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Guide to buying property in Murcia / Costa Calida


Updated: January 2015

Situated in the hottest and driest corner of Spain, like Almeria, Murcia is a region that has been steadily growing in popularity as a more affordable and less developed option to the Costa del Sol. Sandwiched between Valencia and the southern Costa Blanca to the north, and  Andalusia to the south, it includes the Costa Calida and the Mar Menor, a salt-water lagoon bordered by a 22km sandbar or “Strip”, La Manga.  It offers 15 beaches along “the Strip - including the popular Playa Paraiso that gets packed with Spanish families at weekends – but also boat trips from quaint marinas and little villages with many coastal promenades with cafes, shops and restaurants. 

The region’s principal city is Murcia, but it also includes the ancient city of Cartagena, but the two biggest stories about Murcia in recent years have focused on the new international airport at Corvera (the main one is at San Javier) and the much hyped new Paramount theme park nearby (that will rival Euro Disney and draw millions to the region) – both a long time in the pipeline. Well the latest on Paramount is that in November 2014 it was reported that the EU had approved a Spanish government towards the park; something that should help draw the investors still being persuaded to back the project. Construction could start in 2015 – or it might now; locals have learnt not to hold their breath on this one. Meanwhile Corvera airport has been a long-running and shambolic saga – although we can say it is actually built – with the search for a management company ongoing, again 2015 could be the year. 

Second airport or theme park aside, the region and its good beaches and characterful towns and villages and a few decent golf courses is still much-loved by second-home owners and is currently very popular due to its affordability. Fancy a three-bed villa close to the Blue Flag beaches of the Mar Menor for around €70,000? Well you should catch up with the latest series of A Place in the Sun that caused a wave of enquiries in the area when broadcast in January (2015).

So where are the most popular areas?


Murcia Property Hotspots


The region’s best-known resort is the La Manga Club, a well-established and prestigious sporting destination whose visitors have included most of the world’s best football teams and where former players such as Paul Gasgoigne and Stan Collymore have been famously badly behaved. But the world-class facilities are superb and include three golf courses, 28 tennis courts, professional football training centre, cricket, horseriding and sailing club. There are over 1,600 private properties as well as the hotels and homes have retained their value relatively well (for the region) although there is a fair amount for sale right now: entry level for a two-bed apartment is around €100k, a four-bed villa around €550,000 – with a lot of different options in between, or luxury homes for several millions. 

Polaris World is another big name in Murcia, with a total of six golf resorts, many of which offer homes at prices drastically reduced from their 2007 peak. The resorts include Mar Menor, El Valle, Hacienda Riquelme, La Torre (the largest), Contado de Alhama and Terrazas de la Torre. One-bed apartments at the latter are available for less than €50k, two-beds for €55k plus but you’ll pay more at the Mar Manor, the most well-established resort, with two-bed apartments currently around the €130k mark. 

Hacienda Riquelme golf course is very close to the small inland village of Sucina that has become popular with the British market, partly because it also close to another golf course resort, La Peraleja. A small resale three-bed villa in Sucina centre can be bought for €100k, but there’s much more available to buy on the two golf resorts, with some modern luxury detached villas for sale in La Peraleja for €350,000 plus. 

Turning to other hotspots around the Mar Menor, at its apex there’s the busy town and lively tourist centre of San Pedro del Pinatar, with a long promenade, marina and extensive beaches. Two-bed apartments cost around €90,000. Prices are similar in the next stop south, the former fishing village and popular sailing resort of Santiago de la Ribera, which also hosts the San Javier International Jazz Festival.

Then there’s Los Alcazares, another lovely seaside town and popular watersports centre with 7km of beach with spas and golf featuring strongly. A budget of €120k will buy you a two-bed apartment, sometimes three. 

Those seeking somewhere smaller might prefer the little town of Los Urrutias, which manages to retain an old-world feel with its famous weekly market. A three-bed finca there costs around €150k. Also definitely worth a mention is the village of Mar de Cristal with its little marina, good sandy beach backed by an attractive promenade. There are a fair few holiday complexes with apartments available, two beds at around €80k, three-bed duplexes or townhouses for €150,000. 

South of the Mar Menor, there’s the Gulf of Mazarron, with 35km of beaches backed by the foothills of the Sierra de la Almenara, with the port, or Puerto de Mazarron its sea-faring hub. 

Property options include the Mazarron Country Club (three-bed villas from around €130k mark or a detached two-bed villa for around €120,000), where there seems both plenty of available stock and owners receptive to offers; and also Camposol golf resort whose typical offerings include four-bed detached villas for around €230k. 

Much less inventory is on the market in the attractive Roman port city of Aguilas, a popular resort area with town beaches, great scuba-diving  and famous lighthouse at the lower end of the gulf. A traditional four-bed townhouse in the centre might cost €180k.  

If you go inland, your money goes far in the attractive old spa town of Fortuna – four-bed villa for €150,000 or five-bed farmhouse amongst the olives groves for around €275,000; or Albacete seems to offer a good choice for those seeking an inland base close to an historic city. 

Buyers Need to Know

 

* Property transfer tax (ITP) on resales is 8 per cent.

* Seek independent legal advice to carry out due diligence on  developments – as with other regions, there have been illegal or mothballed schemes.

* Climate is hot, arid summers and relatively cold winters: will this suit?


 

Need more information?

If you would like more detail about some aspects of buying a property in Spain, then download our FREE guide to buying property in Spain sponsored by HomeEspaña, which covers the popular regions of Spain, a run-down of the Spanish property market including the types of property and things to watch. We give tips on legal, currency and tax as well as the steps involved in the buying process. Download now >

 

 

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