Pandemic drives demand for country properties in Andalusia’s Guadalhorce Valley, Malaga province

country properties in Andalusia's Guadalhorce valley
Guadalhorce Valley

Demand for country properties in Andalusia’s Guadalhorce Valley is rising in the wake of the pandemic, driven by international buyers looking for spacious homes in a rural setting with good access to a city and airport.

The Guadalhorce Valley has long been on the radar of foreign property investors because of its inland location roughly half an hour from both Malaga airport and the beaches of the Costa del Sol. Rural Andalusian charm with good access to transport infrastructure and the coast ticks several key boxes for some groups of house hunters from abroad.

Guadalhorce valley county malaga andalusia location
Guadalhorce Valley County

Now it looks like the property market in Malaga’s Guadalhorce valley stands to gain from a pandemic-related shift in demand away from city centres and crowded urban environments towards more spacious rural and suburban settings not far from major cities and transport links. 

The Guadalhorce Valley, with vibrant towns like Alhaurín el Grande and Cóin, is just half an hour’s drive from Malaga city and airport, with good public transport links to both. The valley is famous for its Andalusian countryside and pueblos blancos, or white villages. Close-by Malaga is the fastest growing city in Andalusia, with a thriving technology sector, and good university. Malaga airport is one of the biggest in Spain.

Property market in the Guadalhorce Valley, Malaga province, Andalusia

Home sales in Guadalhorce Valley county, excluding municipalities outside the heart of the valley (Alhaurín de la Torre and Almogía), were up 56% in the second quarter compared to last year (a big increase was to be expected because of last year’s exceptional circumstances), but also 22% compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019. 

market for country properties in Andalusia's Guadalhorce valley

“The market is very buoyant at the moment, and demand continues to rise,” says Kelly Summerell, who moved to the region from the UK with her family in 1991 when she was 6 years old, and now runs Mediterranean Homes, an estate agency focusing on properties in and around Alhaurin el Grande and Coín, two of the most popular municipalities in the Valley. “House prices are stable, perhaps even increasing a wee bit due to the demand there is, which is mainly for country properties that are selling like hot cakes!”

monda pueblo blanco andalusia property market

Foreign demand for property inland from the Costa del Sol

Demand for rural and country properties in Andalusia’s Guadalhorce valley near towns like Alhaurin el Grande, Coín, Mijas Pueblo, Monda and Tolox, and white villages like Alozaina and Guaro, is being driven by European buyers from the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and France, reports Kelly, who has even sold a few homes in the county to buyers from the US this year, which could signal the emergence of an interesting new market segment. British buyers are not as important as they were before Brexit, but they are starting to show signs of interest again as travel opens up.

There is now plenty of evidence from around Spain that the pandemic has created a structural shift in demand away from built-up areas towards low-density suburban and rural areas with good access to city centres and transport facilities. This is clearly happening around cities like Barcelona and Madrid, and probably around cities in other countries too. The Guadalhorce Valley, with its attractive countryside, and picture-postcard towns and villages not far from Malaga city and airport, looks well placed to benefit from this trend.

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