Marbella, London, Los Angeles, Dubai… According to our data, these destinations continue to show strong and stable demand among wealthy buyers. But which locations saw the biggest growth in 2021? From the varied municipality of Sant Josep de sa Talaia in southwest Ibiza to the charming towns of Tavira in Portugal’s eastern Algarve and Dubrovnik in Croatia, we’ve composed a list of the places that revealed a spike in users’ interest throughout 2021.
To collate these emerging locations, we selected areas that demonstrated a soaring increase in listing views compared to the previous year, taking into consideration other growth markers, such as the number of saved listings and leads. We also listened to local market insights and expert opinions, to understand trends behind the growing attention in Portugal (read the interview from September 2021), Ibiza (find out more about the new ‘Ibiza Boom’), Mallorca, and Lucca (both explored in our Second Home Market Report).
So, let’s look closer at the roundup of emerging European destinations, sorted by the growth index
1. Sant Josep de sa Talaia, Ibiza
Growth Index: 4.2
Median housing price: $2,000,000
The municipality of Sant Josep de sa Talaia covers much of southern Ibiza, spanning coastal villages such as Es Cubells, traditional charming towns like Sant Josep, and Playa d’en Bossa with its bustling nightlife. Every way you turn it’s spectacular scenery, from Es Vedrà Island and Ses Salines Natural Park to Cala Jondal, surrounded by pines and jagged cliffs. The region is close to UNESCO-designated Eivissa, too. Property-wise, the median price of $2,000,000 buys investors this three-bedroom villa in the village of Sant Agustí des Vedrà. For those with a bigger budget, there’s this $13,200,000 house on the south coast with views to Formentera, while the lower end of the scale acquires you this four-bedroom apartment.
2. Tavira, Portugal
Growth Index: 3.9
Median housing price: $735,000
Situated in the Eastern Algarve along the Gilão River, the ancient Moorish town of Tavira is surrounded by unspoiled countryside and sits 30 minutes from the Spanish border. The upcoming neighborhood of Vila Real de Santo António is a short drive away, and close by you’ll also find an array of fine sandy beaches, including Terra Estreita, Barril, Tavira Island, and Ilha de Cabanas – all part of Parque Natural da Ria Formosa. For golf, head to nearby Benamor, Quinta de Cima, or Monte Rei – number one in Portugal and 12th in Continental Europe. At the median price of $735,000, properties like this three-bedroom townhouse are on the market. Meanwhile, the top end has this eleven-bedroom country estate for $7,665,000, while at the lower end is this luxury triplex.
3. Santa Ponsa, Mallorca
Growth Index: 3.7
Median housing price: $1,700,000
With an enviable location in the municipality of Calvià – the most expensive destination in Mallorca – Santa Ponsa sits in the southwest of the island, set against a backdrop of mountains and woods. Half an hour from the capital of Palma, the family-friendly coastal town is home to a pair of beaches – Playa de Santa Ponsa and Calo d’en Pellicer – and has a cosmopolitan vibe. In the center is El Club Náutico marina, and for superyacht owners, Port Adriano is a 10-minute drive away. Golf lovers are satisfied too, with rounds to enjoy at T-Golf & Country Club and Golf Santa Ponsa. The median price of $1,700,000 will obtain buyers this sea view villa, at the upper end is this modern property in the old port listed for $14,340,000, and the lowest price bracket buys you this two-bedroom penthouse.
4. Santa Eulària des Riu, Ibiza
Growth Index: 3.6
Median housing price: $1,800,000
On the northeast coast of Ibiza you’ll find Santa Eulària des Riu, an up-and-coming town where recent investments have increased desirability. Just 20 minutes from the capital, Santa Eulària des Riu is home to a 300-meter long sandy beach, and close by are Cala Pada, Playa Niu Blau, Cala Martina, Es Cana, Cala Nova, and Cala Llenya – all running along a single coastal path. There’s a spirited community, and the atmosphere is peaceful yet vibrant, with a mixture of long-term locals and international residents. Boat owners can dock at Marina Santa Eulalia – the ideal base to explore the rest of the island from. For $1,800,000, this project is on the market – an exciting opportunity for those with imagination. If you have a somewhat bigger budget, there’s this 10-bedroom contemporary house for $15,950,000, while those choosing to spend less can take a look at this two-bedroom apartment.
5. Lagos, Portugal
Growth Index: 3.4
Median housing price: $903,000
At the far west of the Algarve coastline, you’ll find the ancient and characterful seafaring city of Lagos. There’s much to enjoy here, from golf at Palmares and Boavista to visiting Ponta da Piedade headland with its group of dramatic rock formations. Beach lovers will be in their element, too: Meia Praia, Praia Dona Ana, Praia do Camilo, and Praia da Batata are close by, while Praia da Luz and Porto do Mos are a short drive away. Be it sunbathing, exploring, or surfing you’re after, there’s a sandy stretch catering to your interests. And if you fancy checking out the land’s end of Europe, head to Sagres, just half an hour by car. In terms of properties, the median of $903,000 acquires buyers this two-bedroom apartment in a gated community designed by acclaimed architect Mário Martins. The top price bracket features this clifftop villa for $9,750,000, while at the other end of the spectrum is this golf course-facing townhouse.
6. Sintra, Portugal
Growth Index: 2.8
Median housing price: $1,000,000
Inland from the Silver Coast, Sintra is set amid rolling hills and peaks and remains unspoiled by mass tourism. Home to the iconic Pena National Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the charming town is just half an hour from Lisbon, popular among international property buyers and investors, and a serious competitor to the Algarve. Head 18 kilometers westwards to the crystal clear waters of the Atlantic and you’ll find tons of top beaches, from Adraga and Grande to Guincho and Praia do Magoito. There’s golfing to be had too, at nearby Penha Longa, Belas, Estoril Palácio, Quinta da Marinha, and Oitavos Dunes. For $1,000,000, you can buy this four-bedroom villa with a pool, at the top end is this 1890’s chalet in Pena National Park for $9,747,000, and at the lowest price bracket is this three-bedroom duplex.
7. Nueva Andalucia, Spain
Growth Index: 2.7
Median housing price: $2,500,000
Sitting in a prime Costa del Sol locale is Nueva Andalucia, a residential area 10 minutes to the west of ever-popular Marbella, one of JamesEdition’s top three destinations every year in terms of demand. Close to the Golden Mile and Golf Valley, Nueva Andalucia is an increasingly sought-after European second home location. In terms of getting out on the fairway, Real Club De Golf Las Brisas and Los Naranjos are nearby, and Real Valderrama is a 45-minute drive – the best course in Spain, fourth in Continental Europe, and one hundredth in the world. If boats are your passion, Puerto Banús Marina is a stone’s throw away, and among the most elite in the world. There are beaches in the vicinity to suit all tastes – El Ancón, Nagüeles, Playas del Duque and Río Verde – as well as hiking opportunities at La Concha, and picnic spots at Lago de Las Tortugas. The median price of $2,500,000 will buy home seekers this single-level newly built villa, and at the lower end of the scale is this terraced townhouse. If you have substantially more to spend, there’s this renovated palace for $38,990,000 – the most expensive listing we draw to your attention.
8. Moraira, Spain
Growth Index: 2.4
Median housing price: $1,200,000
On the north-eastern tip of the Costa Blanca is where you’ll find the charming coastal town of Moraira, where Spanish character is preserved. Sitting between Alicante and Valencia airports, Moraira is 30 minutes from both Oliva Nova Beach & Golf Resort and La Sella Golf, and close to beaches such as L’Ampolla and El Portet. Other places of interest within easy reach include the mountain-top fortress of Guadales, ancient Murcia, and UNESCO-designated Palmeral de Elche, Europe’s largest palm forest. In terms of big cities, Barcelona and Madrid are both four hours away. At the median price of $1,200,000, you’ll find this villa is an exclusive gated complex. If you have more money to splash, there’s this beachfront house that’s still under construction for $10,321,000, and at the lower end of the scale is this two-bedroom sea-facing apartment.
9. Lucca, Italy
Growth Index: 2.3
Median housing price: $1,100,000
Tuscany’s newest hotspot, Lucca is primely situated half an hour from Pisa and the Mediterranean coastline, 1.25 hours from Florence, and 1.75 hours from scenic Cinque Terre. According to Knight Frank, even in the flourishing Italian market where enquiries jumped 76% in 2021, Lucca “stood out from the crowd”. The medieval walled city and its surrounding areas are competitively priced, with our data revealing house prices in Lucca were 40% lower than in neighboring Florence in 2021. And with many residences renovated in the last five years, there are turnkey opportunities. Further draws are Italy’s flat tax scheme and favorable property taxes. In terms of neighborhoods, Lucca Hills, Il Colle, Santa Maria del Giudice, and the Old Town rank highly. For the median of $1,100,000, you can acquire this characterful 1900s villa. The priciest listing is this 30-bedroom period property at $21,788,000, and the lower end has this two-bedroom restored apartment on the market.
10. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Growth Index: 2.1
Median housing price: $1,700,000
Increasingly known as a spot for the ultra-wealthy, Nobel Prize winner George Bernard Shaw was enchanted by the city, saying “those who seek paradise on Earth should come to Dubrovnik, the “pearl of the Adriatic”. Relatively affordable winter yacht moorings at ACI Marina are certainly a draw, but there’s way more to Dubrovnik. For example, the characterful Old Town became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979, and was deemed one of the most beautiful European cities, conceding only to Venice and Amsterdam. Take the cable car to Srd Hill for breathtaking cityscape views, head to a nearby beach to relax, or sail around the picturesque Elafiti islands of Lopud and Šipan. If you’re a movie and TV buff, be sure to check out limestone-paved Stradun and Fort Lovrijenac – filming locations for Game of Thrones and Star Wars Episode VII. In terms of properties, the median of $1,700,000 buys you this gorgeous stone house, the upper end gets you this off-plan villa for $9,174,000, and at the lower price bracket, this sea view penthouse is listed.