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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?