There’s no denying that some truly dreadful developments emerged from the construction frenzy in Andalucía during the last few years – and how the media loves it. Hideous images illustrate articles, construction cranes as far as the eye can see and overall the impression given is that Andalucía has become some kind of no-go area, with no attempt made to differentiate between what’s good and what’s not.
I assume this is because, as I’ve always suspected, the media prefers bad news stories; the credit crunch, stock market turmoil, currency implosions, house prices heading south etc., are much more fun to write about. But this means they are only telling half the story and they are completely ignoring the fact that there are deals being done right now in some of the most sought-after locations in the Mediterranean that look interesting even for the Brits staring forlornly at their shrinking pound, while for those in €s or US$ they are downright amazing.
Locations don’t come much more prime than beachfront between San Pedro and Puerto Banús and a standard two bedroom/two bathroom apartment in a gated community would seem reasonable at €500,000+; indeed, I have had clients buy this type of property at €550,000 in 2008. But I have just been alerted to half a dozen duplex penthouses in a development frontline to the beach where the developer is keen to shift his last few unsold units. So keen, in fact, that although these units have previously been listed from €715,500 to €961,350 I am told that offers starting at €370,000 will be considered and bargaining hard may get an underground garage and store room thrown in.
Now that’s what I call a discount and unsurprisingly four have been reserved this week. So there is liquidity around, but only for top quality, prime located units, not for rubbish. This is also a good example of a big difference in what is driving the market in prime locations compared with type of development pictured at the beginning of the article. While over-supply is one of principal factors in the mass market, the main driving force in the best areas is just how badly does the seller need to sell – when it is really urgent then the kind of discount described is coming through, from both developers and individual sellers. A one bedroom duplex penthouse within easy walking distance of Puerto Banús is on offer at €159,000 although it had a bank valuation only six weeks ago which came in at €230,000.
Comparing notes with other property professional in the Marbella area the indications are that the level of enquiries is good and growing as people sense that the discounts coming through now on top-quality property in prime areas are looking irresistible.
© Barbara Wood (The Property Finders)