Joan Collins SOME 65.7 percent of Britons choose Spain to buy a second home, and 38.5 percent move here, according to the Barclays Barometer-IESE. This study, which was presented yesterday by the director of the International Clients department of Barclays Bank, Hugues Pfyffer, the head of IESE-IRCO, Angela Gallifa, and the investigator Maria Pin, reveals that there in a “very extensive” British colony in Spain, mainly in Alicante and Malaga, although Murcia and Almeria are the provinces which are becoming the future sites of residential tourism in Spain. Spanish councils had, at the beginning of 2006, 270'000 British subjects on their electoral registers, some 28.6 more than 2005, which makes the British the largest colony from countries within the European Union, and the fifth if you count all nationalities. In addition to this, their investment in property rose to 90'000 homes, a 30 percent rise on the year before. Murcia and Almeria are becoming the “in” places for property purchases by the British in Spain. In fact, in Murcia the number of British residents rose by some 46 percent in 2006, while in Almeria the number increased by 35 percent, ahead of the growth experienced in Alicante (which was 28 percent), and Madrid (12 percent). A total of 8'562 British citizens in Murcia had a residencia, some 5.7 percent of the total of UK citizens resident in Spain, which makes it the province with the fourth highest number of British residents after Alicante, Malaga and the Balearics. Pin said that it is expected that this year 83'686 homes will be built in Murcia, meaning an increase in the population of between 200'000 and 250'000 inhabitants, and an increase of 35 percent in the census in 10 years. In fact, the barometer says that Murcia has become the most popular location for the 70'000 British citizens who annually look for property in Spain because it is still quite unspoilt, has a good climate, good communications and because it is the European golf capital.