The sale of homes in Catalunya grew 36 percent in May this year (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Between January and May this year, there have been 24,064 house sales, which represents 36 percent more than in the same period last year. A recent study published by the Generalitat department of environment and housing, showed a monthly average of purchases of 4,800 homes, which is well above the 3,500 recorded in the same period of 2009. The Government is viewing this information as "a revival of the housing market," but made no comment on this year will be the last in which buyers can deduct income tax on the purchase of your home. Barcelona is where the most growth has been, with an increase of 45.5 percent compared with January to May last year. In Girona, the figure has increased by 31.8 percent and in Tarragona by 26.9 percent.
The launching of Zara online has given the industry a push to join the company online (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). A growing number of clothing companies are launching a sales service online after the success of sites such as Mango, who launched the service in 2000 and the private shopping website, Privalia. A study, conducted by Nielsen shows that in the second half of this year, 36 percent of Spanish internet users expect to be able to buy clothes, fashion and accessories online, up from 32 percent. Desigual, is another company that is launching a sales site in September 2011. "A team of 20 people have worked for more than six months building and programming of new sales channel through the internet," said a Desigual spokesperson. They said their decision to go online was a response to "multiple requests from customers who live far away from any of the group's stores." Mango, who has been offering this service since September 2000, is now opening a logistics centre in Russia in order to serve their Slavic customers, after opening bases in Europe, USA and Turkey. In 2009, internet sales for the company accounted for sales of €11.7 million, a 47 percent increase over 2008 and is equivalent to 1 percent of the current overall turnover.
The tunnels of Vallvidrera (C-16), will suffer from traffic blocks from today and August 22nd (read article in Castilian here, El Pais). The blocks are thanks to work being done to replace concrete and metal barriers and to pave the stretch between Via Augusta in Barcelona and the end of the tunnels. The tunnels will be closed completely between Tuesday morning at 10am until 7am on Wednesday. According to the department of planning and public works, traffic may be diverted depending on the area where the work is being carried out. During the asphalting at Via Augusta, traffic will be diverted to side roads but when work is carried out in the mouth of the tunnel and the area north of La Guinardera in Sant Cugat del Vallès, there will be detours in the areas of road which remain unaffected. The budget for this work totals around €3.2 million.