THE south of Spain has long been a magnet for British househunters. With its laid-back lifestyle, tapas on tap and sunshine nearly all year round, there’s more appeal in these parts than you can shake an orange tree at.
Not even coronavirus or the Brexit looming can stop Brits dreaming of their great Spanish escape. And whole the likes of Marbella and Sotogrande may be famous for their flashy villas and nightlife, it’s rural Spain that slowly collecting British expats — those in the know are heading inland.
Estate agent Julie Flaxman, who runs Flaxman properties alongside her husband Neil and son Richard, says she’s noticed more and more buyers shunning the coast for the countryside in recent months.
“People are looking for properties that feel peaceful and remote, yet not too far from the coast,” she explains. “The attraction inland is the affordability — it feels like a good time to buy.”
The family moved to Spain themselves over 15 years ago and, like many expats, were encouraged to head for the Costas.
“Agents told us that’s where we would be happiest but we didn’t like it,” Julie said. “Moving inland was the best decision we made.”
For Julie and her family, living in Río Guadalhorce is the best of both worlds. “We’re not far from the coast and a big city like Malaga but here we get more of an authentic Spanish lifestyle.
“I like the Spanish values, I like to hear the language but at the same time I have lots of British friends here. We’re inland but not isolated, it’s perfect.”
Now Julie, who has worked in the property business for more than 15 years, is passionate about helping other expats find their own dream homes,
“We’re a true family business who love what we do. We get such satisfaction from helping people,” she says.
“Most of our clients are British but our son Richard also speaks Spanish and German. Plus we’ve got a great location and a great office.”
And for Neil, it’s his wife of 36 years that really makes the business shine.
“Julie is the best salesperson on the coast, she is just the most honest person and goes above and beyond for our clients. Her after-sales service is always amazing and people remark on it. I love working with her.”
Neil adds that despite the challenges brought on by 2020, the market in Spain has benefitted from the rise of remote workers – and more people than ever are taking a fresh look at the Spanish hinterland.
“We’ve been very lucky this year and everything has stayed very busy for us. There’s certainly a high number of buyers looking at inland Spanish properties because out here you can get a lot of property for your money.”
So where to buy? Coin Monda, Cartama, Alhaurin El Grande and Alhaurin de la Torre are all great locations, agree Neil and Julie.
“We’re sold a 1.3million villa a few years ago that has all the beauty and privacy of rural Spain but is high enough that you can watch the sea.” The property is now back on the market – for a whopping 1.6million.
“It’s a high price but it is in an exclusive area, has an absolutely unique style of architecture and even an independent one bedroom villa included with the property.
“That’s what we’re are all about, unearthing these amazing properties and making sure they go to the best people. It’s our privilege and passion. We’re so lucky to do what we do.”
For more information head to flaxmanestatesmarbella.com