Britain’s love affair with Spain lives on, despite Brexit.
Its sun-drenched shores remain our go-to spot for an outdoor lifestyle, whether you’re looking to slow down a train or party late into the balmy night.
British buyers bought almost 10,000 properties in 2022, according to Registrars (the Spanish Land Registry), and in the first quarter of 2023 they remained the largest national group in Spain.
Where do we aspire to buy? Popular beaches and resorts dominate the list of the 15 most searched places in Spain this month on the Rightmove portal, and against a backdrop of high inflation and rising interest rates here in the UK, the affordable places are very present.
Here we take a closer look at the most sought after second home hotspots.
The glitzy Costa del Sol hub is home to around 45,000 foreign residents and Britons dominate recent arrivals, according to the town hall.
From the shady squares of the charming old town to the shops of Puerto Banus, passing by the beaches or the golf courses, it remains at the top of many wish lists. Expect to pay around €400,000 (£342,000) for a good two-bedroom apartment, says Sean Cannon, of agent Panorama Properties.
About half an hour west of Marbella on the Costa del Sol, Estepona is gaining popularity as an affordable alternative. Its modernized beach promenade is awash with new bars and restaurants, and there is the cultural attraction of art galleries, museums and theatres.
“Estepona appeals to the UK market as Gibraltar airport is an alternative to Malaga airport, both an hour’s drive away,” says Marc Pritchard of Taylor Wimpey España.
“It’s about 40% cheaper than Marbella, according to average prices on Idealista.com.” In the company’s Sunny Golf (prices from €250,000) and Green Golf (from €348,000) developments, UK buyers are the largest group.
The vibrant Catalan capital continues to evolve – attracting more and more ultra-high net worth individuals, according to real estate agency Knight Frank, but also “digital nomads” drawn to neighborhoods like El Poblenou, a former industrial zone turned creative . hotspot.
The Superilla initiative transforms public spaces into traffic-free zones. The most popular areas for British buyers are usually Eixample, Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, Poblenou and Sant Antoni, according to Lucas Fox.
The agent is selling a two-bedroom loft in Poblenou for €795,000.
Just south of Alicante city, Torrevieja is famous for its pink salt lakes dotted with flamingos, but also for its multitude of restaurants and shops within walking distance of the town center or La Mata beach.
Its year-round buzz and microclimate make it popular with expats and it’s just a 45-minute drive from Alicante airport on the southern Costa Blanca.
“People often look for Torrevieja because it’s a well-known place, but often end up buying in the slightly more peaceful surrounding areas, such as Villamartin or Benijofar,” says Paul Payne, from agent Masa International.
“An apartment with a nice view, near the sea costs around €250,000.” There are plenty of apartments for sale for less than that – and also for rent: according to rentals analyst AirDNA, Torrevieja has the second highest number of vacation rentals listed on the Costa Blanca.
A longtime favorite on the northern Costa Blanca, Moraira remains in demand with property hunters and prices are robust. Like nearby Javea (see below), it’s a year-round, high-rise destination with Blue Flag beaches, surrounded by vineyards.
With few hotels, the former fishing village with a backdrop of mountains offers good investment potential as demand for holiday villa rentals is very high, says Dawn Williamson of Select Villas Moraira. She says their average sale price is €335,000 this year.
“But for a small villa with a private pool, buyers will need at least €475,000.”
Situated between two capes on the northern Costa Blanca, this verdant peninsula of olive groves, secluded coves and crystal clear waters is a cosmopolitan town popular with holiday home owners and expats alike.
Tony Holmes moved from Ashford in Kent two years ago with his wife and two children. He expands their four-bedroom villa while his wife teaches at a local school.
“The quality of life here is excellent. The kids are around kids from all over the world and we enjoy a very active and sporty life outside,” says Holmes.
“You could buy a villa with a pool for €450,000, but most are closer to €800,000,” says Tony Little, of agent Home España.
Puerto Pollensa, Majorca
This favorite spot of Agatha Christie, who wrote a detective novel set in the area called Problem at Pollensa Bay, still has plenty to fascinate. Between the mountains and a long sandy beach, it attracts cyclists, boaters and water sports enthusiasts.
It’s also family-oriented, says Gary Hobson, agent Engel & Völkers Mallorca North: “It has all kinds of properties, from luxury villas to fishermen’s houses or apartments, all within five minutes of the yacht club. ” The agent sells apartments from €210.00 or traditional townhouses from around €400,000.
Situated between the resorts of Fuengirola and Torremolinos on the oldest established slice of the Costa del Sol, Benalmadena has always been a bit more upscale, with its award-winning marina and quaint whitewashed old town.
There is also its more touristy beach strip or the Arroyo de la Miel area where you can easily take the train to Malaga airport. “Buyers love an apartment steps from the beach and only 20 minutes from the airport now that short stays are so popular,” says Mark Rawlings, owner of Your Dream Home agency.
“Expect to pay between €180,000 and €220,000 for a two-bedroom apartment or from €550,000 for a villa.”
Now read: How to get around the 90-day Brexit rule and live in France six months a year
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