Three quarters of a million Brits now live in EU countries outside of the UK and Ireland, and more than a third of these have chosen Spain as their home away from home.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have found that Spain is still the main destination for British citizens living abroad, particularly among the retiring generation, with 37% of Brits abroad living there – 41% of which are aged 65 and above.

There are a total of 293,500 of us now living in Spain, attracted by the weather, leisure opportunities and Mediterranean lifestyle that many see as the ultimate goal after retirement, although two-thirds of Brits living in the EU outside Britain are of working age between 15-64.

The attractions of Spain

Marc Pritchard, sales and marketing director of Taylor Wimpey Espana, said: “Spain has so much to offer those who are retired or approaching retirement. The Mediterranean climate and diet are well suited to those looking for a healthy lifestyle, while the medical system here is also superb.

“As Spain remains the top choice in Europe for Brits living overseas, it’s important to provide accommodation that suits their preferences and budgets.”

The property market in Spain has been performing strongly since the beginning of this year, with prices increasing by 3.8% between the first quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2018, according to a house price index from Tinsa.

The growth was fairly mixed across the country, with the capital Madrid seeing prices soar by 17% over the year, while they rose by 14.7% in the popular tourist destination of Palma de Mallorca.

Barcelona, situated on the east coast which is a top destination for British expats, saw price growth of 11%. However, three areas recorded slight house price falls, with prices in Castilla-La Mancha down by 1.3%, Extremadura down by 0.6% and Galicia down by 0.1%.

Strong market for international buyers

One estate agent, Lucas Fox, said that 66% of all its house sales in 2017 were to international buyers, 10% of which were from the UK – which was very similar to the level seen in 2016 and proof that issues such as Brexit are not a deterrent to most.

Rod Jamieson, head of operations at Lucas Fox, said: “Falling unemployment, low interest rates and a strong economy have all contributed to the growth in the Spanish property market. Official figures now indicate that the market has recovered from the crash of 2008 with transactions reaching pre-crisis levels in some areas.

“Overall prices, however, remain below the levels of 2007, offering attractive opportunities for investors across the whole of Spain.”