By Adrian Bishop
Want to know Spain’s property hotspots for 2018?
International property agent, Lucas Fox, reveals the inside information, as it predicts the best districts in Spain’s major cities and coastal regions.
1) Barcelona – Barcelona Coast
Karen Storms, Lucas Fox Head of Sales, says, “Barcelona’s coastal and beachfront areas have seen growing development in recent months, particularly in areas such as Diagonal Mar and further to the north, Badalona. These districts are expanding and are gaining interest from buyers, particularly foreigners. Diagonal Mar offers an urban vibe with a beach lifestyle. Located just five minutes by car or tram to the centre of the city, residents can stroll to its long sandy beaches, excellent restaurants and popular shopping mall within minutes. Badalona is a vibrant town just 15-minutes north of Barcelona by car. The beaches are less crowded, and the coastline has become a haven for surfers, windsurfers and kayakers. The promenade is packed with great al fresco restaurants and culturally the town has lots to offer. Watch this space!”
2) Maresme - Sant Andreu de Llavaneres and Sant Vicenç de Montalt
Rafael Rosendo, Director Lucas Fox Maresme, says, “We are noticing growing interest from families living in Barcelona city seeking a more peaceful weekend lifestyle change. They are looking in the areas just north of Mataró such as Sant Andreu de Llavaneres, Sant Vicenç de Montalt and along the coast up to Sant Pol de Mar. These areas offer unrivalled lifestyle benefits such as beautiful golf courses, charming inland villages, wide sandy beaches, excellent gastronomy, hiking, mountain biking and watersports. There are also two excellent international schools nearby – SEK Catalunya and Hamelin. The areas are yet to be discovered by mass tourism and appeal to discerning buyers who want tranquillity, activity and sophistication all in one place.”
3) Sitges - Sant Pere de Ribes, Vallpineda, Casas del Mar & Sitges Town
Rachel Haslam, Director Lucas Fox Sitges, says, “Located five kilometres inland from Sitges, Sant Pere de Ribes has a vibrant centre and excellent infrastructure. Property prices are more affordable than in Sitges itself and the town has good access to local and international schools. It is also very flat, so children can walk and scoot around easily. Families who live there say that San Pere de Ribes feels like it is a ‘real’ village and somewhere to put down roots. Within the village itself the particularly interesting areas are Los Viñedos and the historic parts of Palou Alt and Sota Ribes.
“Another hotspot is Vallpineda because of the British School of Barcelona, its gated communities and the fact that there are plans for a new commercial centre and businesses openings in La Bovila. Also, there are now new roads connecting La Bovila and the entrance of Vallpineda down to Avenida Sofia/Can Robert.
“Casas del Mar offers affordable modern apartments and is close to Sitges, Vilanova and international schools. The area is very international and is an ideal location for year-round living offering good rental possibilities. It is also close to the Garraf Natural Park for nature lovers.
“Within large areas of Sitges and the surrounding areas buyers are looking for easy ‘lock up and leave’ homes, which could also provide them with a good rental income when they are not living there, hence a growing demand for Sitges town centre apartments especially those that have been stylishly refurbished with attractive original features.”
4) Madrid - Tetuán
Rod Jamieson, Lucas Fox Head of Operations, explains, “On the periphery of Madrid’s central core, Tetuán has long been associated with being the city’s epicentre of international immigration, which has earned it a reputation for being one of the more ‘exotic’ barrios of Spain’s capital. Whilst traditionally being regarded as a working-class neighbourhood, Tetuán has recently benefited from the upswing of gentrification and garnered curiosity from buyers and investors alike, drawn to the area by the enticing combination of its centricity and comparatively reasonable prices.
“Tetuán is also one of the last remaining barrios to offer a great price-to-quality ratio, although I think that this is set to change over the course of the next few years. Being located close to Madrid’s central business district makes Tetuán a great bet for the future, as the Spanish capital continues to gain more prominence on the international business stage.
“There has been talk that the ‘fifth tower’, which will house the Instituto de Empresa (IE), will be built next to the Plaza de Castilla, very close to Tetuan, and that will further help the development of the area. Attracting more businesses, along with international students, ensures the focus of investors will be more and more on this up-and-coming district. This will provide the promise of even better rental yields than the area already offers. Rentals have been very strong in the area, due to the aforementioned proximity to the business district along with excellent metro links, which enable inhabitants to seamlessly navigate the rest of the city. What is more, there are a slew of New Developments due to be built in the area. All these reasons, along with the energetic mix of culture, makes this area one to watch!”
5) Valencia - El Pla del Remei, Cabañal and Malvarrrosa
Juan Luis Herrero, Partner Lucas Fox Valencia, says, “There are districts within El Pla del Remei where you can still buy property at reasonable prices, especially around Calle Felix Pizcueta and Calle Colón, where prices start from around €2,500 per square metre to €2,750 per square metre for homes to renovate. There are rumours that Calle Colón – the most important commercial thoroughfare in Valencia – will be pedestrianised, which will mean that property will be highly sought-after in the area. Elsewhere, homes in the areas of Cabañal and Malvarrosa, which are close to the beaches, are becoming increasingly in demand with prices starting from €1,500 per square metre for properties to renovate. The market is undergoing a major transition thanks to new infrastructure and growing international demand.”
6) Costa Brava & Girona - Pla de l’Estany and Palamós
Tom Maidment, Partner Lucas Fox Costa Brava, says, “The Pla de l’Estany has become a mecca for athletes, cyclists, rowers and swimmers and the town of Banyoles, with its beautiful lake, is the main attraction. This is an area popular with buyers looking to set up athlete training centres, yoga retreats, cycling centres and B&Bs, and is beginning to rival neighbouring Empordà for demand, particularly from international buyers. I expect that the coastal area of the Costa Brava from Palamós to Llafranc will also see a lot more activity in 2018 due to the increased national demand, already seen in the major interest for Cala S’Alguer Apartaments, Lucas Fox’s exclusive New development close to the bay of the same name.”
7) Costa del Sol - Estepona & Mijas Costa
Stephen Lahiri, Partner Lucas Fox Marbella – Costa del Sol, explains, “Estepona and Mijas Costa are the areas to watch in 2018 as they are seeing the most new construction. In Marbella the property recovery is still suffering due to the 2010 PGOU (town plan) being discarded by the Madrid Supreme Court earlier in 2017. Much of the momentum gained in previous years in terms of recovery has lessened in Marbella as demand and interest has shifted to surrounding towns like Benahavís, Estepona and Mijas Costa. Those towns have no planning licence issues and are keen to attract investment. Estepona and Mijas Costa are less consolidated and therefore have more ‘virgin’ land that is zoned for building. As a result, most new projects currently underway on the Costa del Sol are located in these areas as well as in Benahavís and Benalmadena. The town halls of these areas are developing their facilities and infrastructure quickly to compete with Marbella. Estepona, in particular, has benefited from new construction and has become increasingly desirable, offering beautiful beaches and a vibrant Old Town as well as excellent facilities and amenities such as great gastronomy and brand new hospitals. These areas are also more family-orientated, upmarket and residential, ideal for those who want to avoid the party scene. Certain parts of Estepona are also now seeing some prime luxury properties being developed.”
8) Ibiza - Santa Gertrudis
Gregori Masi, Senior Sales Agent Lucas Fox Ibiza, states, “This inland area of Ibiza with its quaint white houses ensures ‘love at first sight’ for many international buyers. The area attracts a real cross-section of people from local farmers and property owners to expats looking to settle down with their families. The picturesque village is both buzzing and bohemian thanks to its hippy roots and cosmopolitan mix of residents. It is a magnet for artists and writers, many of whom believe it emanates a powerful energy. The area is not overdeveloped, thanks to strict planning restrictions so Santa Gertrudis maintains a feeling of natural exclusivity. Surrounded by green fairy-tale hills and a mere 20 minutes’ drive to the north island you find stunning white sandy beaches such as Benirrás or the delightful seclusion of pebble-strewn Moon Beach, both fringed by dazzling blue water. The location is perfect for year-round living – busy 365 days a year and 2 minutes from Morna International College and plenty of good local schools. In a nutshell it has everything one needs for that simple, yet glamorous Ibiza village life.”