The property market on Costa de la Luz

The Costa de la Luz is still little known and unspoiled, so the Costa of light is an excellent place to loom for a good investment.

 If you ask anybody with an interest in Spain to point out the Costa del Sol on a map, almost everyone will be able to do so. Ask about the Costa de la Luz, however, and the finger is likely to hover hesitantly, possibly towards the country´s eastern coast, before the person questioned admits defeat. And that is what makes this “Coast of Light” such an attractive, unspoiled region for those who want to get away from the mass construction which blights some of the better-known coastal regions.

Costa de la Luz on the Spanish map.

The Costa de la Luz is Spain´s south-western Atlantic coast, incorporating the provinces of Cadiz and Huelva. Its begins just north of Gibraltar at the windsurfing capital of Tarifa, and its fabulous beaches stretch as far as Ayamonte, doorway to the beautiful Doñana National Park. This area can not only compete with, but indeed often surpasses, its more famous neighbour, Costa del Sol. It too has major cities and a growing airport, excellent fast roads, modern hospitals, golf courses, good schools and shopping facilities, but it is generally less built-up, quieter, and the way of life is still very traditional. Because of its attractions and ease of access, the Costa de la Luz is become more popular among property buyers who either want a holiday home or have decided to make Spain their permanent residence, but prices are still considerably lower than in other parts of the country.

The Spanish property market.

There has been a great deal of negative press about the Spanish property market recently. A conference held by the College of Estate Agents in Madrid revealed that a crisis in the property sector had caused 4o per cent of offices to close down last year, and Cadiz was one of the provinces which was hit hardest. A survey from the University of Acala de Henares indicates that there was a 16 per cent reduction in property sales and purchases in Cadiz in 2007, which is well above the national average of 11,8 per cent. Over one hundred construction companies in the area have been forced to close down since August and others are joining forces to obtain greater liquidity.

Would-be vendors are said to be holding off selling their properties because they fear they won´t get the price they want, and many buyers are also waiting because the hope prices will fall and they will be able to snap up a bargain. The market has slumped because of this uncertainty about what prices are going to do. Banks are increasingly reluctant to grant mortgages. And so on and so forth. All this paints a rather depressing picture, but it is not the whole picture. It is true that prices did drop in some areas of the region last year -7,68 per cent in Jerez, for example, and 5,48 per cent inland as a whole – but in Cadiz city, where there isn’t a great deal of available property, they rose by 12,4 per cent, and in Chipiona prices went up by 12,91 per cent. The increase for Cadiz province as a whole was 8,22 per cent, and the price of coastal properties went up by 6,88 per cent.

Press converge about the property prices.

Estate agents interviewed in the Spanish press earlier this month agreed the t 2007 had not been a good yea, but they were optimistic that the worst is now over and the situation will continue to improve. Their assessment is the property market is regularising itself and prices will pick up again soon, but they also pointed out that vendors whose properties were significantly overpriced have been forced to drop their asking price, and will continue to dos so. While members of the construction industry believe it will take between eighteen and two years for their sector to recover, most estate agents in the region are optimistic that the property market will recover, within a year.

In terms of prices, a report for the last quarter of 2007 indicates that the average price for a 118,2 square metre new property in Cadiz province was 294,689 euro’s, or 2,494 euro’s per square metre, while an apartment of 92,5 square metres, 73,4 of which are living area, in Cadiz city cost an average of 246,429 euro’s. This is 2,663 euro’s per square metre or 3,359 euro’s per square metre of usable space. The price of resale properties also depends on location, and there is quite a large difference between coastal and inland properties, and between different areas of the coast, but you do get a lot more for your money her than in many other parts of Spain.

A glance through estate agency details reveals a two-bed roomed apartment on a golf course at Sanlucar de Barrameda for 168,000 euro’s, a frontline beach townhouse in Chipina for 260,000 euro’s; three bed roomed, two bath roomed detached villa with swimming pool for 299,000 euro’s in Chiclana and Concil; or five bed roomed traditional luxury houses in the pretty hillside village of Vejer for 600,000 euro’s or less.

A beautiful place to live.

As a place to live, the Costa de la Luz has a great deal to offer; peace and quiet, security, lovely countryside and stunning beaches, and reasonable property prices. Investor not looking for a quick return on their money may also find it worthwhile exploring the area, because it is increasingly popular, has many attractions for expatriate buyers, and estate agents are generally optimistic about the prospects for the future.


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