The year that is coming to an end has, on the whole, been another positive one for the Costa del Sol, with consolidated strong demand for Marbella both as an upmarket residential and tourist destination, and the growing importance of Estepona and Mijas as centres of new development. In the latter two, as in Marbella’s Nueva Andalucía, Golden Mile, Santa Clara, Elviria and Cabopino, stylish modern villas and apartments are adding a fresh look and a whole new set of high-tech amenities to the housing stock and property options available for sale and rent.
Benahavis has consolidated its position in this regard too, with demand from British buyers staying largely stable since an initial post-referendum drop in H2 of 2016. Scandinavian and Belgian buyers continue to be the driving force both in terms of sales and in leading new design, interior and quality trends, while French, Dutch and Middle Eastern buyers also make up a vibrant and significant part of the market. In addition, we can report a revival of the domestic Spanish market, as well as strong growth in small niche markets such as the Americas, Poland and to a lesser extent China.
Property sales in Andalucía were strong, with the province of Málaga (which contains the Costa del Sol) taking fourth place in Spain after Madrid, Barcelona and the Alicante region, i.e. the Costa Blanca. Sales across the country continue to rebound since a 2012 low, and on the Costa del Sol they continue to be strong. In Estepona, they have surpassed the 2007 level, in Benahavis growth levelled off in 2017 but is rising again with new projects launched, and in Marbella there has also been a strong recovery to almost the same level as 2006.
This paints a positive picture in spite of external factors such as Brexit, which up to now has had very limited impact. For the year ahead, we expect a continued consolidation of these sales levels at solid but sustainable levels, with property prices continuing to grow steadily but nowhere near bubble levels – and with such a strongly diversified source of buyers, the Marbella property market is likely to continue to flourish for some time more. Limited land availability and rising construction costs will slow down the launch of new projects, so we’re not too worried about supply overtaking demand.
This has been shown in a slow trend back towards resale properties, and other trends include the gradual move away from white, straight-angled geometry to more organic materials such as stone and wood, earthier paint tones and cosier interiors. But for the rest we expect very much ‘business as usual’ for 2019 – so we look forward to another good year in the sun for Marbella and surroundings.Javier Nieto · January 28th 2019