Diana Morales Properties – one of Marbella’s leading estate agencies – share their latest insight into the property market in Marbella and surrounding areas.
You can download and read the full report (pdf) using the link at the bottom of the page, and I suggest you do if you are thinking of buying or selling property in the Marbella area. Here I will give you a synopsis of the report.
- The recovery in demand that began 2013 was marked by a preference for new homes with the latest designs and features, “leaving the market for resale properties to recover but lag behind, with demand for older properties in prime locations with renovation potential also strong.”
- The recovery in Marbella was dealt a blow when the 2010 town plan was struck down by the Supreme Court in Madrid. “The ensuing problems surrounding planning status in some parts of Marbella have since taken a little of the steam out of Marbella growth, but demand for the properties and lifestyle of this region is so solid that the focus merely shifted to Benahavis, Estepona, Mijas and also Ojén – all town halls untethered by planning licence issues and keen to attract investment.”
- Another blow came in the form of Brexit. Though demand is increasingly diversified by nationality, “all the more so as you move up the price ladder – it cannot be denied that home sales were affected in the second half of the year as many British buyers backed off. Not because they were no longer interested in Marbella property, but because uncertainty makes people want to wait and see how things turn out.” Buyers from other nationalities took up the slack, but 2016 would have been a spectacular were it not for Brexit, the full effects are likely to be felt in 2017. “The overall strength of demand for what Marbella has to offer will not be enough to cancel out the effect of Brexit in 2017, not perhaps for another year or two.”
- Brexit was unwelcome news, but not a cause for despair. The British love affair with Marbella is not over, and British buyers will be back in force when Brexit is over. In the meantime, demand from other countries continues to grow, namely from Russia, Morocco, China, the USA, Latin America, and of course the “core European and Middle Eastern client base”.
- Looking ahead, Marbella is feeling buoyant and upgrading in every respect. “This includes continuing to invest in roads, facilities and other infrastructure,” says Pia Arrieta Morales, Managing Director of DM Properties/Knight Frank“ but also initiatives such as continually improving the standards of professional training, service culture and beautification of the area. Marbella could do with moving its industrial estate to another location and would be the ideal location for a hi-tech business park. What we need is a vision for the development of Marbella, looking not just a few years ahead but creating a master plan that plans for growth and sustainability, avoids over-development and in so doing nurtures the Marbella brand and its exclusivity. We need to create a business and investment-friendly environment, and above all the legal foundations that produce clarity, transparency and engender confidence among buyers and investors. If Málaga could achieve what they have done, transforming a somewhat seedy Mediterranean port city into a European centre of culture and leisure with an array of museums and projects such as Muelle Uno, then certainly Marbella can too.”
INSIGHT from the Diana Morales Properties│Knight Frank sales team
- “In 2016 buyers became more cautious with their investments and more aware of the international situation. Brexit affected the number of British buyers investing in Marbella, though other nationalities were still active purchasers, in particular the Norwegians, Belgians and Dutch. They have contributed greatly to the successful sales of Los Olivos villas in Nueva Andalucía, Icon Signature Villas in Santa Clara to mainly Scandinavian, Belgian and Dutch buyers, and developments such as Taylor Wimpey’s Jade Beach in Nueva Andalucía. This has continued in the new year, where we are also seeing strongly revived British interest.
- “Adjustments to overpriced properties continue to take place, making the property market a more competitive one. Prices have been mainly stable with buyers submitting offers around 10% below asking price. Land available in prime areas of Marbella is practically all gone, although strong interest remains from buyers who are having to look beyond Marbella in Benahavis or Estepona.
- “We see the trend among clients (end users and investors) taking longer to decide on a purchase continuing in 2017, yet the popularity of the new developments is reminiscent of the pre-recession years.”
- Says Pia Arrieta Morales, MD of DM Properties: “The majority of our enquiries continue to come from Scandinavia, with Holland and Belgium also prominent markets. We have also noticed a strong recovery in the Spanish market, a slow revival of Russian buyers, with British enquiries down in 2016 but up again in 2017, and a strong increase in interest among Saudi and Kuwaiti buyers for the Golden Visa scheme.
- “The greatest demand is for frontline beach apartments on the Golden Mile, especially Puente Romano, in the price range up to €2.5 million, followed by medium-sized villas of up to €3 million in gated communities within the greater Golden Mile (Cascada de Camojan, Sierra Blanca) and Nueva Andalucía. Clients want to be close to Marbella town and Puerto Banús, but beachside alternatives such as Guadalmina Baja and San Pedro Alcántara are also increasingly popular.
- “Overall, modern style properties remain most in demand, above all modern villas of around 250m2-450m2 built (€800,000 – €2 million) with attractive design features and stylish modern apartments of 100-150m2 (especially up to €600,000) Penthouses remain evergreen, but we’ve noticed a recent surge in the popularity of ground floor ‘garden’ apartments. Additionally, on-site concierge services are a plus and a south or southwest orientation with sea views is pretty much a must.
- “Hot up-and-coming areas include the beachside area extending west of Marbella to Estepona and Benahavis areas such as Nueva Atalaya and La Alquería. In these areas there is also a strong growth in requests for plots where people can build contemporary villas. The modern design and interior trend was driven above all by Scandinavian buyers. There are, however, still many buyers who look for good resale properties as they don’t want to wait a year or more before their home is constructed and ready to move into.
- “However, clients are demanding a high standard of finish and comfort, with good insulation, low cost heating/cooling, solar energy, open plan kitchens, modern bathrooms and a good level of finishing. So in the case of resale properties this sometimes requires some updating. People also enjoy large terraces and being close to amenities and services. The latter, together with attractive, peaceful surroundings and good sea views, defines a good location. The ultimate location remains a top frontline beach address. There is also demand for older properties in top locations that can be renovated, both for investment and personal use.”
And finally, a graphic from Knight Frank Research illustrating the relative value of property in Marbella compared to other investor destinations around the world. Given the league it plays in, Marbella still looks cheap.
Diana Morales Properties Marbella Property Market Report 2017 (pdf)