Benidorm back in fashion?

Brits are snapping up Benidorm property

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Benidorm, Alicante Province, Costa Blanca, Spain.  Levante beach.

The last time that Benidorm was fashionable, shoulder pads and legwarmers were the height of sophistication. The closest that many people have been to the resort in recent years was watching the TV programme of the same name while making plans to go on holiday elsewhere for the foreseeable future.

However, new figures have revealed that the resort is making a comeback. One report has claimed that it's the place in Spain where Brits are most likely to buy a second property.



Affordable

The figures were revealed by the Daily Mail which also highlighted that over the last four years the proportion of properties being bought by non-Spaniards in the resort has tripled. Now more than one in ten purchases are from people looking to move in or buy a second home.

To a large extent, it's the affordability of the region that's proving the biggest draw. According to Kyero.com, the average property in the town costs just €196,000 - compared to an average across Spain of €218,000. They say that at the moment you can buy a one-bedroom property in the area for €119,000, a two-bedroom property for €180,000, and a three-bedroom property for €251,000.

Average prices have not been tumbling to the same extent as other parts of Spain - which have seen prices fall by as much as 70%. There has been more resilience in Costa Blanca, and Taylor Wimpey has reported increasing interest from overseas buyers in the region. However, prices here were always priced well for the budget-conscious, and they have fallen some way from the peaks in 2007.

Meanwhile, the proliferation of low cost flights to Alicante has brought the final piece of the puzzle together: Brits can buy cheap property in the sun and then get there for a relatively low cost. Given that 40% of visitors to the area are British, it's hardly surprising that they make up so many of the buyers.

Is it really fashionable?

Benidorm itself is also changing to appeal to more types of holidaymakers. There are some aspects of Benidorm which aren't going to change. The tiny English town, the high rises, and the thousands of sun loungers lining the beach are here to stay.

However, there are other sides of Benidorm: the cobbled streets of the old town, the white beaches, and the local tapas bars far from the reach of the traditional tourist. Building work, including the new promenade and a number of initiatives to tidy the resort up, mean there's more for the mid-range buyer too.

Meanwhile, over the last decade, developers have also built high-end accommodation and attractions for more exclusive holidays - with four and five star hotels, spas, tennis courts and golf courses. It has brought a new clientele - who have more money to spend on buying a second property overseas.

But what do you think is driving buyers: the lesser-known charms of the area, or the chance to bag a bargain and a cheap place to have fun?

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