Urbanicazions, holiday villages and other developments
A few words of clarification: Most new houses and all new apartments in Spain are built in an urbanizacion - which is a legal entity jointly owned by the owners of all the properties in the urbanizacion. The Community provides communal services such as swimming pools, communal grounds and facilities, gardens and grounds maintenance, TV aerial systems, facilities such as sports pitches and infrastructure such as roads, paths, fences and gates. Each property owner has to pay a fee to the Community for these services. Communities are democratic bodies regulated by a special Spanish law. Most (but not all) the urbanizacions in the Vera Playa naturist zone are constituted as naturist communities. This allows people to live a naturist lifestyle (but doesn't force them to - except for provisions such as banning the wearing of swimming costumes in pools). Some of the naturist urbanizacions have taken steps to try and ensure that it would be difficult or impossible for the naturist character of the urbanizacion to be changed to textile - others haven't and potential buyers need to be aware of this and have their lawyer check carefully if the naturist lifestyle is important to them.
There is currently a boom in construction along the whole of the Costa Almeria and certainly in the Vera - Mojácar area. Just a few years ago new beach apartments were cheap aschips - but no more! Prices now start at about 110,000 Euros (about £75,000), one bedroom apartments are 130,000 Euros + and two bedroomed apartments are 140,000 Euros +. Don't forget that you must add about 10% to all these prices to cover IVA/VAT and legal fees etc. Quality of construction and finishes are generally good and some new apartments are sold furnished, as are many resales. There seem to be two weaknesses in construction standards - 1. Noise insulation between apartments seems to be unheard of - indeed the use of hollow bricks for infill of walls creates a sounding board for transmitted noise. 2. Amazingly enough - given that the area is basically desert - damp penetration is often a problem. This seems to be partly because the damproof membranes used are below Northern European standards and partly because poor construction supervision means that often even the local standards are not observed.
Most sales are now to Spanish buyers rather than to foreigners and it
is likely that the Spanish market is less vulnerable to any wobbles due
to international factors.
Just about all of the land within the presently defined naturist area has now been developed - only one or two small infill sites remain. Several sites which were originally expected to be developed as naturist urbanizacions have in fact been developed as textile. At present there seems to be no real price premium for naturist zone properties, but the fact is that the whole Vera Playa/Garrucha & Mojacar Playa area has become a property hotspot. Given that it is unlikely there will be any more naturist developments a price premium may develop over time.
Index of communities/developmentsClick on name to go to full entries
Developments (urbanizacions):See photogallery for more photos of the various urbanizacions
Small development of approx 34 luxury apartments, immediately north of Natsun Elcano III. 2nd line to the beach. This development was marketed as particularly luxurious and exclusive with prices to match. Small pool. Completed
Bahia de Vera2nd line to the beach. Urbanisation with around 180 properties - 2 storey flat-roofed modernist looking buildings .Well finished and equipped (all kitchens have full hobs and ovens). There are studios, 1 & 2 bedroom apartments, 3 bedroom duplexes, 3 individual houses and a 4 storey apartment building with studios and 1 & 2 bedroomed apartments. Videophone entry system. Communal facilities include large open air pool and smaller covered heated pool (now fully heated with solar panels by day and heatpump at night).
With 180 units in total there are usually a few resales available - check out the property for sale pages on this website or visit the local estate agents . This development has a more residential ambience than Vera Natura (due to no on-site holiday facilities such as manned reception or restaurant) but even in winter has plenty of residents - it has become popular with long term renters in winter, many of them British.
line to the beach. Small moorish style development. 3 storey blocks, some
apartments have multiple terraces. High quality, fancy ornamentation.
Small communal pool. Locked gate access. Construction completed in 2002
- some buyers experienced considerable delay in completion of their apartments.
Some units still available. This development was undertaken by the promoters
who developed Vera Natura and then went bust.
There are also a handful of detached houses which seem, technically, to be part of the La Menara urbanizacion though they are fenced off from it and front the main road into the naturist zone, opposite Parque Vera. Each property is individual. Plot sizes seem to be around 500 sq. metres and the houses are 140 square metres up to about 350 square metres, with prices to match. All have been sold.
Natsun - Elcano I & II & BungalowsThe first developments at Vera Playa. First line to the beach - east facing units have excellent sea views but few units have good all day sun . Mainly studios and 1 bed apartments.
Smaller and less luxurious than most of the units currently under construction. Resales occasionally available.
2nd line to the beach, La Medina - behind Natsun's Elcano I & II there is a pleasant moorish style development of small bungalows with gardens and parking spaces. No sea views but well sheltered from wind. Spar supermarket. Resales rare.Top of this page
2nd/3rd line to the beach. Phased development. The earliest phases comprised terraces of good looking 2 storey townhouses, which could have been in any suburban housing development - and just happened to be in a naturist one. Since then things seem to have gone downhill: subsequent blocks have been longer, taller and more massive - almost barracks-like. Three storey blocks have continuous balconies with dividing walls between individual studios/apartments. Even ground floor apartments seem only to have a sort of horse box patio with quite tall walls and no private gardens. Currently, further phases of Parque Vera on a very large site stretching back to the main Villaricos-Garrucha road are progressing at a truly impressive rate of progress.
It is not known how many units there will be when all phases have been built, but it must be into several hundred and Parque Vera may be level-pegging with Natura World for the title of biggest development at Vera Playa.
Later phases of Parque Vera progressing at fast rate of progress. Earlier phases now completed & occupied.
Vera Luz - 2 Storey townhouse style apartments
Small development around 2 sides of a garden area with swimming pool. Most apartments face east, a few face south. Some of the upper level apartments have ladders to roof terraces (and thus all day sun). Shaded parking for cars.
Vera NaturaFirst line to the beach. Urbanisation with around 200 properties in 25 3 storey pitched-roof buildings with hint of traditional architectural styles and nice detailing, especially decorative tiling. Mainly 1 bedroomed but also studios and 2 bedroomed duplexes. Most apartments have de-luxe bathrooms with large circular baths but, somewhat oddly, this opulence doesn't extend to the kitchens which (except where retro-fitted by their owners) have only 2 ring hobs and no ovens. Good facilities include very large open-air pool, large indoor heated pool, gymnasium, turkish and jacuzzi baths. On-site restaurant. Manned reception, locked gates access for residents. Private parking on-site, some shaded - for purchase or rent. No free parking within perimeter (but parking available on nearby streets - with some risk of theft/damage)
The Vera Natura development was completed in the year 2000 and is now looking quite mature and is greatly enhanced by its beautiful, well-tended gardens. Normally there are some resale apartments available. Vera Natura has a very cosmopolitan ownership and several package tour operators use apartments at the site.