THE coronavirus pandemic may be having the unexpected side effect of breathing new life into Spain’s small villages.
For years many smaller municipalities, particularly inland, have struggled to hold on to their dwindling populations as young people moved to the cities and coasts in their search for work.
But the lockdown and increase of telework would appear to have encouraged a growing interest for houses in villages of less than 5,000 inhabitants.
According to the Idealista property portal, in January 10.1% of searches for property on its site targeted smaller villages. By June that percentage had increased to 13.2%.
By communities, only the Balearic Islands registered a reduction in interest in smaller towns (from 11.4% in January to 11.1% in June).
Castilla y León had the biggest incçrease, from 23.7% of searches in January to 33.7% in June. It is followed by the communities of Navarra (from 18.1% to 26.6%), Castilla-La Mancha (from 35.5% to 43.4%) and La Rioja (from 20% to 26%). In Madrid they grew from 3.7% to 6.2%, while in Catalonia they grew from 9.7% to 11.9%.
Conversely, Canarias was the Community in which this type of municipality generated the least interest (3.2%), followed by Madrid (6.2%), Andalucia (9.9%) and Asturias (10.3%).