Anyone looking at the best places to buy property in Spain has a large choice. Having been a firm holiday and second home destination for Brits and other nationalities over many decades, the towns, cities, and small coastal resorts all over Spain bring something unique to the international real estate market.
Now is an excellent time to invest in Spanish real estate. Some areas prove better than others for buy-to-let potential, while others developing infrastructure and practising sustainable urban planning project a higher capital appreciation so when it comes time to sell, a healthy profit can be yours.
Overall, a positive outlook for the country is fuelling the Spanish housing market. It has shed the repercussions of 2008’s dramatic crash, and since 2016, property prices have risen with record sales in 2018, but they are still below pre-2008 prices.
Buyers come from all around the world but Brits, Germans, Italians, French, Romanian, Belgian, and Swedish nationalities show the most interest. Other aspects paying off in Spain’s favour include a well-performing economy and a healthy tourism industry.
So, which areas are buyers showing an interest in and why?
Coming in at first place with 43% of different house sales, Alicante whose name translates into a city of lights is a popular place for foreign house buyers. Sitting on Spain’s south-eastern coastline, palm tree boulevards, stunning beaches, a pleasant climate, and a perfect blend of modern and traditional influences prove too much to ignore.
According to official stats, 15% of the population are foreigners, and many live in the Costa Blanca region, which is 200 kilometres of sandy beaches, and hidden coves combined with an authentic Spanish lifestyle.
Buying a house in Alicante is tapping into an outdoor lifestyle, cultural heritage, delicious local cuisine, and that all-important, weather, and dreamy climate. A big lure is the diversity of leisure activities that suit everyone young and old. Think 18 world-class golf courses, surfing, jet skiing, and many other water sports.
Despite the onslaught of modern life, find traces of its heritage in Alicante old town, where traditional restaurants serve masses of paella. The harbour also hosts many seafood restaurants serving time-honoured dishes.
Notable beaches often making their way into high Trip Advisor ratings include Playa Del Postiguet, San Juan, and Albufereta and a reliable public transport system runs between them all.
Perhaps the biggest lure, for British house buyers is that Alicante is easy to get to all year round, and the transfer time from the airport to the city centre is just 30 minutes. Alicante’s Mediterranean climate also ensures mild winters making this the perfect year-round destination.
Sweeping around to the southern coast, the Andalusia province rocked in at second place on the list of popular destinations. As a pioneer of tourism during the 1950s and 60s, they prove themselves as a firm favourite for foreign house buyers.
Covering the entire southern tip, Andalusia’s hot, dry summers explain its reputation as an ideal beach holiday place, but second, to tourism, the strong fishing industry is another feather in its cap. 38 fishing points also ensure fish and seafood feature in local cuisine and are a must-try when visiting or staying in coastal areas.
Often called the mother of Spanish folklore, the Mediterranean Costa Del Sol regions continue to command fame for its long beaches, of which many are blue flag designated. However, for an urban lifestyle, look to big metropolises like Seville and Malaga. Both have excellent shopping, nightlife, arts, and culture scenes.
To get off the beaten track, go inland to areas like Cordoba and Jaen, otherwise, the hub of tourism in Andalusia is the Costa Del Sol which includes seaside resorts like Nerja, Fuengirola, Torremolinos, and Marbella.
Since house values have still not matched the boom of pre-2008, Spain is proving a worthwhile contender for budget and any first-time overseas buyer. Rural inland communities present the lowest prices per square meter don’t give up on your dream of a beachfront home just yet.
One emerging area with much future potential is Murcia, home to Mar Menor saltwater Lake. Commanding fame for its excellent tapas, neighbourhoods like San Pedro del Pinatar and Mil Palmeras are a short walk from sandy beaches and that divine south-eastern coastline.
Sitting in between the Andalusia and Valencia provinces, wine and olive oil production and fruit and flowers make its name throughout the rest of Spain. Even though the region has 250 kilometres of beaches known as the Costa Calida, when it comes tourism, it escapes the hordes and masses.
3000 hours of sunshine yearly guaranteed makes this an ideal place for year-round living and authentic experience without crowds. Gorgeous beachside destinations are found in La Manga del Mar Menor, San Pedro del Pinatar, Cartagena, and Mazarron.
Other major tourist destinations within the region include Archena, Caravaca de la Cruz, La Union, Lorca, Los Alcazares and the city centre with the same name. Claims to fame among them all include vineyards, Spa centres like Archena, the local white flamingo visitors, and its yearly festivals.
Since Spain is the world’s second most popular tourist destination, with an average of 82 million visitors every year, buy-to-let investors often turn towards the market hoping to make money through renting it out for long- and short-term periods.
In terms of tourism and holiday lets, the Mediterranean coast wins while city popularity revolves around Madrid and Barcelona. The Catalonia region, including high profile places like the Costa Brava, continues to be the most popular coastal region for rental income, but the area also commands high prices per square meter.
Instead, buyers are looking to towards the Andalusia and Valencia regions for a fine balance. They have easy and quick access via the airport to several tourist destinations that rank among the prettiest and famous.
When buying a rental property, investigate the finer details, if paying for it with a mortgage. Check mortgage payments are in line with average rents and consider potential guest profile.
A small city apartment is unlikely to appeal to large families looking for a two-week break with facilities to entertain kids. Marketing skills need to be top notch and remember issues like maintenance, upkeep, legal fees and paying taxes.
When buyers approach us, most want to be near the beach, whether purchasing a holiday home or they have retirement plans to live in Spain all year round. Indeed, doctors confirm clean air, summer vibes and those stunning sea views disappearing over the horizon are just the things for wellbeing and perfect health.
The good news is that Spain’s many coastline destinations, make a beach-side lifestyle the norm for much of the year. However, 5000 miles of coastline and over 550 blue flag beaches, make the choice mind boggling, so where should you look?
Trip Advisor says the northern La Concha beach is the most famous Spanish beach, but this means compromising on the Mediterranean climate and heart of Spanish culture. Instead, go where the highest concentration of blue flags beaches is, and that is, Valencia, followed by Galicia, Catalonia, Andalusia and then the Balearic Islands.
Famous beaches in Valencia include La Malvarrosa, El Saler, Port Saplaya, Sagunto, and Cullera on the northern Costa Blanca. Another prominent place worth looking at for budget buyers is Grant Alacant.
Belonging to the Alicante and Costa Blanca regions, it has grown in recent years as foreign buyers look to get away from main tourist hubs but still be within close distance to all amenities and facilities, like the airport.
Sitting between Santa Pola and Alicante, 25 small neighbourhoods make up the region, and building restrictions ensure you won’t find tall skyscraper buildings, but a destination intent on preserving its natural status and avoiding overpopulation.
Areas around the blue Flag destinations of Carabassi Playa and Playas De Elche are both worthy contenders for buyers who want beachfront homes on a budget.
With golf still proving to be a top leisure sport, it is no surprise that a property industry has sprung up around it, and Spain is one country to stay on top of its game. World glass championships courses, stunning landscapes, and an ideal climate make Spain a golfer’s haven and the perfect place to practise that swing.
Three top areas for golfing are the Costa Blanca, Costa Del Sol and in more recent years, Murcia has upped its profile. Belonging to the Alicante region, the Costa Blanca coastline stretches for over 200 kilometres.
But gorgeous beaches and copious amounts of water sports take revolving turns to stardom with its world-class golf courses. Many large housing complexes built near the courses include social facilities like swimming pools and gyms.
Examples are homes near the El Soto, La Cala Golf Resort and Santa Maria courses. Built with Mediterranean architecture, the homes also feature large terraces so, after a long day on the green, cold beers and alfresco dining add to a Spanish golfing experience.
To be near golf courses but experience an alternative lifestyle, other places in Costa Blanca include Javea and its old town district. While Benidorm, a time-honoured British favourite specialises in water sports and nightlife.
Spanish townhouses differ from Spanish villas and suit those on a middle-class budget who plan to live here all year round. While villas are stand-alone properties with private swimming pools and gardens, townhouses sit on large complexes, are semi-detached or detached and include large terraces instead of private gardens.
Neighbours, often a mixture of Spanish and foreign nationalities, share upkeep and maintenance of communal facilities and enjoy swimming pools, gardens, on-site security, and shops.
With the peace of residential neighbourhoods, owners have easy access to everything that life in the sun comes with. With prices starting from £125,000 pounds, this housing style appeals to many types of buyers.
Deciding on the best places to buy property in Spain is a choice driven by your lifestyle and budget. To discuss investing in the Spanish real estate market further, call or email us to chat with a sales representative.
As an established international real estate agent with many years of experience, we guide all buyers through the Spanish real estate industry.
Also, see our wide range of property for sale in Spain and fill in the enquiry form to receive more details about any specific listing. Our off-plan constructions appeal to real estate investors, but we also list new build and resale homes.
Our area guides contain lots more information. From Costa regions to the Balearic Islands, they help buyers choose the right place for overseas investment.