Alicante and Costa Blanca attract more foreign buyers than any other region in Spain. Indeed, more than 40% of buyers are foreigners. The UK, Sweden, Belgium and France are the biggest nationalities of buyers in Costa Blanca.
The Costa Blanca (literally translated as ‘White Coast’) boasts 200 kilometres of beautiful coastline in southeastern Spain, starting with Dénia in the north and down to Pilar de la Horadada in the south. Dotted along the coastline are numerous charming towns and villages including Alicante, Benidorm, Jávea, Calpe, Benissa and Torrevieja, all of which are located within Alicante Province and have attracted both tourists and foreign buyers alike since the start of mass tourism in Spain in the 1950s. The opening of Alicante airport in the late 1960s was a major factor in the rise of tourism in the region.
As with the whole of Spain, the Costa Blanca has experienced a major tourist boom in recent years. In 2018 9.2 million people visited the Valencian Community (which incorporates the Costa Blanca) up from 8.9 million in 2017 and 7.7 million in 2016. Compared to 2008, the number of tourists has grown by 61% and tourists visiting the region represented 11% of all of Spain’s visitors last year.
The growth in tourism in the region is reflected in the expansion of the property market. Year-on-year to June 2019, the volume of sales transactions in Alicante Province fell slightly but overall the trend is positive. In 2018 the number of sales was 44,221 compared to 26,744 in 2013. An astonishing yearly increase of 65%. Furthermore, we need to get back to 2007 to find higher sales figures, with 59,218 sales in the province back then.
Property sales prices continue to be very competitive on the Costa Blanca. In the second quarter of 2019, they were at €1,315 per square metre, 46% lower than in Barcelona (€2,413 per square metre) and 50% lower than Madrid (€2,610 per square metre). Although prices have grown more slowly than in Spain’s top two cities since the start of the property turnaround (9% since the second quarter of 2014), they are still
24% below the peak of 2007, showing significant room for growth.
Alicante had the highest proportion of sales to foreigners in 2018 out of all the provinces in Spain – 41% in 2018, compared to 33% in 2012 – followed by Tenerife (38%), the Balearics (31%), Málaga which includes the Costa del Sol (28%) and Girona which includes the Costa Brava (26%). The proportion of foreign buyers in the whole of Spain in 2018 was 13%.
As you can see below, Alicante is #1 in Spain when it comes to international buyers., What’s more, we also see that foreign buyers have always represented more than 40% of all buyers since 2014.
41% of foreign buyers in Alicante, making it the #1 province in Spain
Looking at buyer nationality, the British have been consistently dominant in the Valencian Community (which incorporates the Costa Blanca). In 2018 Brits represented 17% of all foreign buyers, followed by the Swedish (9%), the Belgians (8%) and the French (6.5%).
Alicante airport continues to be one of the busiest in Spain. In 2018 just under 14 million passengers passed through it, up by just under 2% year-on-year. In September 2019, there were 233 routes operated by 49 airlines. The UK have the highest number of routes (54), followed by Spain (30), Germany (22), Norway (17) and France (15). The connections up and down the Costa Blanca coast from the airport are easy thanks to the Alicante TRAM and many Madrileños use the Costa Blanca as their summer
destination thanks to the fast-speed AVE that arrives at Alicante station in just two and a half hours.
Recently Alicante’s tourist board has begun to spread the word about the region’s diversity of leisure pursuits available to visitors and residents, away from the typical sun and sand scenario. The region offers everything from equestrian and water sports to gastronomy and vine culture, potentially bringing with it a new more discerning tourist and foreign buyer. Watch this space!
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