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Costa Blanca, Still the Expats Choice

Oct 11, 2007
Unless you have been hiding under a rock recently, it should be fairly common knowledge to realise that the once booming property market in Spain has been experiencing a fairly dramatic slow down as competition hots up from some of emerging areas of Europe.

Indeed in the North Costa Blanca with its beautiful towns of Javea, Denia, Moraira and Calpe, the particular area where I live and run an Estate Agency, Spain has been guilty of "shooting itself in the foot" by allowing such issues as "land grab" to become major concerns to potential buyers, particularly in the Comunidad de Valencia.

It has also reacted very slowly to some of the dreadful publicity that this has generated by the media and has taken far too long to sort out individual cases.

The North Costa Blanca, along with many other coastal resorts has seen massive over building of apartments, townhouses, bungalows and villas with the Spanish clearly believing that North Europeans will continue to flood the area in their droves.

The reality is that Spanish property is simply not as cheap as it used to be. In the towns of Javea and Moraira for example, villas, apartments, bungalows and townhouses have been built by the hundreds and this has had a dramatic effect on the investment market in particular as it is now very difficult to make short term gains due to the number of properties that are for sale.

However, Spain and in Particular the Costa Blanca and Costa Del Sol is now a sophisticated modern country offering a very high standard of living and quality of life within a politically and economically stable environment.

Education, healthcare and communications are excellent and are combined with a superb climate, lower crime rates than Northern Europe and a native population that are welcoming and willing to share their country. So with this in mind, towns such as Javea & Moraira should be expensive places to live, ranking alongside those in the UK and Germany.

Forecasting any property market is difficult and a consolidation of house prices had to happen especially when you consider that Spanish salaries are not too different to what they were in 1997! Sooner or later the gap becomes too big as many Briton's will remember from the late 1980's.

This does not mean however that there has or will be a crash. It simply means that a period of realignment is needed as property prices stabilise and remain static for a period. This can also be a good thing, acting as a spur to better building and encouraging areas such as the Costa Blanca to heed the lessons of the past from other areas of the country.

Irrespective of short term investment pitfalls, the fundamentals of Spain will remain solid. The wonderful climate, stunning scenery, quality infrastructure and proximity to the UK will ensure that Spain will always be one of the top destinations of expats. The towns of Javea, Moraira and Denia are a good example of some of the stricter planning laws now in place.

Apartment complex's can only be built 4 stories high and local town hall's are committed to preserving green areas. This all helps make the Costa Blanca an ideal location for a holiday home or permanent re-location. In fact, in a recent survey carried out by Barclay's bank, the number of Brit's owning a property abroad is forecasted to double from 2.2 million to 4.4 million over the next decade of which 30% will head to Spain.

These purchasers will be buying into a life style, and the benefits of picking an area such as the Costa Blanca are self-evident as there is no doubt that the area offers a secure, long term future for property owners.

As in any country, the buying and selling of property is a serious business, particularly that property markets are rarely stable for long. But as a buyer who carries out proper research and purchases through the proper channels using reliable lawyers, then you should be able to sit and watch short term fluctuations whilst enjoying the fruits and life style of a great long-term investment.
About the Author
Shaun Parker is an expert in the Spanish holiday property market, villas in Costa Blanca and property in Javea. Costa Blanca villas
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