There's still a huge choice of Costa Blanca property for sale despite the seemingly insatiable hunger for villas and apartments in this area from foreign buyers. An estimated 1.7 million European buyers will invest in Spanish property over the next five years so despite gloomy predictions of an impending price crash construction continues at a feverish level along this stretch of coastline and to an increasing extent further inland.
In the small but highly desirable resort area of Javea there are currently more than 80 different estate agents ("inmobiliaria") falling over each other to peddle their wares which include off-plan projects, resales, plots of land and ruins for renovation. Developers are negotiating with local landowners to snap up every available hillside with a sea view in order to build "urbanizaciones" (community developments) aimed at foreign buyers.
You'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding what type of property or project to invest in so it's important to keep your options open and take the time to examine the bewildering range of properties and plots currently available. Don't tie yourself down to one estate agent or developer and avoid the offer of free inspection trips because the sales techniques can be horribly high pressure and you won't be given the chance to see the broad spectrum of property available.
Bear in mind that you can pay as much as double for a property overlooking the sea and prices drop considerably the further inland you go. With some parts of the Costa becoming marred by over-development, many foreign buyers are choosing to purchase properties slightly back from the coast where prices are more affordable, the countryside is relatively unspoilt and the lifestyle is more laid back. In the traditional inland Spanish pueblos you can buy a lovely three-storey town house with an interior courtyard and roof terrace for a fraction of the price of a standard holiday villa near the sea.
Of course your choice of property will depend largely on whether you're buying solely for investment purposes or whether you intend to live in it year-round. You might prefer a more Spanish environment if you're intending to make Spain your permanent home but if you're looking for good letting potential it's best to stick as close to the sea as possible.
There are countless off-plan projects currently under way on the Costa Blanca and if you're not in any particular hurry to move in these can prove a lucrative investment, even in the short term. Different developers set different terms but you normally make an initial payment of between 30-40% on a property which has yet to be built. The last payment is made on completion but by that time there's a good chance that your property has already increased in value. All payments are fixed at the outset so there's no danger of you having to fork out more money to allow for the fact that the property is worth far more on completion than it was at the outset. Many investors sell their "option to buy" at a considerable profit shortly before completion.