Spain’s coastal locations are attracting increasing numbers of mid to high-end foreign buyers as the second home market goes from strength to strength at the start of 2019, new research shows.

Figures from the latest Spanish market report from Lucas Fox suggest that the most sought after coastal regions are the Costa Brava, the Costa del Sol, Sitges and Ibiza saw an increase of 51% during 2018.

The value of sales in these areas went up by 88% and the vast majority of buyers, some 86%, were from rom France, Scandinavia and the UK, despite Brexit.

‘Whilst some other regions have seen a drop in sales volume in 2018, the Costa Brava seems to have bucked the trend and is attracting a very specific profile of buyer, the wealthy second home lifestyle investor,’ said Lucas Fox Partner Tom Maidment.

‘International buyers are seeking second homes, predominantly for peak summer use, with greatest demand in the area of coastline around Begur and Palafrugell. The majority are looking for family villas with sea views and private pools, ideally within walking distance of the nearest village or beach,’ he explained.

Maidment expects the level of sales activity to continue in 2019 and pointed out that the first quarter of the year has started very positively. ‘As long as the quality and supply of property, both new build and resale, can satisfy demand there is no reason why the market shouldn’t continue along this positive trend in 2019,’ he added.

The average price of a home sold by Lucas Fox in these coastal areas also increased year on year from €951,253 in 2017 to €1,181,724 in 2018, an increase of just over 24%.

Official figures from Spain’s National Institute of Statistics (INE) generally reflect these trends. In Málaga Province, which includes the Costa del Sol, the volume of sales increased by 5% over 2017, averaging just over 2,700 transactions per month.

The number of sales of new homes also went up by 7%, representing 19% of the total number of sales in 2018, a slightly higher proportion at 18% than in 2017.

Sales in Girona Province, which includes the Costa Brava, increased by 6% over 2017, averaging 918 sales per month. New home sales were up by 17% on the previous year’s figures.

After years of steady growth, the Balearic Islands saw a slight decrease in sales, down by 3% compared with 2017, averaging 1,286 sales per month. The number of sales of new homes remained steady when compared to the same period in 2017, down by 0.9%.

‘Ibiza had a positive first half of the year with many German, French and Danish buyers finalising property transactions,’ said Lucas Fox managing director Rod Jamieson. ‘There was a slight dip in the last quarter but so far in 2019 we are seeing a number of deals finalised along with some slight price corrections, which we believe will result in more transactions during 2019,’ pointed out.

‘Overall the outlook is very encouraging. There are a number of new development projects underway that should come onto the market during the year that will bring a supply of properties in the mid and prime markets, giving the advantage of being able to buy guaranteed high quality properties without legal issues,’ he added.