TARIFA: Big new development planned called Surf City

Property in Tarifa, hippy-chic surf capital of Europe

Tarifa, hippy-chic surf capital of Europe

The Spanish developer Metrovacesa is planning a big new development in Tarifa, in a sign that Spain’s second-home resort market is coming back to life.

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Metrovacesa, one of the biggest developers in Spain, now owned by a consortium of banks including BBVA and Banco Popular, and controlled by Santander bank, will invest €70 million in a mixed-use development including hotels, commercial space, and up to 250 “upmarket” homes, walking distance from the beach and Tarifa town centre.

The company says the development, called Surf City (Ciudad del Surf), will be positioned internationally to take advantage of “surf tourism, the principal attraction of the area,” in a clear sign that Metrovacesa has international buyers in mind.

The company claims the project, which is expected to create up to 500 new jobs in the area, will be “ one of the most innovative” residential developments on the Spanish coast. Sustainable development and ‘green’ architecture will be involved, whilst the slope of the site will be used for wind protection and offering panoramic views.

Tarifa Surf City location

Tarifa Surf City location

Tarifa Surf City plan

Tarifa Surf City plan

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property for sale in Tarifa town

Tarifa town

Tarifa is the southernmost town in Spain, located in Cádiz province, home to the Costa de la Luz, facing Morocco across the Straits of Gibraltar. Once part of the hippy trail, it is an ancient and picturesque town that has become a fashionable if somewhat niche destination as the wind and kite-surfing capital of Europe, attracting an affluent and young international crowd. Expats and property investors in Tarifa are looking for something out of the ordinary. (see Tarifa – Spain’s windsurfing, hippy-cool capital).

Valdevaqueros beach, near Tarifa

Valdevaqueros beach, near Tarifa

Valdevaqueros beach, near Tarifa

Valdevaqueros beach, near Tarifa

About Mark Stücklin

Mark Stücklin is a Barcelona-based Spanish property market analyst, and author of the 'Spanish Property Doctor' column in the Sunday Times (2005 - 2008).

9 thoughts on “TARIFA: Big new development planned called Surf City”

    1. Mark Stücklin Post Author

      You might be right James, but I’m seeing examples of new projects in parts of Spain selling well despite a stock of resale homes for sale. Using a big portal like Idealista there are around 200 properties for sale in Tarifa, falling to 170 “in good condition”. If you search for new build, there is just one new development in the area, already around two thirds or more sold out off-plan. Many of the properties listed for sale in Tarifa will be old, badly distributed, and in need of a full refurbishment assuming they are even worth renovating. There are places where it would be madness to build a new development (for example the Costa del Azahar), but I don’t think Tarifa is one of them. If the project is well done I expect it will sell. However, I also think Tarifa is a very tricky market where you really have to understand what buyers want and what attracts them to Tarifa. It’s a place with a unique identity that attracts a certain type of buyer, and I’m not sure the local authorities understand that. I think this project could be a commercial success, but only if it is positioned just right, the product is great, and the marketing sophisticated and well targeted. These are all things that Spanish developers have not done very well in the past.

      1. Barbara Wood

        Mark, you leave out one important point. When I am looking in this area for clients my main concern is legality, the town hall has a bit of form. If this is 100% legal, good quality and well-marketed to the international surfing community it could fly. If it’s just another average development for the local market, boxy apartments and cheap spec it won’t. For 11 months of the year Tarifa ranks in the top 10 destinations in the world for wind & kite surfing, only in September does it usually slip out of the top division as the winds moderate a bit. Will they get it right? Like you, I’m somewhat sceptical. I would be more confident if it were in the hands of an international developer.

        1. rojoybago

          ditto; if the development is anything like the others finished in the last ten years; cheap, nasty design, council flat look it will end up in a ditch……… if it’s charming andalucian/ Morrocan hippy chic (Hurricane hotel) they will sell like hot cakes. Most of the wndsurfers are youngish (35 – 60), professionals from Northern Europe itching for something great!!! Metrvecasa??? mmmmmm

        2. Mark Stücklin Post Author

          Too true Barabara, illegal builds are a big issue in that area, and everyone should steer well clear of them. But of course, for locals, an illegal property is sometimes not a problem. A friend of mine from one of those Anglo-Spanish families that have been there for a few centuries has a totally illegal weekend home in the most dramatically beautiful setting not far from Tarifa. The authorities know about it but so long as the owners don’t cross one of the unspoken red lines like building a swimming pool they are left in peace. Then again, who knows what might happen in future.

  1. David

    I would really hope this development will be sold honestly to potential buyers but being Spain I expect not. Will it be more hype like ‘you can have one of the best plots’, ‘views will not be blocked’, ‘flip it’ etc? How will people know if the price is really correct? Will there be current new build comparisons for price and quality?

  2. Dr Shah

    It is so sad to read how mistrust has built up and continues to grow as far as having dealings with Spain ,come on Spain clean up your act now is such a good time as the other cheaper. resorts are off limits due to terror attacks , you get it ?

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