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Spain's International Appeal Stays Strong

Spain’s appeal to international property buyers shows no sign of waning, according to the latest polls.

The quarterly report, which analyses location searches on the property portal, reveals that Spain is enjoying a rebound in popularity at the end of 2016, led by Barcelona and Benidorm.

Italy’s Florence remained the most sought-after hotspot on the property portal in 2016, accounting for 3.37 per cent of location searches, up from 2.86 per cent in 2016.

The second most popular market for house-hunters is Rome. While Italy dominated search activity in 2016, though, making up seven out of the Top 10 hotspots, the country’s share in 2016 fell to three out of 10, just ahead of Portugal’s two. Spain, on the other hand, saw a rebound in searches, accounting for four out of the Top 10 destinations. In 2016, Spain accounted for none of the Top 10, highlighting the significant rise in interest quarter-on-quarter.

Spain’s renewed international appeal was fuelled by Barcelona (sixth place, 1.06 per cent of searches) and Benidorm (seventh place, 0.99 per cent). Torrevieja and Tenerife completed the Top 10 in ninth and 10th place respectively. Spain also dominated the overall Hotspots Index, accounting for 18 out of the Top 50 hotspots – up from 10 and higher than any other country. Italy was the second most in-demand, accounting for 13 out of the Top 50. Portugal was third, with 10 out of the Top 50.

Thailand’s Pattaya held onto its 18th place ranking. Liverpool also remained the UK’s only entry in the Top 50, sliding from 34th to 36th in the chart. Canada saw its first entry in the Hotspots Index, with Toronto receiving the 32nd highest share of searches in 2016.

Some sources said that has been talk in recent months of declining demand for Spanish property in the wake of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, thanks to the pound’s weakness.

Spain, though, still shows signs of being as popular as ever among lifestyle buyers, with the Costa Blanca, Costa Brava and British expat favourite Benidorm all among the most searched-for destinations in 2016. For US or other non-EU buyers, Spain is also an attractive investment, for either buy-to-let or capital growth opportunities. It is perhaps no surprise that Barcelona, which combines both tourist and investor markets, is the most popular hotspot in Spain.

One impact of Brexit that can be seen in search behaviour is Liverpool’s continuing appeal in the UK. As the weaker pound draws buyers to the country, the city’s economy is growing, with new developments and strong rental yields all reinforcing the city as a major regional hotspot. It is interesting also that Canada’s first entry in the Hotspots Index was Toronto, rather than Vancouver, following the city’s introduction of a foreign buyer tax in 2016.

Will 2017 see that trend continue? And will buyers continue to flock to Spain?

Projects from this area

Playa Marques, Andalucia, Spain

Beachfront living at it’s very best offering a really outstanding quality of life.

Traditional Spanish flavour with a real feeling of luxury.

Overlooking the beach and with stunning views to the mountains.

Superbly situated villas designed to the most exacting of specifications with extensive pergola style veranda with barbecue, private roof terrace to main bedroom and spacious roof solarium. Three double bedrooms, three bathrooms, extensive living/dining area and full size basement and games room and a personal choice of kitchen and bathroom fittings.

Located right in the middle of El Playazo, the great 7 kilometre long sandy beach of the Almanzora region, these quality beach homes, set between the beach itself and the main road, represent an almost unique opportunity to be in a newly built individual villa or townhouse, where you can wander down to the beach at any time of day or night, without crossing a road.

This type of holiday home is becoming increasingly rare as spiralling land costs result in the development of more blocks of ‘go anywhere’ apartments. The Playa Marques beach homes, on the other hand, are very individual, with spacious roof terraces and great views to the sea and the mountains that surround the Almanzora coast.

They are created for relaxation and are purposefully designed in a very light breezy Mediterranean maritime style.

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Villaricos, Almanzora, Spain


Designed by a registered professional, endorsed by his College of Architects, Technical Architects, Surveyors or Engineers as appropriate and guaranteed by a 10-year structural insurance.

Walls, Floors and roofs

Reinforced concrete frame with insulated cavity double walls with traditional render, brick or stone finishings under typical clay tile roof, with ceramic tiled floors.

Windows and Doors

Low maintenance powder coated, colour co-ordinated, double glazed, aluminium door frames and windows with opening shutters or traditional iron grilles. Solid front doors fitted with a five – lever mortice deadlock and door viewer.

Living and Dinning Rooms

Breakfast bar. French doors with security locks to the veranda.


High quality fitted kitchens are included as shown on the plans and include granite worktops, oven, ceramic hob, fridge/freezer, washing machine and ceramic wall tiling with decorative band.


Includes fitted cupboards with mirrored doors, bedside power points and light control.

Bathrooms and Cloakrooms

High quality chinaware, single or double basins as indicated, marble or ceramic floor and wall tiling with

decorative band, bathroom accessories and mirror.


There is a generous provision of conveniently located power points and switches throughout. The living rooms and principle bedrooms have provision for TV and FM. Bathrooms have shaver sockets, halogen light over the basin. Externally there are light points, switch and bellpush.

Air-Conditioning and Heating

Sufficient electric power and external conducts have been provided for later installation of combined air conditioning, cooling and heating. The remaining works and equipment can be installed prior to occupation as an optional extra.


The property will be connected up for mains water and drainage, electricity and telephone allowing the

purchaser to contract with the relevant service provider for each supply.


A formal Community of Owners under the Spanish Law of Horizontal property has been formed to maintain the buildings in good condition, to preserve their value and to encourage harmonious relations between owners.

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