Sun, sea and city: where to buy a second home next to an urban beach –

It’s a well-known dilemma when planning a holiday: do you go for the cultural fix and retail therapy of a city break, or chill out on a lounger and enjoy cocktails at a beach bar? Why not do both by visiting a coastal city with a decent beach? The appeal of this best-of-both lifestyle has driven the demand for second homes near urban seasides. After all, they make much better year-round homes than those in seasonal beach resorts that close down every winter.

“City-beach destinations are growing in popularity,” says Paul Tostevin, associate director of world research for Savills. “They are vibrant, hybrid ­centres of business and tourism, and residential property benefits from year-round rental demand. They are usually accessible via large international airports, served by affordable and frequent flights that make regular weekend visits viable.” 

Research by Savills found that investors looking for year-round income should focus on cosmopolitan cities on the coast; ­Barcelona and Lisbon topped the table of destinations. 

So where are the best places to buy if you are both a city slicker and sun worshipper? Coastal cities oozing history are not hard to find, but their beaches are not always particularly tempting. 

In recent years, Palma, Majorca’s capital, has cleaned up and become a fashionable place to live for many northern Europeans. With the third-busiest airport in Spain, it is easy to reach, and it is full of upmarket restaurants and designer shops. Property transactions have increased by 31 per cent since 2013. 

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