Demolition not the answer say Costa del Sol developers

Some of the new homes on the Costa del Sol should never have been built and will never be sold as homes, but demolition is not the answer, argue local developers.

There are around 16,700 new homes on the market in Malaga province – home to the Costa del Sol – most of which will have been sold by the end of 2013, says José Prado, President of the Costa del Sol developers’ association (ACP), in a recent interview in the Spanish press.

But some of the new homes built during the boom will never be sold, says Prado, because of their poor quality or bad locations. “There are homes built in those years that can’t be sold and will have to be used for time-share or transformed into retirement homes,” he said.

I for one fail to see how badly-built homes in undesirable locations will attract time-share buyers or the elderly in need of care, so I don’t see how his suggestions will solve the problem of new homes that nobody wants.

Anyway, nobody knows if there is any market for the least attractive new homes on the Costa del Sol (and other Costas, for that matter), but they won’t find out until they test the market will really low prices. Perhaps those homes can be sold at the right price. I would try low prices before spending yet more money trying to reposition unwanted homes as time-share or retirement homes.

The other option for the dregs of the new-home stock is demolition, as suggested by José Luis Suarez – IESE business school professor and Spain’s leading real estate market expert. But local developers won’t hear talk of it, for fear of what demolitions might do to market confidence. “We need the market to reactivate and we need to change the use of those developments, but we don’t need to knock anything down,” argues Prado. “There is a market for everything that has been built on the Costa del Sol.”

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5 thoughts on “Demolition not the answer say Costa del Sol developers”

  1. Roy Martinez

    We read that Marbella is atempting to reposition its image and to market iself as a luxury location. However at the same time it has been surounded with many many ghetto style faceless properties which look in most cases no better than army barracks or prisons.
    The list is endless but just look at Cala de Mijas, Calahonda, Estepona,Valle Romano, Manilva, Duquesa etc etc. Aparments of handkerchief sizes,abysmal design,ghetto like appearance and some with just views of themseves quite often.
    These in my view need to go to restore the status and image of the whole Marbella whist sending a very clear mssage to those arrogant and greedy dvelopers who have blighted the surrounding environent with these dreadful “dwellings”.

    To even suggest some could be turned into rest homes or time share is beyond crediblity and again suggests that those advocating same are both living in cuckoo land and are unable to face thir own failures.

  2. Paul Wentworth

    Absolutelly spot on Roy! our sentiments exactly. My wife and I have only recently been viewing in and around the areas you mention for the second time in recent months. All we could see for mile upon mile was these dreadfully gloomy & oppresive barrack style develpments. Can’t see why anyone would want to buy in to this coastal housing blight, for that is what it is ( Torrevieja springs to mind here).
    They might(or might not) have been built legally but for some of the realy bad eyesores they should be demolished,obviously with compensation for those unlucky enough to have bought in.

  3. Marilyn Ward

    Interesting to see these comments. I have just returned from Murcia, where I have an apaetment on a golf-course development. I have been looking on and off for the last 10 years for the perfect villa, and it only dawned on me this trip, having travelled all over the coastal regions of Spain, that the ideal location does not exist anymore purely because the coasts have been decimated by the tower blocks and ghetto town-house urbanizations. I think demolition is probably the only solution to regenerating a bit of beauty and greenery to these areas to attract a different market. There are only so many boxes that can be sold, but what about all the people who don’t want to look into someone elses kitchen when they are on holiday or, even more to the point, trying to find somewhere to live permanently, like us? Permanent residents and higher echelon holiday-makers also bring more money to areas that desperately need it. Speaking for myself, I am now about to start looking at France and other mediterranean countries for the right property, as there seems to be nothing on the coasts in Spain any more.

  4. Roy Martinez

    At least glad to see that there are other other people who have the same concerns about the ghetto construction on the coast.
    Real issue is how do we get that message across to the poeople who can make the key decions in stopping and correcting this terrible blight on the Costas and the developer community.
    I would have hope that concerned lawyers, serious real estate agents, environmental groups and some honest developers would get together and lobby the Town Halls etc. It is very much in their interests to restore the right image and trust which property buyers expect to stop people like Marilyn and other turning thier propert sights away from Spain.
    See King Juan Carlos was in the UK recently helping to promote the Spanish Property Market and really wonder if he fully understands the black cloud hanging over this sector.

  5. Paul Wentworth

    Just thought I would add another point regarding this awful design of some of these coastal developments. I think it comes from planers and architects who hail from the larger Spanish cities which, not surprisingly, are blighted with the same ghastly tenement blocks and so they have used the same mind set on the coastal developments.

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About Mark Stücklin

Mark Stücklin is a Barcelona-based property market analyst and consultant, and author of the 'Spanish Property Doctor' column in the Sunday Times (2005 - 2008). He can be reached by email on ms@spanishpropertyinsight.com.