Younger couples and families starting to replace retirees buying in Southern Spain, figures suggest

Younger generation purchasing homes in Spain

Younger couples and families are replacing retired couples as the main buyers of properties in Spain, according to figures from one of the major developers.

British developer Taylor Wimpey de España has identified a change. Traditionally known for being one of the top retirement destinations, the statistics reveal that Spain is now attracting younger couples and families instead.

This year so far, 80% of buyers are aged between 30 and 55 years of age, with only 19% of purchases coming from the over 55s. This compares with 68% and 31% respectively in 2009, which suggests that more families are looking to buy in Spain.

The proportion of those looking for a holiday residence or a second home has gone up to 75% and the number of people looking for a home in which to retire has dropped down to 4%.

Despite the economic downturn the developer has not seen a huge drop off with the numbers of those investing in the Spanish property market holding steady at 13% compared with 15% in the last couple of years.

‘We can extrapolate from this that Spain has always been a popular destination for investors and the interest is still there from buyers looking to make the most of the reduced prices and turnkey stock in prime locations,’ the developer said.

However, people are buying smaller properties. Since 2007 property budgets have reflected the reduction in disposable income for British people. Today 72% of buyers purchase a property costing between €150,000 and €250,000 whereas in 2007 this figure was nearly half that and 45% spent between €250,000 and €350,000. Today only 20% are looking to spend this amount and only 5% are prepared to spend more than €350,000.

Typically, 60% of buyers look to purchase two bedroom properties, with around 40% desiring three bedrooms.

The research also shows that the Balearic Islands are popular with British buyers with some 45% looking at Mallorca because of its golf courses, beaches and posh shops. The Costa del Sol comes second with 41%.

Taylor Wimpey de España, which has a stronghold in the popular Marbella region of the Costa del Sol, said prime locations are still as popular as ever and good property in excellent locations still sell regardless of the economic climate.

Golf is also a major draw for British buyers with 78% placing it top of their list. According to recent surveys, at least 80,000 golfers from around the globe visit Mallorca to play annually.

Over the last couple of years however, other hobbies have also started to prick the interest of British people including hill walking, water sports and tennis. The consistent demand for outdoor activities has helped to ensure that resorts offer excellent facilities for visitors and owners alike.

‘The figures extracted from our client database of buyers between 2007 and 2010 show clearly that more and more families are looking to Spanish hotspots like Mallorca or the Costa del Sol for holiday and second homes, with two bedroom properties for under €250,000 appearing to be the most popular choice,’ said Victor Sague, sales and marketing director of Taylor Wimpey de España.

‘The range of outdoor sporting activities, golf facilities and water sports, with high class restaurants, bars and shops, has always been a huge pull for Northern Europeans to Spain, along with the relaxed way of life, warm year round climate and the beautiful Mediterranean Sea,’ he added.

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