Luxury Real Estate – Spain: The Top Spot for a Second Home
Not for nothing do the Spanish claim to have ‘Everything under the Sun’. A modern democracy; Spain has a second-to-none transport system, beautifully designed cities, and above all some of the friendliest people on the European continent. This original inventor of Mayonnaise, (from Mahon in Menorca) also boasts of a rich variety in local cuisine and wine. Add to this the natural geographical advantages of a great climate, a never-ending coastline providing guaranteed sunshine-beaches, combined with an abundance of mountains. Little wonder then that it features on the top of the list of many second-home buyers, and that Spain’s property market increased by some 150 per cent in the ’90s.
The country became a major holiday destination in the late Seventies, after its freedom from the dictatorship of General Franco, at his death in 1975. Since then millions of people have flocked there, to holiday in the fabulous weather and an enviable lifestyle, and many have opted to buy homes on the Iberian Peninsula.
According to popular website Letsbuyinspain.com that specialises in the cheapest Spanish property, the Spanish Ministry of Tourism predicts that more than one million foreigners will set up home on the Spanish coast in the next six years, and this figure is expected to treble by 2025.
The Sunshine Coast
Although the vast majority come to Spain for the beaches, there’s more to the country than the costas and its islands. Whether it is the jet-setting crowd looking for a rocking night-life, sports-maniacs in search of adventure sports, couples purchasing retirement homes, or families wanting to spend a quiet holiday; Spain serves all.
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.
These stretches of coast line on the south of Spain, enjoy balmy weather with about 315 days of sunshine throughout the year, and an average temperature of 20C. Other attractions include abundant natural treasures, like the shallow lagoon of Mar Menor (reputed to have curative properties for arthritis), to the wetlands on the park of Las Salinas y Arenales de San Pedro del Pintar, home to flocks of pink flamingos.
The resort of La Manga, in the Mar Menor area, is a popular international resort; with golf courses, marinas, yacht clubs, and restaurants overlooking the lagoons. Beach-view apartments here start at about €2 million and a generous villa here would cost upwards of €5 million.
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.
Luxury 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 Andalucia; 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.