Is Valencia Spain Still A Bargain?

is Valencia Spain still a bargain? long line at the city of arts and sciences.

Is Valencia Spain still a bargain in 2023? I suppose it depends on who you ask. If you’d asked me the same question a couple of years ago, I would have said yes, definitely without a question. Now? I’m not so sure. I will attempt to offer my thoughts on this post.

Is Valencia Spain still a bargain in 2023?

Valencia used to be what one would consider a hidden gem, a place very few people knew about. Mention Barcelona, Seville, or Madrid, actually, throw in Malaga, and everyone and their mother knew them.

Valencia would have gotten you Valencia, Orange County in California, and even Valencia in the Philippines. It was the reason for putting Spain after that name on my blog posts. I was tired of fielding questions about the other namesakes.

Mention Valencia now though, and everybody knows it. The best place to live in the world! Cheap housing, lower cost of living, and so on. The accolades are plentiful.

Longtime readers will also know that it took me almost three years after we moved to Valencia before I started to write about my favorite city in Spain. It was by design. I was being a selfish twat. I didn’t want people to flood in like I did! (told you I was selfish 🙂 ).

Then, the magazines came a-calling. I think it was Forbes that mentioned how it was a great place to live, followed by others. The cat was out of the bag, so, I started this blog. If people were coming, I would attempt to fill them in on what they could expect.

Where can I hang this? I am joking. At least, I think so! 🙂

Now, I want to shut the front door🤣. I want to put up a “Closed” sign. No less than three couples who had visited here with the desire to move have changed their minds, in the last two months. The first couple has now set their eyes on Alicante. The second, Colombia, and the third? They’re staying put in the States but in a different and cheaper state.

Their reasons are all the same. Valencia is no longer as cheap. It’s still a bargain, don’t get me wrong. Compared though, to the prices of two to three years ago, it is no longer as desirable. Prices are up everywhere you say. True.

The thing is why move then when it’s going to cost you almost as much, especially when you factor in the cost of the move and everything else? I point out Lisbon, Porto, and loads of cities in Mexico. I’m talking about cities here, not some way out suburban places.

Let’s face it, that’s why most people move. They want to experience life in the big cities that are affordable.

Is Valencia still a desirable bargain in 2023?

Real Estate:

This is easily the biggest piece of the pie. Housing prices have exploded. No kidding. I’ve mentioned previously how the migration of immigrants like us is affecting real estate prices. It has not shown any signs of a slowdown. The opposite as a matter of fact.

Got a half-a-million euros to blow on a property? Come on down! Things have gotten so bad that Portugal has had to cut that out in the bigger cities. Could the same thing happen here? I would have said no before. Now? I’m not so sure.

There are so many people willing to pay stupid money for crap houses and I don’t blame the locals for selling at outrageous prices.

apartment liviing room in 2023 predictions for Valencia. Getting harder to find bargains
Bargains are getting harder to find.

Want to rent? More than likely, you need to be prepared to plonk down six, maybe a full year of rent. Even that might not get you in. A lot of landlords have clauses barring them from renting to people who don’t have a “nomina” – be on a payroll. If they wanted to rent to you, they couldn’t.

The rent prices have also increased. By law, the maximum is 2-3%, at least till the end of the year. How easy is it for them to chuck you out of the flat? Only if a relative or themselves are moving in.

Any way you look at it, if they wanted to do it, it wouldn’t be that hard. Then they can turn around and ask for double, or triple the amount and get it too.

Digital Nomads:

Spain finally introduced the digital nomad visa. A little late to the party, but they got there. Of course, Portugal, Estonia, and just over 50 more countries were there ahead of them. With an income of about 28,000 euros, you too can move to Spain and work from the beach :-). They must live somewhere, so more people wrestling for the same places.

Food Prices:

Gone are the days (3 years ago) when you could find a menu al dia for 9-10 euros. That would get you an appetizer, a main course, dessert, plus a drink (water, wine, or beer). Now, for 16-17 euros, you get an appetizer and a main, maybe a dessert or coffee. No bread, no drink.

The grocery store prices are much higher now too. We get a kick out of seeing the stores experiment with how high they can push prices before the people rebel and stop buying. I’m getting whiplash with all the ups and downs.

What’s to fear when I have someone at home who loves to cook? Nothing! Spaghetti Carbonara.

So, what does this all mean?

If you have loads of money, it’s still a bargain. You can live in the hip neighborhoods of Valencia, either as a renter, or a buyer. There are plenty of restaurants and gyms and etc, etc. to keep you enchanted. The bargains are rare, but with patience, you can find them.

If you have okay money, you can live within a stone’s throw of the center for less money and manage yourself. There are still bargains to be found.

If you don’t have money to throw around, you can live on the outskirts within the metro line (just remember that you gotta be home by 10 pm as that’s what time they stop running). There are plenty of bargains to be found still.

The other day while walking around the center, I saw my first begpacker. That’s when I knew the city was doomed. Asking locals to fund your travels? I thought we were way past that in 2023.

the virgin at plaza virgin in carmen, Valencia Spain
The Virgin watches over everything.

Would I choose Valencia again if given a do-over?

Yep, yep, and yep! I love it here. It’s not for everyone, and that’s okay. We chose to live a stone’s throw away and couldn’t be happier. We can pop in and out of the center and come back to our oasis.

My advice to those who are thinking about it is to make sure they have all their ducks in a row. Inflation and currency fluctuations need to be part of your calculation. Listen to me, do not move to Valencia! We are closed :-).

Are you making the move to Valencia? What do you think?

6 thoughts on “Is Valencia Spain Still A Bargain?”

  1. With Valencia being so beautiful, it was just a matter of time before the cat got out of the bag. You had perfect timing, getting your apartment before prices exploded.

    But, in the end, it’s like you put it: the people who have more money than the majority will still consider it a bargain. Then, those who want to follow the trend will pay extra dollars just to be in line. That is until Forbes decide to talk about a new “this is it” place and focus changes :))

    • Yes, it was only a matter of time. After seeing what happened in Lisbon and especially my preference, Porto, it was bound to happen. I will forever be glad that we bought at a reasonable price. I’d hate to be at the whim of any landlord at this point.

      You’re right also that the people with money won’t bat an eyelid because it’s still a bargain to them. It’s hard for me to have any empathy for trend followers because it’s a conscious decision. As long as one is happy, I guess that’s all that counts. I can’t wait for them to find the next “it” place. Bucharest? 🙂

  2. I would never move to Valencia. Nope, no way, never ever… is such an unpleasant place. As a guiri, Kem is partly responsible for raising the cost of living for everyone. Thankfully, I don´t have that burden of guilt. 😉

    • Oh, I blame you Kris :-). I am pointing the finger right at your direction. Your interview has been seen/heard by more than a thousand people so I am sure you are as guilty as l am. 🙂

  3. Hello, we bought an apartment in 2018, the prices were much higher years earlier. We live a couple of months every year in EL PILAR, next to the school of design. We love Valencia, but actually you witness deplorable scenes in the streets. The other day an apartment nearby was burning, because an Okupa fell asleep-cigarette burning. You have to lock the doors with scrutiny, everything is stolen within a couple of minutes. At the moment it’s more Ukranian and Russian than Spanish, e.g. in buses. Actually I have the feeling that house prices have risen, definitely rental prices. On top of that there s a bagger in front of every Consumo, the parks are full with homeless people. I go jogging in the rio and you see many tents next to the path. All in all we love the city, but for me as a German and Bolivian wife, I see the Spanish governments as a partially failed institution. On the other hand police is showing a firm presence, years ago invisible. Food prices are in comparison to Germany low, Bus fares are almost for free, taxi prices 3 times as high in Germany, although they have risen recently. And always fiesta, an noise. Valencianos do not talk, they shout. The other day I made a stop in El Cabanal, the senora behind me was haranguing about neighbors. Al fin y Al cabo etste sitio ya es major que Barcelona, Mallorca, Malaga, si buscas vida y playa … Saludos

    • Ouch, El Pilar. There are some rough spots around there. We almost rented there when we first moved here. A friend told us to visit at night and when we did, didn’t like what we saw. Yikes! The Okupa problem is a real one and I know they are trying to change the laws, but they need to do better.

      The house prices have definitely risen. Our friends ended up paying double the price from three years ago and there seems to be no end to it. I’ve also had a friend decide on elsewhere after visiting for a second time (they opted for smaller cities). Haha! There is definitely a lot of noise, but we find that everywhere in Spain.

      It was the same when we lived in Malaga, it was the same in Seville. Malta was just as bad with the noise and fireworks when we lived there. I find myself speaking louder and louder :-). It’s been almost impossible to record podcasts now. I used to say I didn’t think it could get as bad as Barcelona, but it’s getting closer everyday. I guess we have to take the good with the bad when it’s such a beautiful place. The prices have been unbeatable so far (minus housing), so it’s understandable that people want to move here. Thanks for chiming in.

      We are definitely in for a wild ride.


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