18 May, 2014 @ 13:00
1 min read

Property boom in Benidorm

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.

Tom Powell

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  1. I often look back at some of the early photo’s and see such a big change especially along the coast line. But affluence, sunshine and cheap flights quickly put a stop to that.

    Also seen a massive change in just the 20 years I have been living here and not for the better in some cases. Loved it better back in the old day’s, although one had to travel a few mile to get petrol etc. Seemed to have got worse since the Euro was introduced. Coffee jumped from 75 pesto’s (100 with tip) to one euro overnight.

  2. “But affluence, sunshine and cheap flights quickly put a stop to that”

    No, Spanish greed put a stop to that. Spain didn’t have to make these concrete jungles. They sold their soul to the cement mixer, that’s the real reason.

  3. Fred,
    Think you maybe wrong there. It was the greed and attraction of people that caused the concrete mixers to turn. No demand caused the empty shells and like any business if there is no demand they go to the wall. Called world recession. But it’s picking up again by the greed of the people.

  4. Sure, there was demand, and of course the environment was less talked about then too, but at the end of the day Spain agreed to build these concrete eyesores. Demand should not override common sense.

  5. Fred,

    Are weather condition on the coasts of the U.K like the coasts of Spain, you should be asking yourself that question not me. That’s why thousands come to Spain for holidays to enjoy the warm sea and sunshine and thousands do not visit the coast of U.K

    You must remember, foreigners don’t eat cockles and Wilkes and fish and chips.

  6. Blackpool alone receives a couple of million visitors a year. That’s on the coast. Cornwall is swamped around now as well. That’s just two examples. Not everyone wants to be prostrate with heat.
    They are “whelks” by the way.

  7. Caccia,the issue is that development was permitted on this scale. This is over-building by any reasonable definition and just because there is demand should not mean an area has to be totally developed beyond all recognition. Even you prefer the old Benidorm. The UK’s beaches are much more pristine in any event. And foreigners very much do eat fish and chips. As a UK coastal homeowner myself this is a common occurrence. You’ve been away too long…

  8. Stefango,

    Almost 60 million foreign visitors come to visit Spain according to the World Tourism Organization and places need to be built to accommodate these people and those that were once concrete shell’s will be completed. Seeing it slowly happening even now with new hotels, flats, and villa’s being built.

    Please don’t go into the realm of thousands of illegal properties as that has been well talked about, I’m talking about legal properties and visitors to Spain and to give you just one small example, Fred and I live in legal properties.

  9. Caccia, Spain already has millions of legal empty properties, so your argument about house-building is moot. Those 60 million don’t all come at once. Again, if you let demand destroy an area then whose fault is that? Btw, I was talking about English Fish and Chips – foreigners do eat it. You are mistaken.

  10. Derek, most coastal towns in the UK have not changed much since the 1950’s. You need to get out more. Tell us what you like better? Benidorm now, or Benidorm in the 1950’s. Thought so.

  11. @Fred,

    Do not agree with your assumption regarding the Brit fish and chips but must admit the Spanish do like and eat north sea cod, ya know the lot that Brit fishermen sold out (now that’s what I call greed) but not fish and chips as we know it.

  12. @Derek,

    One must also remember that the majority of Brits couldn’t
    afford a holiday abroad so they had to contend which a bed and breakfast down by the seaside. Now that they know what it’s like to spend holidays in hotels and in modern apartments vast influx of British tourist are part of the 60 million.

  13. Caccia, I remember reading that Spain consumes the most seafood in Europe. No one has done more to deplete the marine life than Spain and its illegal fishing practices.

    Regarding demand from holidaymakers, when a place is full, it’s full. Spain just kept building. Greed came first. Give me a nice weekend on a pristine UK beach rather than crammed on a beach in Benidorm with sewage in the water. As late as the 1990’s there was so much sewage in the sea around Benidorm that it caused a typhoid outbreak. Not a lot of people know that.

  14. Brit fishermen, far from being greedy, were forced off the sea by idiotic quota systems. The Spanish fleets bought up their licences, because they completely ignore the rules and hoover up anything that swims. They get away with it because no authority in Spain cares. They have already plundered the Med. and are now scraping the bottom out of any ocean they fly the Jolly Roger in.

  15. Brit fishermen in their wisdom yielded the sea to Icelanders, Russians and Spanish with more efficient techniques. Can’t say I blame them – it’s still an incedibly dangerous profession, and respect to those who earn their living on the seas.

  16. Stef,

    Strange how the Spanish fishermen can manage with the same quota system as the Brits had. The Brits saw the pennies and sold out. This was documented years ago.

  17. Of course the Spanish can manage with the same quota system. They simply ignore it. There is no one to stop them.
    British people have this strange system of obeying the law, because they have someone to stop them. Simples.

  18. Fred,
    I suppose the thinking also was that due to the policy of open boarders they were contemplating large influx of other financially secured personal that are slowly being driven out by poorer personal from the East that are taking advantage of the states they immigrate to, especially the U.K and the taxes being paid by the British people. If not, Spain could end up like the U.K, no accommodations and no houses. The U.K like in Spain prices were driven up by demand and will take years if ever for prices in the U.K to drop.

    Prices of property in Spain has now reached their true value
    and just like an auction some people will make a good purchase at the cost of people that wish to sell.
    The thousands, not millions of empty properties was not due to overbuild but due to recession and sales are slowly being made as prosperity increases. We are seeing that slowly happening now, perhaps not quick enough for people stuck with properties for sale but signs for properties are increasing, especially the up market types.

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