again…agents speak. Life is not like that all the time is it? You may have put your heating on an hour ago but ours was always on at sunset…6.15pm when it suddenly went chilly. There were also days when it was on all day. Have you forgotten about the last 2 winters when everyone thought the rain would never stop, lots of clips on Y-tube but I don’t want to rain on your parade :mrgreen: Anyway you have a new best mate now, he’s changed his mind from buying in Almeria to Valencía in a week 😆

    @ DBMarcos, have you ever thought of asking your “spanish friends”…pathetic 😆

  • #107022
    Profile photo of DBMarcos99
    DBMarcos99
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    @Rocker wrote:

    It’s ten o’clock in the evening here and we switched on the heating an hour ago. This afternoon we walked along a Spanish beach in brilliant sunshine and had tapas in a Spanish restaurant overlooking the sea, in the company of Spanish people who were also enjoying the winter sun.

    Today is a national holiday, there was another one two days ago, not helpful for an economy in trouble, and house prices are tumbling, including mine, but by Christ this is better than England, by miles and miles.

    Yes you are entitled to have an opinion but lets be honest, you are on about sun and tapas again…agents speak. Life is not like that all the time is it? You may have put your heating on an hour ago but ours was always on at sunset…6.15pm when it suddenly went chilly. There were also days when it was on all day. Have you forgotten about the last 2 winters when everyone thought the rain would never stop, lots of clips on Y-tube but I don’t want to rain on your parade :mrgreen: Anyway you have a new best mate now, he’s changed his mind from buying in Almeria to Valencía in a week 😆

    @ DBMarcos, have you ever thought of asking your “spanish friends”…pathetic 😆

    May be pathetic to you dear, but I believe in getting informed opinion from different sources. What my Spanish friends in Valencia (I should really call them Valencianos) can tell me is very useful, but there may be things that a fellow Brit who’s in the area can give me the nod on. For instance someone mentioned earlier about the noise at night – I already knew about that, but there may be other things that may not occur to someone native to the area, but would to a Brit. Another example would be buying drinking water all the time.

    Not sure by the way why you’re so keen to put me off Valencia. You obviously don’t know that much about the area (your area of expertise is Marbella nicht wahr?) It’s hardly going to affect house prices one jot whether I end up settling there. And with respect to this forum, the numbers of contributors doesn’t seem that high. So why are you so hot and bothered about trying to put me off? Believe me you’re only making the prospect seem more appealing when you distort the conditions there. It’s the likes of Rocker who could possibly convince me it’s not such a good idea, as he/she seems to have experience of living in the region.

    If you really think Valencia is a bad choice, can you name a better good value destination in Spain (not Marbella) ?

  • #107034
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Not trying to put you off, I wouldn’t live in a City anyway. I am mindful that a lot of people read but don’t post and don’t like to think they are being hoodwinked by sun and tapas and that the weather is always “nice”

    My opinion of a nice place…Costa de la luz. Around Vejer de la Frontera but Cádiz is a nice place too if you like city living. I was at University in sevilla and had a good time but I was 20, wouldn’t recommend it for retiring…and it was cold in winter :mrgreen:

  • #107038
    Profile photo of DBMarcos99
    DBMarcos99
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    Not trying to put you off, I wouldn’t live in a City anyway. I am mindful that a lot of people read but don’t post and don’t like to think they are being hoodwinked by sun and tapas and that the weather is always “nice”

    My opinion of a nice place…Costa de la luz. Around Vejer de la Frontera but Cádiz is a nice place too if you like city living. I was at University in sevilla and had a good time but I was 20, wouldn’t recommend it for retiring…and it was cold in winter :mrgreen:

    Thank you for that suggestion. I must admit I hadn’t considered Cadiz or Vejer de la Frontera (I’ve never been down as far south as that) but it may well be somewhere to look at.

  • #107042
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    @Rocker wrote:

    I’m not on anything, but you have posted hundreds of times with an obvious hatred for Spain and anything Spanish. If you don’t believe me, look back on your posts.

    Please don’t tell me I hate Spain. I do not. I have commented on the economic situation of the country on here for some time and it’s been a slow process of decline. My posts are negative because the economy and housing market is in free-fall. If you can find anything positive about that you are deluded.
    I have had run in’s with you before Rocker. Methinks you enjoy a wind up. I think that’s childish, pointless and a waste of time.

  • #107044
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    I enjoy visiting real and authentic Spain especially in the balmy weather, Summer is too hot though, but the UK has had an exceptionally mild Autumn and a lot of sunshine where we are. Then of course, shopping in Waitrose, Sainsburys, M and S beats hands down some of the Costa’s rather dirty and grotty supermarkets like Supersol and Mercadona, both of which would not pass health and safety rules in the UK (so Brussels sort out this in Spain). Take a look at their disgustingly filthy plastic shopping baskets! 👿

    My Tapas is as good as many in Spain, and my Pil Pil beats many of those served on the Costa del Sol too.

    There’s an abundance of dog poo on the streets of Spain, their Councils don’t know the meaning of health and safety.

    So, both countries have their good and bad points Rocker, and both are ruled by people out to line their own pockets, but at least in the UK property is better regulated and redress against crooks is easier and quicker too 😆

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