In the face of the financial crisis, Spanish banks have become more demanding regarding their conditions for issuing a mortgage (article in Castilian, La Vanguardia). Some banks now require a deposit of at least 30 percent of the value of the property to be purchased before they will give applicants the credit needed to buy a flat or house. This finding is part of a study done by the estate agent company Tecnocasa. It contrasts sharply with the trend amongst banks in 2006, who at the time were willing to finance up to 110 percent of the valuation of properties, whereas the average given as credit today is just 74.1 percent of the appraised property value. As such, and also taking into account the costs and taxes involved in purchasing a flat here, it is proving difficult for many buyers to come up with the difference. According to the National Institute of Statistics, the average mortgage given for buying property fell from €152,482 in August 2007 to €113,882 in October 2009, a decrease of 25.3 percent.
The president of the Generalitat, José Montilla, has inaugurated the new airport of Lleida, Alguaire, in the west of Catalunya (article in Castilian, El Periodico). It is the first airport in Catalunya that the Catalan government is managing and Montilla said that Lleida would be a “model” structure for the network of airports that the Generalitat is hoping to bring under its control: Girona, Reus, Sabadell and Barcelona. Montilla flew from the latter’s El Prat airport with a group of other local dignitaries, landing 20 minutes later at Lleida, in what became the first plane to land at the new airport. Spanish airline Vueling is going to start operating commercial flights to and from Alguaire, from February 5th.
The Catalan government is hoping to find additional private financing for the new Metro line 9 currently being built in Barcelona (article in Catalan, Avui). In the next few weeks, the Public Works department of the Generalitat will authorise the licensing of new construction, maintenance and operational contracts for the 14 stations of part two of the works; they include the 10 stations of the Zona Franca branch line and four that will occupy the line between Gornal and Zona Universitària. This is the second time that the Generalitat has sought private capital for the building of stations for the new line, the first part of which was inaugurated last December; the first issue of licenses to private entities gathered €1,708,000,000 although the overall cost of the works involved was €6,500,000,000.
Also in the news: Barça edges ahead of Madrid in league (El Periodico); DNA shows body in Haiti wrongly identified as Spanish UN worker (La Vanguardia); Swine flu peters out to surprise of scientists (El Periodico); Barcelona attracting new ‘creative’ tourists (Avui)