Spain is one of the most popular countries in which foreigners from all over the world come to settle down and make a new life for themselves. Obviously, some areas are more popular than others for whatever reasons.

Students and young people generally tend to locate to the big cities or the Islands, whilst those that come to live in Spain on a permanent or semi-permanent basis buying a property in the process generally opt for coastal areas.

 In fact, last year in 2013, more foreigners, residents and non residents inclusive purchased property in the province of Alicante (Comunidad Valenciana) than in any other province in Spain.

Naturally, these foreign residents were seduced by extremely low house prices in this area, the pretty beaches and the sun. (We’re having a cracking winter!)

Data from the Department of Public Works has revealed that Alicante registered the highest number of property signings before the notary involving foreign purchasers with a total of 3,442.

And way behind Alicante followed the provinces of Málaga (1,992); Barcelona (1,086); the Balearic Islands (1,020); and Tenerife (822).

Although these figures seem incredibly low, there has in fact been an increase in the number of properties purchased by foreigners for 10 consecutive quarters.

The first quarter of 2014 will see a rise of 0.1% from the previous quarter (Oct – Dec 2013).

However, last year saw a total of 14,787 property purchases by foreigners, which made up 15.8% of the total. Less than 10% of these purchases were carried out by non residents.

The typical profile of a foreigner that has bought a property in Alicante is one who is demanding and informed, who values the Spanish way of life and who is generally interested in purchasing a second home.

They predominantly go for properties being sold by the banks and which have been reduced by around 40 or 50%. They pay in cash and tend to buy properties that are situated along the Mediterranean coast.

The most popular type of property they choose is a 2-bed duplex with 2 bathrooms, priced at an average of 158,000 euro.