The CBS Guide to property ownership in the Costa Blanca - a blend of the legal actualities, local convention & our own experience of Spanish life. Click on your choice of topic using the above menu.

Firstly why choose Spain?
Well it enjoys a true Mediterranean climate: long dry summers & mild winters (at least on or near the Mediterranean coast). Travel from the UK is both easy & cheap. The cost and choice of flights to Spain is probably better than any other country in Europe. There are many choices of airport and the road systems servicing them are first class & congestion free. Alternatively, Spain is within comfortable driving distance – either through France via the Channel or Santander and Bilbao in northern Spain. It is far from isolated from the rest of Europe: we can reach our favorite ski resort in Andorra within six hours, and Paris, Geneva & Turin are well within a (long) days drive. Unlike many of the more recent and more eastern located alternatives, Spain is politically stable and has a well established infrastructure of transport, health, education, public services & utilities etc. Here you can also enjoy a relaxed, more laid back reception from the Spaniards than in many other European countries, on both a state and individual level. Spain is relaxed rather than authoritarian, it has a mature multinational community and the locals are generally welcoming & hospitable. The construction industry here has been well established during the past 30-40yrs & both planning regimes and building standards and controls are much higher than in most other Mediterranean countries. Maybe this is why that, according to a recent economic survey, over the past sixteen years property values have consistently risen higher in Spain than anywhere else in Europe. Specifically, property prices on the costas have risen annually by about 17% since 2000.

So, why the Costa Blanca?
The various costas enjoy a totally different climate to either inland or northern Spain, however the climate here is much warmer than that of the costas to the north east. The more south westerly costas are obviously a longer drive away. The Costa del Sol tends to be rather brash, high-rise and often much more expensive than the other costas. It is also the area which seems to attract the (semi) retired criminal element of the UK.

The other Costas along this coast have been the last to attract development and settlement from either the Spanish or those from abroad. These areas can become terribly hot in high summer and tend to be rather arid, parched & dusty, with some of these southerly areas being vulnerable to earthquake activity – this is rarely mentioned by those promoting developments there! The Costa Blanca can be clearly divided at Alicante between north and south. Property in the south tends to be much cheaper to buy, but is much more densely developed, it tends to have a more arid and flat landscape. The north Costa Blanca can be divided further into the Marina Baja (lower coastal) & the Marina Alta (higher coastal) areas. The former includes La Villa Joyosa and Benidorm then becomes the Marina Alta from Altea.

The Marina Alta embraces the towns and villages we both favour and specialize in. The landscape is verdant (but still relatively dry) and varied with many hills and mountains to explore. This area tends to be more expensive, as development is much more controlled and restricted.