Buying a Costa Blanca Apartment

By: Steve Locke

For many people the dream of buying their own "place in the sun" will forever remain just that, a dream. However in recent years an increasing number of people have been able to turn that dream into a reality. Tempted by the long hours of sunshine and the leisurely and relaxed way of life, many have chosen the Costa Blanca area as their dream destination. In fact the Costa Blanca is an ideal location for a holiday home or even for permanent relocation, it has a temperate climate, low rainfall, fantastic hot sunny summers and easy access to major airports and motorways.

Although the price of property along the Costa Blanca has risen dramatically over recent years, it now seems to have stabilised somewhat and certainly in the resale sector of the market there are some wonderful bargains to be found.

For many first time purchasers in Spain an apartment is the obvious choice. Apartments generally tend to be at the cheaper end of the property market (though this is not always the case) and in the current market there is a huge choice of resale apartments available. There is, of course, still plenty of new development projects going on along the Costa Blanca, although prices in the new build sector seem to still be rising at a steady rate.

The big towns along the Costa Blanca have the larger proportion of apartment blocks and subsequently the larger number of apartments available for sale. Torrevieja for instance is currently undergoing some changes in its property market, up until recently its property prices had been steadily rising, and as many people have bought for investment purposes, they want as big a return as possible when they sell. This has created an inflated market, with prices generally above what the genuine market value should be. In recent months however prices of resale apartments have been seen to drop to a more reasonable level, and some owners, desperate to sell (and maybe invest elsewhere) have put a more tempting price on their Torrevieja resale apartments.

For those people with a bit of cash to spare and a desire to own a second home in the sun, this may be a good time to take the plunge. Whilst over the last year or two the average price of a two bedroom apartment in Torrevieja was in excess of 120,000 euros, there are now a number of resale apartments coming onto the market with a price tag of slightly under the 100,000 euros mark. Although anything is possible in the property market, it seems unlikely that the price of a two bedroom apartment on the Costa Blanca will fall much below this point, and investors taking a long term view will undoubtedly make money on their investment over the long haul. To make the maximum return it would seem that an investment period of a least five years should be allowed for. With Capital Gains Tax set to drop in Spain from January 2007 for non-residents (from 35% to 18%) there should be extra profits to be made.

Apartments in the suburbs of Torrevieja and the neighbouring Orihuela Costa (very popular with British and North European investors) the prices of resale properties are generally holding steady for the moment, though even here, owners desperate to sell for whatever reason are having to drop their prices below the market norm in order to find a buyer quickly, so it is definitely worth looking in these areas as there is probably more scope for future price rises due to the continued demand for holiday homes by North Europeans.

All in all, if you are thinking of buying an apartment on the Costa Blanca this may be the perfect time to take a look and maybe get your foot on the bottom rung of the Spanish property ladder.

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