The tourism industry in Spain is as healthy as ever and consequently the Spanish property market is benefiting, it has emerged.

Figures from the UN World Tourism Organisation have shown that Spain was in the top five countries in southern and Mediterranean Europe to experience an increase in tourism in the first quarter of 2006, with a six per cent rise in activity.

Based on the country's popularity as a tourist destination, many investors are focusing on it as a positive property market, according to real estate specialists Assetz.

Levels of appreciation on capital in Spain are believed to be performing well in comparison to other European countries.

News provider Expatica has recently reported that house prices have increased by an average of 11.9 per cent in the last year.

The city of Barcelona is believed to have experienced the highest level of growth in price levels, followed by Madrid and San Sebastian.

Catalonia, the Spanish region in which Barcelona is situated, has seen the highest level of capital appreciation at 8.8 per cent, followed by Castilla-La Mancha at 7.5 per cent and Andalusia and Valencia which have both seen 7.4 per cent appreciation.

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    Carol McDonald