By Wendy Williams
TIM Desmond was extremely surprised when his small inland estate agent got a call out of the blue from popular property programme A Place in the Sun last month.
“We thought they usually went for the more mainstream places and the bigger agents,” explains the British agent, who moved to the small inland village of Bedar, near Mojacar, with his wife Joanne, after leaving the navy seven years ago.
“But I guess our agency is doing a good job promoting quality places and it is certainly a unique spot with wonderful views to the sea and the Sierra Cabrera mountains.”
After he and Joanne spent a few days rushing around entertaining the film crew and meeting the ‘househunters’, he is not convinced they are going to buy.
“The pair are like chalk and cheese and while the wife loved the property we showed them, her husband was not as sure.
“But just the fact the programme is focussing on Bedar is great,” adds Tim whose company Olive Properties has a range of excellent properties with an average price of just under €200,000 and starting from €80,000.
The only agency in Bedar, his portfolio of over 200 properties currently stretches from here to Antas, Sorbas and Lubrin, where he is opening a second branch.
“In recent years Bedar has become an attraction for both artists and painters,” he continues. “It is just a short drive from the coastal town of Mojacar and owes its presence to the mining of iron ore in the 18th century.
“It boasts all the charm of a traditional Spanish white washed village with small squares and winding streets, and the locals are friendly and welcoming.”
Over the years Mojacar and the surrounding area has attracted a lot of expats also looking for their place in the sun.
And no matter what you are searching for – whether it be a secluded villa, a charming town house or a modern duplex – there seems to be something that fits the bill.
Moreover, according to the experts, prices are now at the lowest they have ever been and ‘there has never been a better time to buy’.
So why do people come to Mojacar?
“Apart from the excellent weather, Mojacar is different. Its village is historical and has a very colourful and eventful past,” explains Daphne Price, from Price Brown, the first British professionally qualified agent to establish offices in the area.
“There is no high-rise building allowed, so when one is walking or driving along the sea front, the sea views are not restricted.
“It has an excellent beach line, a magnificent backdrop of mountains and is a very friendly place.
“Overall it has a beckoning finger, it is beautiful, and its heart is Spanish,” she adds.
Meanwhile fellow German expat Karen Schroter, from Mojacar Estates, which has been serving the area for 30 years, believes it is one of the last villages in the area that has not been ‘spoilt by the boom’.
She explains: “Mojacar started in the 1970s as a place where you could find artists, musicians and writers,” she explains.
“It was really a little hippy village. Little by little it has grown but it has remained rustic and quiet and kept its charms.
“Initially there were a lot of Americans here as the US ambassador fell in love with the place, but today there are 75 nationalities living here which is a nice mix.”
She continues: “It has always been much cheaper than the Costa del Sol and far less developed.”
On top of this, she believes now is perhaps the best time to buy with prices having dropped by half over the last few years.
“It is difficult to give a general figure but I would guess it is around 45 to 55 per cent…. and people who want to sell are quite flexible.”