A new report has found that the popularity of Spanish property as a second home for British people continues to be strong, as 65.7 per cent of Brits would choose this country as their preferred destination to set up a new residence.

The Barclays-IESE Barometer has confirmed the strong presence of British ex-pats in Spain, with areas such as Alicante and Malaga particularly popular.

However, a change was noted in terms of new sectors of Spanish property becoming popular, as Murcia and Almeria are becoming increasingly common choices over destinations such as the Costa del Sol and the Costa Blanca.

It was estimated that there was a 46 per cent increase in the British population of Murcia last year, compared to 35 per cent in Almeria and 12 per cent in Madrid.

There are a number of features in Murcia which are believed to make it attractive to Brits living abroad, most obviously the climate, but also the low levels of urbanisation and the number of golf courses it boasts.

British people reportedly owned 90,000 houses in Spain at the beginning of the year – 30 per cent more than was recorded at the beginning of last year.

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    Carol McDonald