With obstacles such as Brexit and above all the Covid-pandemic, which has severely limited international mobility, one might well have assumed that the number of foreign residents in Spain would not have experienced much movement. It turns out that the opposite is true, as it rose by 2% in 2020, a figure that is in line with ‘normal’ years.
What’s more, you would quite reasonably have expected the number of British residents to have declined, if anything, not grown. And yet, in spite of Brexit and Covid not only did it grow, but British citizens were the second-largest group among those registering to live in Spain, behind only Venezuelans. The latter have flocked here in numbers because of the political and economic situation in their homeland—but far more surprising is the fact that so many Brits have done so too.
A lifestyle choice
For a growing number of Europeans, the move to Spain is above all motivated by lifestyle considerations. A certain percentage of new residents who registered here in 2020 may have been living here for a considerable time and been encouraged by the Brexit deadline to legalise their status, but real estate agents and relocation companies on Spain’s Costas confirm that the flow of British people into the country is bigger than repatriation to the UK.
A positive side-effect of the current Covid-situation is the fact that remote working has become increasingly widespread and is expected to remain far more common even after the pandemic ends. By no means will everybody be returning to offices on a fixed basis and therefore tied to daily commutes in large urban centres, and while sporadic in situ meetings will continue to be favoured, remote communication and work tools are here to stay – which all adds up to make relocation to somewhere like Marbella possible.
Last year saw many people reassessing their work-life balance more carefully, this equates to a move out of smaller accommodation near the city centre. In the first instance, many are moving into larger suburban family homes, but those who can, take it a step further and search for true lifestyle destinations that offer far greater quality of life. Spain in general, and destinations such as Marbella and the Costa del Sol in particular, have seen the impact of this, as property sales and property prices remain remarkable stable despite the current crisis.
So, while the local property market would normally be enduring a difficult time during a crisis of this kind, the combination of lifestyle choice and the technologies that make it possible is encouraging many not just to vacation and own a holiday home here, but to make the Costa del Sol their new permanent home – a safe, sunny place from which to work and enjoy life to the full!
Contact Marbella Hills Homes for the best real estate opportunities in the best areas of the Costa del Sol, as well as for practical information about relocating here.