Once you have decided you are going to move to Spain, the next step is to decide where you are going to live. Many people already have some sort of plan in mind as to where they would like to live, because they have spent time in the area on holiday. However, this is not always the case, and you may not have a clue about the many diverse locations to choose from.
The ever-popular ‘sunshine-coasts’ – Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca, still attract the most interest. However, investors are seeking new locations in lesser known areas such as Costa Cálida, Costa de la Luz, Costa de Almería and Costa Tropical. These upcoming new well-designed and beautifully constructed areas are perfect, for many chasing a dream of a sunny-side home with the benefit of resort amenities. As on all the Spanish coasts, investment here still offers excellent rental yields from buy-to-let property, as well as solid returns on investment.
Because Spain is a very large country, one area varies greatly from another, so you really need to do your homework well before making a final decision. In this article will take a brief look at some of the more popular destinations and the pros and cons of each.
The Costa Brava has been a popular destination for holidaying Brits since the 60s. It was one of the first areas in Spain to become trendy, which would be partially due to the closer location to the UK. In the 60s, plane travel was expensive and there were far fewer flights, so many people were discovering the joys of long bus journeys to holiday abroad.
The journey to the Costa Brava from London nowadays takes about 24 hours - the same as it did four decades ago. While this is a long uncomfortable ride, it is doable and even today those who for whatever reason do not want to fly, will take a coach from the UK to the Costa Brava. A coach journey to the Costa Blanca will take a further six hours at least.
For this reason, the Costa Brava is very popular with German and Dutch holidaymakers, who tend to prefer to bring their cars on holiday than fly. Of course, you do not have to travel by vehicle to the Costa Brava - if you choose to live in this area, it is very well connected with both Barcelona and Gerona airports.
The downside of the Costa Brava is it does not have such a large expat community as other areas in Spain, if you like to be among your fellow compatriots. On this coastline, the weather is somewhat cooler than the more southern regions, which in the summer is fine, but not so agreeable in the wintertime.
The most popular area with British expats is the Costa Blanca. This long stretch of coastline enjoys an almost ideal climate all year round. It is well served by both Alicante and Valencia airports, and is home to some of Europe's most well-known vacation destinations, with the most popular being Benidorm. The Costa Blanca’s main area for residential living is around the area of Javea. Manuela Gomez from a local agency in Javea has seen a marked increase in enquiries from foreign buyers in the last 2 years. There is an even been an increased interest from Spanish nationals as well according to her sister company Inmo Javea.
Due to the large number of expats and holidaymakers, the Costa Blanca offers job opportunities, but be aware these could be seasonal, and work may be hard to come by in the winter months,
One of the most popular expat destinations is Javea, a beautiful resort on the Costa Blanca. This town is often chosen as the ultimate stop for those looking for a retirement location that offers a lively expat community along with peace and serenity.
Nature has been so generous in providing this small town with a pure blue, clean and revealing sea as well as the mountain that provides lush vegetation to the town’s numerous local species of flora and fauna.
Perhaps a downside to the Costa Blanca if any, is the sheer number of expats. If you are looking for “the real Spain” the bigger towns and resorts on the Costa Blanca may disappoint you.
Costa del Sol
The stretch of coastline on the south of Spain, the Costa del Sol, enjoys balmy weather with about 315 days of sunshine throughout the year, and an average temperature of 20C.
The well-known Marbella and Puerto Banus areas in the south, are among the most favoured locations and home to some of the most stunning luxury properties, with views to the Mediterranean Sea and sometimes even Africa, along with never ending mountain views, the kind that put Beverly Hills in the shade.
The Costa de Sol can get extremely warm in the summer months, with temperatures often exceeding 30 degrees. While this may be bearable while lying on the beach, it is something you might want to take into consideration if you need to work for a living, as not everyone does well working under such conditions.
Hot Spots for Property Bargains
Both luxury and budget property in Spain can be found in almost all locations but will vary dramatically in price from one place to another. Villages in the rural areas are hot property-hunting haunts. On these lines are the interiors of the southern region of Andalucía; made up of such quaint hamlets with ancient homes, stacked like blocks on the highest rise. Some of these are believed to have been built between the 10th and 13th centuries, mostly by Arab occupiers.
Discerning buyers looking for lesser-known locations with quieter, rural lifestyle, target the Spanish inlands where they can also maximise the amount of Spanish land and property they can buy for their investment. These rural property purchasers are attracted to the challenges of rural reform (typically ruins and properties in disrepair which need to be rebuilt). Such homes can also guarantee significant returns upon resale.
Published by James Howart