Spain shines as Europe’s ideal sustainable travel and second home destination
Lonely Planet has just ranked Spain as among the top ten destinations in the world for sustainable travel, as part of its Best in Travel 2024. The country’s commitment to biodiversity and the fact that “new cycle paths, electric buses and train routes offer flight-free ways to see the country” contributed to Spain’s status as a leading destination for eco-conscious travellers.
Sustainability is an increasingly important issue for second home buyers in Spain, as well as holidaymakers. According to the Sales and Marketing Director at leading Spanish home builder Taylor Wimpey España, energy efficiency is increasingly top of mind for buyers. When asked to predict trends for the Spanish second homes market in 2024, he commented:
“Buyers are increasingly seeking modern homes built with sustainability in mind. They are asking about energy certifications and seeking out A- and B-rated properties with features such as aerothermal heating pumps, installation for electric cars, energy-efficient appliances and energy-saving measures in communal areas. This is going to be a key trend in 2024 and beyond, with buyers increasingly turning away from older properties in favour of new, more sustainable homes.”
Taylor Wimpey España already provides virtual show home visits for buyers looking to reduce their carbon footprint by minimising travel. The company has seen travel patterns change too, with many owners using their properties for fewer, longer breaks, often blending leisure time with working from home.
“We expect to see further growth in executive nomads using their second homes in Spain in 2024. Those who have established effective, long-term working from home arrangements now have the freedom to change their travel patterns and enjoy greater lifestyle benefits as a result. Instead of travelling to the office daily, sitting in traffic and adding to the fumes, they can step onto the terrace and enjoy an early morning coffee in the near-year-round sunshine, drinking in the stunning view as motivation for the day’s work.”
Sales and Marketing Director, Taylor Wimpey España
With “new train routes making flight-free travel a breeze,” according to Lonely Planet, Spain is immensely accessible by rail. London to Malaga and London to Alicante by train are both achievable in less than 23 hours. Travellers can make the journey part of the adventure – with the right connection times, they can catch a sleeper train from Paris and stop for a relaxed breakfast in the sunshine of the south of France before carrying on to Spain.
Second homes in Spain come in a wide range of styles, sizes and locations, meaning that buyers can find the perfect balance to meet their individual needs when it comes to balancing work and leisure time. At Bella Beach in Dénia (in Alicante in the Costa Blanca) buyers can choose between ground floor homes with private gardens, two- and three-bedroom apartments with spacious terraces and luxurious penthouses with private solarium terraces. The A-rated homes overlook the sea and provide easy access to a wide range of facilities, with supermarkets, a market, cafes, restaurants, banks, a gym, a medical centre and a golf course all dotted about the local area.
While the Costa Blanca typically provides greater value for money than the neighbouring Costa del Sol, it is the latter where demand for properties has really flourished over the past year. According to Taylor Wimpey España, homes in the Costa del Sol represent 50% of its total reservations so far in 2023, with demand still growing.
British buyers, who accounted for 12% of Taylor Wimpey España’s total reservations between January and October 2023, have shown a particular preference for properties with stunning golf views this year. Homes at Solana Village, at La Cala Golf Resort in Mijas, have proven a hit, with British buyers snapping up properties at both Solana Village East and Solana Village South. Part of the same development, the two sites offer exceptional golf views, along with communal facilities that include an adult pool, infant splash pool and pretty landscaped gardens overlooking the valley. The difference, as reflected in the names, relates to the orientation of the two- and three-bedroom apartments.