The Costa del Sol Uncovered
This southernmost tip of continental Europe is a coast of contrasts. A few hours drive within the area of the Costa del Sol can take you through exclusive marinas such as Sotogrande and Puerto Banús, fields of sunflowers, steep valleys, verdant fairways, citrus groves, deep lakes, historic cities and even snowy mountaintops.
The Costa del Sol is often referred to as the Costa del Golf. The swathes of tourists populating the coast in the summer months give way to golfers who choose to play in the winter months and enjoy the mild and sunny weather conditions on some of the best golf courses that Europe has to offer. The Costa del Sol really is a year-round tourist destination. Hotels and rental properties enjoy a high level of occupation throughout the seasons whether it's a golf break in Sotogrande or a relaxing beach holiday in Marbella.
"The Costa del Sol is the ideal place to consider the purchase of an investment property"
Infrastructure in the Costa del Sol is also comparable, and in some cases better, than in most Northern European countries. Immaculate motorways, new roads, colleges, schools, hospitals, shopping centres, restaurants and cinemas can all be found on the Costa del Sol. Sports enthusiasts will not tire of the variety of activities available from golf and tennis to sailing and fishing as well as an abundance of water sports and horse racing.
Due to the large number of foreigners, mainly European, who own property in the province of Málaga on the Costa del Sol, more budget airlines are adding this route to their portfolio and increasing the number of flights per day to keep up with the record number of passengers wishing to travel to this destination.
According to the latest forecast from FEDUR (Federacion Andaluza de Urbanizadores y Turismo Residential) it is estimated that 800,000 European families will buy a home in Andalucia over the next five years, whilst other analysts are predicting as many as two million. Many of these will choose to make the Costa del Sol their permanent or semi-permanent home as Spain becomes a major European participant. Working foreign residents from other EU countries can enjoy the benefits of state health care, pensions and the right to vote in local elections.
Southern Spain is now officially the fastest growing migration area in Europe, which means that the demand for more permanent accommodation as the primary residence for the family, has increased significantly over the past several years.
A recent survey carried out by a leading UK building society revealed that the proportion of villas purchased by Brits in Spain shot up from 7% to 22% during 2004. On the other hand the proportion of apartments purchased dropped by 7% from 56% in 2003 to 49% in the same year. Researchers believe that this can be attributed to two main factors, the first being the trend towards permanent migration, and the second being the increase in house prices in the UK allowing greater equity release for those wishing to purchase a second home. The building society’s general manager has commented that the popularity of buying a home in Spain is still clearly on the rise and that the vast majority of customers are now under 50 years old. Spain is no longer just for those wishing to retire, but home to an ever increasing young, vibrant population.