Underground cities: a solution for overpopulation

According to United Nations studies for 2050, 66% of the population will reside in urban areas  due to two aspects: the persistent preference of people to move from rural to urban areas and the growth of the population during the next 35 years. These two factors, among others, are beginning to be taken very seriously at the urban level in order to manage the exponential growth of the cities that goes by expanding their housing resources in underground cities.

Almost 90% of the urban growth will occur in Asia and Africa and that is where the first initiatives to solve the problem are emerging, and it is beginning to look towards “underground” for the creation of cities. Until now the solutions went through skyscrapers but, why not the underground?

Expert architects this question of the construction of large buildings that grow downwards in those overpopulated cities, which due to their location can not grow any more.

Currently there are already some examples of cities underground.


In Mexico, a so-called “Rascasuelos” is already being designed, which will be extended under Mexico City and it will have 65 levels with housing, shops and offices. Although it is currently in the study phase, the BNKR architecture studio has been responsible for its design, in the form of an inverted pyramid, to ensure sunlight throughout its entire length of 300 meters underground.

It is estimated that thousands of people could live in the rascasuelos, below the 57 thousand square meters (240 x 240 meters) of the Zócalo, the main square of Mexico City.



The Earthscraper by BNKR


In an area of ​​710 km2 with more than 5 million inhabitants, it is not possible to grow more. Although there are still no houses built underground, it already has large storage spaces several meters deep that can serve as an example.

For now, the Underground City of Science is being designed, which covers some 300,000 m2 of scientific facilities and which aims to house some 4,200 workers at a depth of between 30 and 80 meters deep.


Currently in Beijing there are already people living underground. It is estimated that close to 1 million people live underground in the Chinese capital, where a network of anti-aircraft shelters converted into housing is hidden due to demand and high market prices.

The flight from rural areas to large cities has led to this new housing system that, in most cases, does not comply with sufficient measures to ensure minimum conditions of habitability.


Beneath the city of Helsinki lies another world. And in the Finnish capital is better to stay underground than on the surface supporting their -20 degrees in winter. Eija Kivilaakso, an urban planner who collaborated in the design of underground spaces, states that “there are so many underground tunnels that it can be difficult to build more”.

The granite subsoil of Helsinki has enabled almost 10 million cubic meters of space, such as shopping centers, running tracks and swimming pools, to be built underground. The first 30 meters under the surfaces are full, in order to build more they should dig much deeper.


Helsinki: Underground cities by Ruben Alonso

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Which are the expenses related to a purchase agreement?

When an action of sale of a property is made there are expenses that must be taken into account after the activity. Here we outline what you need to know.

Notary fees

What is it? The Fees for the intervention of the Notary as public notary so that the document is a public deed and can be registered in the Land Registry.

How much? The price is determined by the value of the sale, but can also influence: the length of the writing, the number of copies. Take into account that at this fee we must add VAT / IGIC (Canary Islands)

Who pays for it? The buyer

Who is paid? Notary

When is it paid? When the Deed of Sale is written


Registry expenses

What is it? The Fees for the intervention of the Registrar that verifies the legality of the document and registers it in the Property Registry.

How much? According to the tariffs of the Property Registrars. Take into account that at this fee we must add VAT / IGIC (Canary Islands)

Who pays for it? The buyer

Who is paid? To the Property Registrar

When is it paid? At the time of Registration in the Registry



What is it? Taxes on the sale of real estate:

  • AJD Tax that is paid whenever the sale is taxed. If you pay with ITP (Transfer of Property Tax), AJD is NOT settled.
  • VAT or ITP As applicable

How much? Approx. 1% of the value of the sale. No variation depending on the Autonomous Communities or the buyer’s conditions.

Who pays for it? The buyer

When is it paid? At the time of the Sale

Capital gain

What is it? Although everyone knows it as “Plusvalía”, it is actually the Tax on the increase in the value of land of an urban nature. It is a municipal tax that is paid every time there is a transmission of the house (sale).

How much? The difference in value from the previous sale (if it exists) and the current one, is corrected based on the complete years elapsed and a percentage that varies according to the municipality is applied. The values ​​are assigned by the municipality, here it does not influence how much has been paid.

Who pays for it? the seller

Who is paid? In the city Hall

When is it paid? 30 calendar days from the date of the Deed

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The best age to adquire a property

One of the most important decisions in the life of a person or family is, currently, to become an owner. And is that buying a property today is a cost that can change our day to day for several years. Therefore, the best advice is not to rush, meditate all the pros and cons and do it at the right time. Analyzing all aspects is key to help you make the best decision.

The age to acquire a home is very relative and, each time, the real estate market influences more in relation to the offer of brand new properties and the increase in rental prices. On the other hand, also the possible of Government benefits for the acquisition of first homes and other factors such as the employment and family situation of the potential client.

In 2017, more than 40% of the mortgage requests were from buyers between 30 and 40 years old. 27% fromo buyers between 40 and 50. 17.5% from buyers between 18 and 30. This last age group is marked by the instability of the job market and the fear of banks to grant loans to so young customers. On the other hand, this year 2018, the Government has announced a package of aid for the rental and purchase for youths under 35 years that aims to encourage the purchase with a help of 20% of the total price,if the applicant’s salary contribution does not exceed 22,000 euros.

The previous help is very positive, but, considering the current job instability, it seems unlikely to bet on the acquisition. It seems that the age range between 35-45 years is the most common and successful, since employment seems to stabilize and the family economy allows an investment of this type becoming a more affordable expense. It is important to decide to take this step when the disbursement of the purchase can be assumed as an additional expense and not as a monthly challenge that can lead to major problems in the future facing, perhaps, an eviction for not being able to meet the debt.

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Sign a rent contract of more years than stipulated by law?

I own an apartment and the tenant asks me for more time than the three years that the law says, what can I do?

The law sets a minimum time therefore it is perfectly legal to extend this time, in fact, in these moments of so much uncertainty, it seems strictly necessary, and positive for the owner, for him to be profitable the lease the most important thing is to have the building rented as long as possible, and for the tenant who needs and claims stability.

There are tenants who are already fine three years as it is the minimum period but if we put ourselves in the place of a family with children looking for rent apartment and we think that this implies new schools, new friends for the children etc, it will be good to be able to offer more years, the five that already had all assumed or more if it is possible.

Everything will depend on how we approach the rest of the contract conditions, the rent and above all the future increases will be decisive at the moment of thinking about a longer contract.

If you really find a good balance between time and price you will have the goal achieved.

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4 technological concepts that arrive this 2018 to the real estate marketing

Undoubtedly technology is transforming our relationship with the world in many aspects. At the business level, it has become an indispensable tool in many sectors and has also made possible the birth of new ones. We are currently occupied by the power it has to change a stable sector, with entrenched and very traditional strategies, such as real estate marketing.

The technological aspects of which we speak next suppose and will suppose an impact of high level in the next times, beginning by this 2018 where it seems that already some of them are taking value.


We are, possibly, facing one of the most powerful tools at the level of real estate marketing that we currently have. Images and video are two main elements in the sector and capturing the attention of the potential customer with them is what leads us to use drones to get the most spectacular shots of the properties. In addition, in 2017 the use of video in online advertising was the most effective tool in advertising return and it seems that it has already been postulated as the closest future of marketing. We already used it in 2014 here.

Do not forget that immediacy is one of the values most appreciated by today’s society and the use of drones offers the opportunity to “visit” a property without the need to be there in person and in a faithful manner.


We start from the premise that mobile devices are currently fundamental and, therefore, a tool that we must keep in mind to manage our real estate marketing. The current property market is largely aimed at the millennial generation, which is much more familiar with mobile devices. Millennials invest much more time in their devices than any other potential customer, which makes mobile a very powerful marketing tool. In the sector you must make a total chip change and place first the mobile marketing campaigns.

Big Data

“Information is power” and also positive sales results. This statement is very close to the new reality and is that, thanks to the valuable information that is currently being stored in the cloud, the real estate sector will be much more transparent to the customer and, on the other hand, all the information of the customers. It will help to better understand the market and, in this way, its efficiency will be improved by the two actors. Demographic data, consumption patterns or needs by age or profession, will help very effectively the new real estate marketing.


A new technology, that of the blockchain, has come to stay and impose a new system of exchange of goods. This new payment system can help prevent fraud at the level of large investments by providing security for the possibility of identity verification in real estate transactions as well as creating a database of historical records.

This 2018 we are facing a paradigm shift in real estate marketing. One year PropTech. Technology will be the absolute protagonist of the new real estate business process.

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