Situated halfway between Cartagena and Murcia, the region’s two principle cities, Corvera International Airport has been mired in delays and problems. Following the global economic downturn, many Spanish infrastructure projects – including civil engineering transport hubs – fell by the wayside and Corvera Airport was no exception. Nevertheless, recent reports from the local press suggest that the stricken airport could finally be on the way to becoming operational. This is music to the ears of many UK-based investors who favour the seaside resorts in Murcia as a place to buy holiday villas and apartments. In particular, the coastal towns of Los Alcazares and Santiago de la Ribera are popular among British buyers, along with many from Germany and Sweden, too. Given that this stretch of coast is a mere 20 kilometres from the site of the air-hub, it is hardly surprising that the news of a working airport in close proximity has excited both the rentals market and Murcian property prices more generally.
With much of the work completed at Corvera, the company that owns the contract to manage the airport, Aeromur, ran out of working capital. With cash flow problems, the project simply stalled and it looked for a while that perhaps the airport would never open its doors to a flying passenger – let alone receive regular flights from northern Europe packed with holidaymakers. However, in an announcement made by Jose Ballesta, the regional government spokesperson, Aeromur appears to have renegotiated its finances and successfully avoided bankruptcy regulations. This is in stark contrast to the position that was previously stated in September 2013 and now there is talk in the region of an operational airport at Corvera within as little as nine months.
Of course, the opening of a single airport, no matter how state of the art, cannot be the sole reason for an upturn in Murcia’s holiday rentals market. It is, on the other hand, only going to fuel what is currently going on. Murcia – in contrast to other regions in Spain – has escaped the worst rigours of the recent economic collapse in the country. Although property prices did fall over the last five or six years, they never reached the lows that you might have found in other places. Now that Murcia’s economic recovery is a reality, largely down to its thriving agricultural sector, the property market is beginning to pick up. And it is the holiday rental market that is leading the way, with plenty of foreign investment to help it on its way.
A good example of the trend is the aforementioned Los Alcazares, situated just off the main AP-7 highway, facing the world famous seawater lagoon of Mar Menor. This lagoon protects the shore from the Mediterranean Sea and the Mar Menor is usually a few degrees warmer than the sea beyond, making it a great place to take a seaside holiday with kids before the main season starts. Given that the town also boasts an average of 320 sunshiny days per year, then it is easy to see why it is so popular. Buy to rent investors are simply attracted to the resort because they can expect bookings from the UK and elsewhere in Europe before other resorts have really got going. It is by extending the holiday season in this way that returns on investment can be made much more rapidly. The addition of an international airport nearby can only help with this phenomenon. Local property experts say that they expect the rentals market in the area around Mar Menor to grow and grow.