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The Costa Blanca in 2022
Click here for lots more general information about the Spanish Property Market. The report below looks at the statistics relating to the Costa Blanca region. Click on the images to enlarge and find out where these fabulous beaches are.
The Comunidad Valenciana region comprises the provinces of Alicante, Valencia and Castellón. However, the area of most interest to overseas buyers is more often called the Costa Blanca. Wherever I refer the Costa Blanca in this report you can take it to mean the three provinces as a whole.
Before the virus struck the overseas property market in the Costa Blanca region was continuing its post-2008 recovery. At the end of 2019 the overseas sector on the Costa Blanca accounted for 28.8% of all foreign purchases in Spain. That dipped slightly in the first half year according to the Notaries’ statistics, to 26.3% but, as we all know, the market was only able to operate normally in the the first 10 weeks of 2020. Then COVID-19 arrived and Spain’s first lockdown started in March 2020.
Where the numbers come from
The Notaries are my preferred source for a straightforward count of transactions numbers with breakdowns by nationality, autonomous regions and prices per square metre. These are published half-yearly. We get Q1 and Q2 in November of the same year and Q3 and Q4 in May of the following year. That means we will have to wait until May 2022 for the full 2021 picture. However, what we have so far is promising.
In addition I analyse Ministry of Development (Ministerio de Fomento) statistics for breakdown by province and municipality. However, they do not count by nationality, foreign buyers are counted as a block, Nevertheless these figures are helpful to understand the dominance of the province of Alicante in the region’s property market.
The Importance of The Costa Blanca Overseas Market
In normal times the Costa Blanca property market accounts for approximately 15% of all transactions in Spain with foreign market share in excess of 30%. However, it seems that the proportion of overseas buyers slipped somewhat in the pandemic period and the latest statistics for 2021 show it was 25% of the total Costa Blanca market. Nevertheless, 24% of all overseas buyers in Spain bought in the Comunidad Valenciana.
Within the region, the three provinces perform quite differently. When you look deeper into the statistics it becomes clear that overseas buyers vary a lot when you analyse by province.
Alicante is the most active of the three provinces as regards overseas buyers, and by a big margin. This one province accounted for 67.1% of all foreign buyers in the region in 2021. Add in Valencia province the result is that 92% of overseas buyers spend their money in these 2 provinces, leaving Castellón, the most northern province of the three, with just 8% of the foreign property market.
Why The Costa Blanca
The coastline of the Costa Blanca runs for about 520kms, between Cataluña and Andalucía, It’s true there are several areas of high-density, high rise resorts on this coastline, most notably Benidorm and Torrevieja in Alicante province. However, there are also some of Spain’s finest beaches ranging from unspoilt white sand beaches to small, rocky coves.
What is generally thought of as the prime location on the Costa Blanca is in Alicante province. Often referred to as the Golden Triangle this is made up of the towns of Denia, Javea and Moraira. In addition, Valencia is one of Spain’s most beautiful and historic cities.
Getting there is easy with two major airports, Valencia and Alicante, plus the new airport at Covera in Murcia province. This facility gives good access to the southern Costa Blanca.
However, without doubt, one of the main reasons for its popularity is its affordability. Compared with the rest of the Mediterranean coastline it remains very competitive and is one of the least expensive regions.
The Price Per Square Metre Breakdown
The national average across Spain in the first half of 2021, in terms of price per square metre, was €1,481. In contrast, the average spend by a foreign buyer was €1,863. So, not only did overseas buyers make up 15% of the overall property market, they also spent more. However, there is a lot of variation depending on where they buy.
The top 6 regions in respect of overseas buyer numbers in Spain are: Andalucía, the Balearics, Cataluña, the Canary Islands, the Costa Blanca and Murcia. In 4 of these regions the average price per square metre foreigners paid was well above the average of €1,863, the most expensive being the Balearics at €3,607. Then came Cataluña on €2,037 pm2, followed by the Canaries on €1,940 pm2 and Andalucía on €1,939.
However, in two Mediterranean coastal regions it was lower than the domestic average; €1377 pm2 in the Comunidad Valenciana and just €908 pm2 in Murcia. Nevertheless, in such a big region and three distinct provinces there are inevitably price differences. While in Castellón province the average price per square metre currently is approximately €1,300 it is about double that in the prime locations of Javea, Denia and Moraira in Alicante province.
With overseas buyers being such an important part of the Costa Blanca property market any sustained bounce back is surely dependent on how quickly international travel recovers and restrictions removed. And nowhere will be more important than between Spain and the UK as the British make up more than 50% of the foreign market in the region.
For sure, the Costa Blanca will remain one of the most affordable regions of Mediterranean Spain in the years ahead. And, in addition, Alicante province will continue to be the most active province in the context of overseas buyers.
This report will be updated throughout 2022 as new data becomes available so do check back for the lastest information. For our report about the Spanish Property Market in general click here. And read our blog which focuses on 10 of the best Costa Blanca Beaches.
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