{"country":"spain","region":"","area":"","location":"marbella","listing":"sale","property":"","price":"0-0","pricemin":0,"pricemax":0,"currency":"EUR","bed":"","bath":"","build":0,"plot":0,"terrace":0,"setting":"","pool":"","parking":"","garden":"","view":"","reduced":0,"feature":"","orientation":"","security":"","category":"","export":-1,"pagesize":12,"own":0,"ownFirst":0,"reference":"","text":"","lanaguage":"en","sortType":1,"newDevelopment":null,"latest":0,"qid":"","pageno":1,"referencesale":null,"referenceshort":null,"referencelong":null,"referencerecent":null,"portfolioShowTitle":"false","portfolioOn":"fa-heart fa-portfolio","portfolioOff":"fa-heart-o fa-portfolio","portfolioOnTitle":"Remove from Favourites","portfolioOffTitle":"Add to Favourites","thankYouPage":"","weatherLocation":"Marbella, ES","weatherUnit":"C","checkin":"","checkout":"","key":"vmn-a4177c01-a6e9-4766-ac6b-0fd517468062"}

The Persuasive and Continuing Allure of Spain

[caption id="attachment_1783" align="alignright" width="300"] Pet Shop Boys (Photo: Jaime D. Triviño)[/caption] It never comes as a surprise to those of us already settled here, or regular visitors, but it’s always reassuring to be reminded of the enduring appeal of the Costa del Sol. Spain’s coastal areas remain at the top of many Britons’ wish lists as they look to buy an overseas property, as either a new or second home or an investment. This is the conclusion of no less an authority than The Times newspaper which, under the heading “Wealthy Britons turn their home thoughts abroad”, reported that middle-class property buyers from the UK are “taking advantage of the strong pound by going on a spending spree overseas”. [caption id="attachment_1785" align="alignright" width="300"] Chica Starlite beauty contest (Photo: Esmeralda Álvarez)[/caption] According to the report, the established coastlines of Spain and France top the list of property hotspots, with transactions up by 84 per cent in Spain in the past year. They attributed this renewed interest to several factors, including the improved exchange rate, with the pound at a two-year high (although still short of the favourable rate during the boom years); the health of the British economy, enjoying a 0.8 per cent rise in GDP during the second quarter of 2014; and a significant increase in UK property values, thus enabling baby boomers to cash in and buy a property abroad. [caption id="attachment_1789" align="alignleft" width="300"] Antonio Banderas and singer Pasión Vega (Photo: Esmeralda Álvarez)[/caption] The newspaper article coincides with other industry reports in recent weeks noting that foreign demand for homes on the Costa del Sol is strengthening, with investors attracted by bargain deals after several years of plummeting prices and buoyed by a general belief that the market’s decline has bottomed out – particularly in prime locations such as Marbella, and frontline beach and golf settings. [caption id="attachment_1791" align="alignleft" width="300"] Kool & The Gang (Photo: Jaime D. Triviño)[/caption] As we have noted before, in addition to these excellent financial barometers and the famed Mediterranean climate, property buyers are also attracted by the Coast’s modern infrastructure and convenient transport connections to central and northern Europe, not to mention – at this time of the year especially – a dazzling festive atmosphere that rivals that prevailing at any of the world’s other top party hotspots. The sparkling highlight of Marbella’s summer soirees is, without a doubt, the Starlite Festival, which ends tomorrow (Saturday 23 August) after a month of concerts by top national and international stars, other cultural and leisure activities, a heady dose of red carpet glamour… and even the Spanish premiere of The Expendables 3, with the presence of the film’s main stars (Sylvester Stallone. Wesley Snipes, Jason Statham, Kellan Lutz and Antonio Banderas). [caption id="attachment_1793" align="alignleft" width="300"] Rosario Flores (Photo: Esmeralda Álvarez)[/caption] Málaga-born Banderas’s co-starring performance in the movie has received widespread plaudits but it his starring role in the annual Starlite extravaganza that once again has been the one of the prime enduring images from the past month for many of this year’s revellers and VIP guests. As host of the charity fund-raising Starlite Gala, the actor not only helps draw global attention to Marbella and its splendidly diverse charms and attractions but also highlights the generosity of a cosmopolitan community that knows how to party in appropriately robust fashion but is just as concerned about giving something back to the less privileged. As the curtain comes down on the third edition of the Starlite Festival, here we enjoy a pictorial retrospective of some of the memorable moments on the 2014 Starlite stage. [caption id="attachment_1779" align="alignright" width="300"] Exceptional Marbella luxury setting[/caption] For those who have been enjoying the show as visitors but now want to make their stay more permanent, we are also pleased to feature this complex of individually designed villas that give a new meaning to the concept of luxury living. Highlighted by modern architecture and superb finishes, combined with exquisite use of light and space, the 16 three-storey houses are located just minutes from Marbella and Puerto Banús, in a frontline golf setting that provides peace, tranquillity and supreme comfort. Click here to see more.