Spain has 10 costas, so there is plenty of choice! But which would suit you best? We put the question to two estate agents – one from the Costa del Sol, which you can read here – and one from Costa Blanca. Here, Karsten Ryder from Vincent Real Estate, based in Benijofar in the south Costa Blanca, tells us about the lifestyle, the joys of living on the Mediterranean coast and why you should move to Costa Blanca!
If you’re preparing to come over to Spain to look at properties, make sure you know what to look for by reading our free guide, Your Viewing Trip.
Many people have chosen Costa Blanca to call home because of its easy access. We have two international airports that service the area and, generally speaking, the journey from the airport to your property will be no longer than 35 to 40 minutes.
The journey from the airport to your property will be no longer than 35 to 40 minutes
As well as the airports, you can easily reach Costa Blanca by road or by boat. We’ve got quite a few ports in the area, Alicante through to Denia, and you can easily travel to other European destinations from here.
Healthy and active
One of the main reasons people move to Costa Blanca is the beautiful Blue Flag beaches – we’ve won awards over the past 20 years for having extremely clean beaches. They’re cleaned every single morning before the first person is on the beach and again at night. There are excellent facilities on the beach such as sunbeds, umbrellas, little ‘chiringuitos’ that offer drinks and food and local parking facilities.
We’ve won awards over the past 20 years for having extremely clean beaches
Another reason why people choose Costa Blanca is for health reasons. We’ve got a microclimate that, according to the World Health Organisation, makes us one of the healthiest places to live in the world. The lack of damp in the air certainly helps, and I know people who have moved here with things like rheumatoid arthritis and asthma which have since disappeared!
Make sure you understand how to access healthcare in Spain with our guide, Healthcare Abroad.
Rather than surviving on over-priced sandwiches like in the UK, you can afford to have a decent lunch every day of the week in Costa Blanca and it won’t break the bank. You can get a menu-del-dia here (the lunchtime menu) which includes three courses for between €8 and €10, including a beer or wine too. A great deal if you ask me!
The annual running costs of things like your house, your car, and any other insurances you’ve got, are also cheaper than in the UK. For instance, where I live, between my annual property tax and the community charge (the charge that is levied for the upkeep of the communal areas), I’m spending no more than €500 a year for the privilege of that.
People love the fiestas and the local markets selling fresh produce
People love the fiestas and the local markets selling fresh produce. Everyone gets involved in the fiestas: young children right up through to the pensioners parade through the streets for hours on end in fancy dress with music. People sit out in the streets well into the night just enjoying the social atmosphere and great weather. It is very much a living outside kind of atmosphere.
Property market update
Irrespective of what you might have heard in the UK, there’s been a definite rise in prices in Costa Blanca since December 2019. Since then, in the area we operate in, our prices have actually increased by 5.6%. Throughout the rest of Spain, it is lower.
My suggestion is if you’re ready with your finances and your currency, you’ve got the paperwork in place, and you’re happy for a solicitor to do power of attorney, now is as good a time as any to actually invest in Spain. Even if you can’t use the property yet due to travel restrictions, we can find you a renter to bring you in some income.
This month, the property enquiries we’re dealing with are up 40% compared to January 2020. The pandemic certainly hasn’t destroyed peoples’ dreams – it’s just delayed them. We are extremely confident that when the travel restrictions are lifted, we will have a flood of people buying properties. Then it will be more of a seller’s market because there might be ten people looking at one property, all trying to outbid each other.
My advice is, don’t lose out and don’t wait for everybody to come to Spain
So, now really is the time to buy. We offer a virtual viewing platform that allows you to go on a virtual viewing ‘trip’ and put down a deposit subject to seeing the property in real life. It will give you the benefit of buying the property at the right price prior to the floodgates being opened and more people wanting to buy the same property.
Make sure you are fully aware of what you are buying when doing virtual viewings. Speak to our recommended Spanish property surveyor today who can organise a building survey or valuation of your property.
New builds are thriving
The other positive about the market is, compared to 2008 when we had our last economic downturn in Spain, newbuild construction is continuing. They’ve continued to construct properties and to complete on properties. The pandemic has not affected the construction progress, there have just been a few more rules and regulations. Construction is still going strong.
So, my advice is, don’t lose out and don’t wait for everybody to come to Spain. Remember, it won’t just be the British, but the rest of Europe too. Even now, the French, Dutch, Belgians and the Scandinavians have already been here in force and have been buying over the phone.
Karsten Ryder, Vincent Real Estate