IT has long been seen as one of Europe’s tackiest holiday resorts.
With its own TV programme written about it in English, Benidorm is the sort of place most self-respecting tourists wouldn’t dream of visiting.
Yet the Alicante resort has turned around its down-market image to become one of the most popular places in Spain to buy a home for foreigners.
The number of villas and apartments bought by buyers from overseas has almost tripled in the last four years.
According to the latest figures from the land registry, the proportion of homes bought by foreign buyers stands at 11.2%.
The area is incredibly popular with Brits because they can get a lot for their money, and because budget airlines fly to nearby airport Alicante from many UK regional airports.
Kieran Byrne, the managing director of HomeEspana, said: “We don’t expect a rapid turnaround in market conditions in Spain, but at least in the Costa Blanca we have seen increased buyer interest.
“More second-home buyers from abroad are discovering how far their money goes here.”
Since becoming famous as one of the first destinations for mass market package tours, Benidorm has done a great deal to shed its image as a hotspot for British partygoers.