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Relocating or Retiring To Spain - Should You?

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 13 September 2017 03:50

At the time of writing, about 12% of the population living in Spain are expats, hailing widely from other European countries, South America and North Africa. Although North Americans do not make up a large proportion of expats in Spain, it is a country that many do choose to make their home, usually for retirement, or as a temporary base where many younger North Americans seek English teaching jobs to supplement their travels around Europe.

It is little wonder that so many individuals and families are attracted to a life in Spain. The country has a sound modern infrastructure with an idyllic climate that can be compared to that of Southern California. This allows residents to enjoy many outdoor and sporting activities and with a pace of life that is slower that in cities in the United States it makes for an attractive location to consider for retirement.

Furthermore, the country is very rich in culture and you will find literally hundreds of museums in the larger cities. There are also many internationally renowned buildings of historical interest to visit in Spain, such as the Alhambra of Granada and the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

Buying Real Estate

Property prices in Spain are still very appealing as although the market is improving at a fast rate, prices are still low compared to 2007 before the global recession when Spain was hit very badly. Until around 2015 the supply of housing was far greater than the demand which led to many families losing their homes and others facing drastic negative equity issues. However, 10 years later prices are rising steadily so if you are considering buying in Spain, now is the time; you still have the opportunity to pick up a bargain and chances are within just a few years the property will have risen considerably in value.

Property Prices

The price of property will vary greatly depending on where you want to live with Barcelona and Madrid being among the highest priced provinces, and the rural non-touristic like Avila and Albacete areas being the lowest.

In less sought-after towns you will find properties for around €30,000, but before you jump on the next plane to grab yourself such a bargain there are many factors to consider. Living in an urban location in Spain is not quite as attractive proposition as you might originally think. Often times these locations are extremely hard to access, far from airports and you are likely to be the only expats living in the area. As a result you will probably find your neighbours do not speak anything other than Spanish and often will also use a local dialect such as Catalan or Vasco which makes it difficult to make friends.

On the other hand, If you are able to spend around 140,000€ for a two-bedroom apartment you get to choose from many fabulous locations such as Valencia, the Costa Blanca, the Costa Brava, the Costa del Sol, or further inland in great cultural cities such as Sevilla or Zaragossa.

Cost of Living in Spain

Like in most countries the cost of living in Spain is dependent upon each individual’s interests and lifestyle goals. High living and fine dining is expensive wherever you go, and Spain is no exception. But if you are happy to live as a regular local, you will find your US dollars last a lot longer and go a lot further than you are accustomed to in the United States.

As previously noted housing costs are more than reasonable, but In cities with many employment opportunities such as Barcelona or Madrid, expect to pay through the nose for rental properties.

Utility costs can also be relatively high, particularly if you rely on bottled Butano gas or live on an urbanisation that is serviced by a private water company. However, to even things out, food in Spain is relatively cheap. If you don’t like to prepare food at home you will find many restaurants offer a three course “Menu del Dia” which includes bread and wine for around 12€.

If a life in Spain sounds appealing, please take a look at our huge range of Costa Blanca properties for sale. We are long established agents on the Costa Blanca, the most popular area for expats who are drawn to the area due to the perfect climate and healthy way of life.


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