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Coastal breezes refresh the Spanish property market

The rain in Spain is said to fall mainly on the plain, which may be why property buyers in Spain do like to be beside the seaside.

The growing popularity of Spain’s coastal property markets is clearly demonstrated by both the latest Spanish market report from Lucas Fox and official figures from Spain’s National Institute of Statistics (INE), which show coastal regions at the forefront of the Spanish property market’s continued recovery.

Sun, sea and sand remain Spain’s top attractions

While there is far more to Spain than its glorious beaches, they seem to remain Spain’s foremost attraction.

This is understandable when you consider that many international buyers will be using their homes mainly, if not only, in summer, when the Spanish weather is at its hottest and the coolness of the sea and its breezes must be particularly welcome.

Many of the international buyers active in the Spanish market are from countries with cooler climates, including France, the Scandinavian countries and the UK, which, in this regard at least, seems untroubled by the prospect of Brexit.

Spain is managing to cast off its budget image

The arrival of mass air travel and, in particular, budget airlines, has been something of a double-edged sword for many travel destinations, especially Spain.

While money from tourism has given a welcome boost to Spain’s economy, there is no denying that some tourists have been more hassle than they were worth and their presence was both frustrating locals and tarring Spain’s overall image as a family-friendly travel destination with a rich history and outstanding natural beauty.

Spain has been working hard to rein in the excesses of its tourism industry (and, in particular, the extent to which alcohol is promoted in it) and is now starting to see the rewards in the form of higher-net-worth purchasers who are looking for ‘homes from home’, rather than budget hotels and cut-price sangria.

The Costa Brava area has been particularly successful in attracting wealthy investors, looking for premium accommodation in self-contained villas with private pools and views over the sea (which indicates easy access to beaches).

As you might guess, such properties command the highest prices and their sale have doubtlessly contributed to the 81% rise in sales value seen in the key coastal regions.

Costa del Sol, Ibiza and Sitges popular with international buyers

While Spain’s southern coastline is the location of two of the country’s most popular property investment destinations, it does not have a monopoly on investment funds.

The Balearic Island of Ibiza and the Catalonian resort-town of Sitges are also very popular with international buyers.

In an encouraging sign, the Spanish authorities are now working actively to rejuvenate Spain’s new-build market to meet the demand for high-quality properties suited to modern lifestyles, while taking care to avoid the mistakes of the past, namely over-building, showing insufficient respect to the environment and allowing illegal builds to go unchecked.

This new, more sustainable, approach should prove very reassuring to all concerned.

*Mark Burns in the managing director of UK property investment firm Hopwood House

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