Sotogrande was founded by the American business man Joe McMicking, who in 1964 saw the enormous potential of this beautiful area located close to the Straits of Gibraltar and only 30 minutes drive from the Costa del Sol. He developed the exclusive Sotogrande, which is regarded as one of Europe’s most exclusive and elegant resorts. Where, especially for Easter and during the summer months the Spanish and international society meets.
This report was written by local estate agents.
Sotogrande covers 2,500 hectares (6,178 acres) and features a yachting marina and sailing club with over 550 moorings, the famous “Santa Maria Polo Club”-a center of attraction for polo players from all of the world- and four golf courses; Real Club de Golf de Sotogrande (designed by Robert Trent Jones), La Cañada, Almenara and the famous Valderrama golf club, which hosted the 1997 Ryder Cup, the World Golf Champion-ships in November 2000 and annually hosts the Volvo Masters.
Within Sotogrande lies the Guadiaro estuary, which is a protected natural area covering 27 hectare of marshland on the west bank of the estuary at the mouth of the River Guadiaro. It is home to a great variety of birds and wildlife.
The area has excellent road access to Marbella, Málaga, Jerez, Cadiz and Seville and all along the Costa del Sol is easy by the motorway or a recently completed “Toll Road”. Gibraltar is the nearest international airport just 15 drive minutes away and Mälaga Airport is 45- 60 minute drive.
Approximately 30% of the market buying in Sotogrande is Spanish,followed by British (30%), Irish (15%) and Germans (10%). The rest of the market is made up of Swiss, Scandinavians, Dutch etc.. They are mainly buying villas and apartments, especially penthouses. The average spend for a British client can be anything from €400,000 to €2,5 million, the Spanish spend around €1 million as do the Germans. The biggest spenders can be the Swiss and the Irish.
Clients buy here because of the unique, extremely sophisticated atmosphere of the resort, the favourable climate, the golf and all the many sports facilities, the wonderful countryside and proximity to the sea.
In the past five years prices in this area has increased at around 30% for most properties and 100% for plots of land reflecting the increasing trend of clients building a property to their own requirements. Last year prices for apartments increased at a rate of approximately 5-10% and for villas and country houses at around 10-20%. The demand for Mediterranean style villas in 2006 increased by around 75% with an average price of around €1,75 million for a 4 bedroom villa. A well appointed apartment with views will cost around the €500,000 €.
The excellent infrastructure and sheer appeal of Sotogrande makes it a good investment and in spite of the price increases here in the past five years plots of land are especially worth investigating. Outside Sotogrande, the charming mountain village of Gaucín is attracting interest and is well priced for this area.