Thousands of people choose the Costa del Sol as their new permanent home or holiday home every year because of the uniquely carefree and healthy lifestyle that the South of Spain offers.
The quality of life the Costa del Sol offers is incomparable to many other parts of the world. With over 300 days of sunshine per year and bright blue skies that stretch through summer, autumn, winter and spring, the Costa del Sol has long been a haven for international expats; retirees and young families alike, who settle permanently in the region.
In its Annual Global Retirement Index, International Living Magazine listed the Costa del Sol as the ninth best place to retire in the world, according to factors such as climate, ease and cost of buying or renting a property, the cost of living, and the ease of fitting in and enjoying a healthy and varied lifestyle.
In Q4 of 2017 the overall residential real estate market in Spain expanded by 19.8% to 111,921 home sales, the highest fourth quarter level since the Spanish housing market began its recovery in 2015. Property transactions and both national and international demand for property on the Costa del Sol continues to rise, here are a few reasons why:
Cost of living
The cost of living in the south of Spain is far cheaper than many of its European counterparts like the UK or anywhere in Scandinavia. Many local bars and restaurants offer daily menus for a two or even three-course meal for between 10 and 15 euros and glasses of wine or beer can cost between 1 and 5 euros, depending on the type of establishment.
Travel, including train, bus and petrol is also much cheaper than in many other European countries. Andalucia is also known for having a highly developed transportation service that includes train services between Malaga and Fuengirola as well as high speed rail services to Madrid and other parts of Spain.
Spaniards have the highest life expectancy in Europe and The World Health Organisation ranks the Spanish healthcare system at #7 in the world. Spanish healthcare is free of charge to anyone living and working in Spain and guarantees universal coverage with no upfront expenditure from patients apart from a proportion of prescription charges.
People who do not qualify for free state healthcare can take out private health insurance, or pay the full cost of any medical treatment they receive. Marbella (just a 20 minute car drive from Benalmadena) is rapidly becoming very well-known for its high standard of private medical care, with health tourism expected to rise at least by 40% over the next year alone.
Malaga airport is located just 20 mins from Benalmadena and 40 mins from Marbella/Puerto Banus and offers easy and frequent connections to all European countries (even direct flights to New York offered by Norwegian during the summer).
Due to a significant increase in demand and consumer confidence, numerous lenders in Spain are now offering a variety of mortgage plans with variable, fixed or mixed rates. Financing to buy a property in Spain can be obtained from national banks and savings banks as well as international banks including British banks like Barclays and Lloyds TSB, all of which offer differing costs and contractual terms.
Spanish mortgages terms range from 5 to 40 years depending on the selected provider and the average loan to the property value typically lies between 60% to 70%.
With mild and dry weather conditions practically all year round and more than 90 golf courses in the region, the Costa del Sol is affectionately known by many as the ‘Costa del Golf’. A total of 70 golf courses are located along the Costa del Sol itself, four of which are ranked amongst the top 10 in Europe, including the Valderrama Golf Club, the San Roque Golf Club, La Reserva and Los Naranjos.
The Costa del Sol is a colourful melting pot of international communities that co-exist and contribute a large variety of cultural influences and traditions. The region is home to British, Finnish, Swedish, German, Dutch, French and Russian communities to name a few, and there are many institutions that cater to each individual community including schools, churches, healthcare and legal advisors, making it very easy for someone who does not speak Spanish to relocate to the Costa del Sol.