South Costa Blanca: a house on the Med for frugal investors
Costa Blanca is a coastal region in the southeast of Spain, located in the Alicante Province and spanning 240km along the Mediterranean Sea. It got its name from the colour of the sand: ‘costa blanca’ is Spanish for ‘white coast’.
Many foreign nationals buy property in the sun-drenched region, they live on the coast for several months a year and lease their homes to tourists for the vacant months. Real estate is purchased more actively in the south than in the north. The beach season lasts 6 to 8 weeks longer in the south, the summers are cooler, and in the winters, the mountains defend the area from cold winds.
Alicante is the capital of the eponymous province and the second largest city in the Valencian autonomous community. It is the gateway to Costa Blanca, as Spain’s fifth largest airport by volume of passenger traffic, Alicante-Elche international airport is located 10km away from the city. Madrid is only two hours away by high-speed train, while another service to Barcelona will be launched by 2023.
Many Alicante beaches boast the Blue Flag quality mark. The most famous of which is the San Juan golden sand beach, and the Postiguet and Albufereta providing disabled access are popular with locals. Coastal real estate is relatively cheap: a 70m² sea-view apartment with a terrace in Alicante costs €100,000–150,000 on average.
Elche, the only Spanish city with three UNESCO World Heritage sites, is located south of Alicante.
The town is only 20km away from the coastline, which is perfect for water sports such as diving, windsurfing, kiteboarding or canoeing. More than ten beaches located in the areas of La Marina, Arenales del Sol, Gran Alacant and Santa Pola carry the Blue Flag rating. From Santa Pola, the uninhabited Valencian island of Tabarca can be reached. Its water zone is designated marine reserve due to the excellent quality of water and flora and fauna preserved there.
Unlike Alicante and Elche, Torrevieja is a relatively small and new city built as late as in the nineteenth century. Today almost a half of the population are foreign nationals coming to Torrevieja for the holiday season. Most of them are from Russia and the United Kingdom.
Within the city, there are three large Blue Flag beaches: Naufragos, El Cura and Los Locos. The largest city beach, La Mata, spans more than 2 kilometres in the centre of Torrevieja. Foreign nationals often buy property on the coast, particularly as the price per square metre is the lowest in Costa Blanca. A spacious apartment with a terrace costs just €80,000–90,000.
According to Anna Boyarchukova, Tranio real estate sales manager for Spain, the residents of cold European countries often choose Orihuela Costa. "The area is busy all year round, which contributes to its investment attractiveness", she explains "those who come to spend winter there improve their health and play golf — there are five large high-end golf clubs". The Orihuela Costa is considered to be the most expensive coast on the Costa Blanca. A 70-80m² sea view apartment costs about €120,000 –150,000.
Pilar de la Horadada
Pilar de la Horadada is the southernmost municipality of Alicante, bordering the province of Murcia. The Via Augusta road was built there by the Romans in the II-I centuries BC. It got its current name later, during the Reconquista when the Spaniards erected a number of watchtowers along the seashore to warn of approaching pirate ships.
In Pilar de la Horadada, the sea is calm, and the four-kilometre beaches are Blue Flag rated. There are fewer tourists, making for a quieter lifestyle than in the large cities. A comfortable two-bedroom flat costs €100,000 –120,000 in this district.
At the moment of writing, real estate in southern Costa Blanca is more affordable than on the other coasts, such as Costa Brava or the Costa del Sol. However, prices are gradually rising there. Tranio experts believe the time is right to buy property in Spain, and southern Costa Blanca is an excellent resort destination for buyers with modest budgets.