One of the conventional wisdoms of travel is to observe what the locals are doing and follow their lead. When looking for a place to eat out, for example, if a restaurant is full of (seemingly) local diners, the chances are it’s worth giving a go. If it’s empty, best to give it a miss – unless you are dining at “foreigner’s hour” (or “la hora guiri” in Spain) and the locals are still at home getting ready to go out.
In an article published by the authoritative Spanish Property Insight portal, residential-tourism expert Mark Stücklin asked, “Where do foreigners buy property in Spain?” The answer is, just about everywhere, but Alicante heads the market with the highest proportion of property buyers from abroad.
So, if you are trying to decide where to spend your next holiday, bear in mind that the “locals” – that is, those who have already studied the matter diligently, and have put their money where their instinct is – are choosing Alicante as their number one destination.
This map, created by the Spanish Association of Land Registrars, shows the sales percentages for foreign buyers in each province. Overall, for the latest quarter with available up-to-date figures (April-June), foreigners bought a total of more than 16,000 homes.
According to Spanish Property Insight, the market with the highest proportion of property buyers from abroad was Alicante province (in Valencia region, and encompassing the Costa Blanca), with 41.81 per cent of sales in the second quarter involving a foreign buyer.
Alicante was followed by Tenerife province in the Canary islands (28.91 per cent), Málaga/Costa del Sol (27.9 per cent), the Balearics (27.49 per cent) and Girona/Costa Brava in Cataluña (26.04 per cent).
“In many provinces in the north and west of Spain,” notes Stücklin, “foreign buyers are almost insignificant in the market, especially in Galicia where they are less than one per cent of the market in all four provinces.
“Generally speaking, European buyers led by the British, including second-home buyers and lifestyle/weather migrants, buy on the coast and islands where provinces are coloured orange and red; economic migrants from northern Africa buy in the north-east and cities where provinces are dark yellow; and hardly anybody from abroad buys in the many interior and northern provinces coloured light yellow.”