Marbella’s luxury real estate market attracts American investors

Carmen Duran - May 9, 2024 - Pure Living News

american investors

Pure Living Properties has produced a buying guide for american investors

The high-end real estate sector within the Golden Triangle (Marbella, Estepona, and Benahavís) is experiencing a significant shift, driven by the strong emergence of new markets with very optimistic forecasts. Traditional buyers of luxury properties on the Costa del Sol—including British, German, Scandinavian, French, Russian, Middle Eastern Arab, Belgian, and Dutch—have been joined in the last two years by new entrants such as Ukrainians, Polish, and particularly, Americans. Interest from these American investors has surged by up to 200% in certain areas.

A key factor behind this increased interest in investing on the Costa del Sol is the rise in direct flights to the United States. In fact, United Airlines has recently resumed its direct flight between Málaga and New York, significantly increasing the frequency of this service.

The direct Málaga-New York connection has exceeded all expectations, with the airline setting records and planning further increases in the coming months. From May through September, there is a daily direct flight departing Málaga at 9:35 AM and arriving in New York at 12:15 PM local time. The return flight leaves New York daily at 5:55 PM and arrives on the Costa del Sol at 7:35 AM local time.

Thus, Málaga becomes the third Spanish city to offer a daily direct connection to New York, joining Madrid and Barcelona in this route operated by United Airlines throughout the year. Besides this direct route, Málaga is connected to major US cities through multi-stop services operated by leading international airlines.  

The USA leads as the primary source of investment in Spain

According to the Foreign Investment Registry from the Secretary of State for Commerce. Last year, foreign investments in Spain amounted to €28.215 billion, with the USA contributing the largest share at 28.9%. This was closely followed by the UK (13.1%), Germany (10.6%), and France (9.2%). Additionally, there has been an increase in investments from other countries such as Australia, Switzerland, Canada, and Mexico, reflecting a broadening confidence in our country.

Regarding the real estate market, in the latter half of 2022 and the first half of 2023, North Americans purchased over 2,600 homes in Spain, marking the highest record ever. Although Madrid and Barcelona are the preferred locations for these investors, the Costa del Sol remains a favored Spanish destination for Americans looking to buy luxury properties, defined as those valued at over one million euros.

“We are looking forward to the positive outlook on the American market, investors who highly value quality of life, security, and the range of premium properties available on the Costa del Sol. At Pure Living Properties, we boast a wide array of luxury villas and apartments tailored to meet the needs of this clientele. Furthermore, we offer advice and guidance through all necessary procedures for investing in Spain,” says Javier Nieto, CEO of PLP.

american investors

Who are the American investors?

American investors in the Costa del Sol’s luxury real estate market are a diverse group, attracted by various investment opportunities:

  1. Leisure and Lifestyle Investors. These are primarily families looking for a second or third home for holiday stays, drawn by the favorable climate, security, and culture of the area.
  2. Income Investors. These investors aim to make a short-term profit through holiday rentals or long-term leases, often targeting other American clients.
  3. Capital Investors. Focused on long-term returns, they select prime locations that are expected to appreciate significantly over time.
  4. Commercial Investors. Typically large corporations or investment funds that invest in major projects like hotels, golf resorts, or entertainment complexes, attracted by the strong tourist market on the Costa del Sol.
  5. Diversification Investors. Those who invest in international real estate as a way to diversify their investment portfolio. Real estate investments are seen as a robust tool against inflation and market volatility.
  6. Golden Visa Investors. Interested in the residency advantages offered by Spain through this program, which grants residency permits to those investing more than €500,000 in national territory.

What attracts American investors to the Costa del Sol?

Historically, Americans have been reluctant to invest abroad, but in recent years this trend has shifted due to various factors such as political changes, the high cost of healthcare, and increased public insecurity in some areas.

The profile of American investors that is growing most significantly on the Costa del Sol and that shows the best forecasts for the coming years is those seeking a residence to enjoy everything the destination offers. Factors such as climate, security, and culture are highly valued when investing in Andalusia.

The profile of North American investors in the luxury housing sector on the Costa del Sol can be described based on several key characteristics. These investors are typically attracted by various factors that make this region an appealing place for their investments:

  1. Location and Climate. The coastal area of Málaga enjoys over 300 sunny days a year, which has become one of the main attractions for investing in a luxury property.
  2. Luxury Lifestyle. Marbella and the Golden Triangle offer a unique high-end leisure, sports, and gastronomic experience in the world, including golf courses, exclusive marinas, high-end boutiques, and gourmet restaurants that attract a clientele with high purchasing power.
  3. International Connections. Málaga Airport has direct routes to a total of 136 national and international cities, as well as connecting flights that provide access to anywhere in the world.
  4. Health Facilities. Málaga boasts one of the best healthcare systems in the world, both public and private, which also serves as a strong attraction, especially for American investors.
  5. Culture and History. The historical significance and culture are highly appreciated by American investors. In fact, many decide to invest in the city of Málaga motivated by its growing cultural offerings.
  6. Stable and Profitable Real Estate Market. Despite economic fluctuations, the real estate market on the Costa del Sol has proven to be relatively stable, with a constant demand for luxury properties. This provides investors with security regarding the long-term value of their assets. Additionally, despite ongoing price increases, the costs remain very accessible for American investors.
  7. Premium Rental Market. There is high demand for luxury vacation rentals in Marbella, allowing investors to earn a return on investment by renting out their properties during periods they are not using them.
  8. Tax Incentives and Legal Advantages. Spain remains a very attractive country for investors and offers incentives for foreigners, such as the well-known Golden Visa, which continues to be available despite the central government’s intention to eliminate it.

What properties are American investors looking for?

American investors are increasingly focusing on high-quality residential properties valued over one million euros. The type of property varies depending on the investor’s profile, with families generally opting for villas or homes that offer more privacy, while those seeking short-term profitability prefer apartments in exclusive locations.

North American investors on the Costa del Sol tend to look for various types of luxury properties that not only represent a secure investment but also provide an exclusive and comfortable lifestyle. Here are some of the most popular options:

    1. Detached Villas. Highly sought after for their privacy, spaciousness, and exclusivity. Most come with large gardens, private swimming pools, and wellness facilities. The most valued are those with panoramic views of the sea or natural surroundings. This type of property is ideal for investors looking for a personal retreat.


    1. Luxury Apartments in Premium Locations. Typically located in exclusive residential complexes, these apartments offer high-end amenities such as 24-hour security, communal swimming pools, spas, gyms, and, in some cases, direct beach access. They are particularly popular among those who prefer a property that is easier to maintain and offers additional services.

Stunning apartment with marvelous panoramic views in Torre Real inn Marbella East - PLP04914 - 2.349.000 €

    1. Penthouses. Situated on the top floor of buildings, these apartments offer the best views and greater privacy. Often equipped with spacious terraces and private jacuzzis, penthouses are ideal for investors who want to combine the luxury of an apartment with the feel of an independent home.

A stunning frontline beach luxury duplex penthouse in Estepona. - PLP04854 - 1.995.000 €

    1. Townhouses. These properties offer a balance between a villa and an apartment, providing more space and freedom with less maintenance than a fully detached property. They are usually located in gated communities with exclusive amenities similar to those found in apartment complexes.

Refurbished Townhouse in Altos de Puente Romano - PLP04919 - 1.895.000 €

    1. Ultra-Luxury Mansions. In the highest segment of the market, these mansions feature extraordinary amenities such as home cinemas, custom wine cellars, multiple swimming pools, and extensive grounds with gardens and sports facilities like tennis or paddle courts.

Brand new luxury villa for sale in La Zagaleta - PLP04293 - 15.800.000 €

What areas are most in demand?

Although the growth of the American market is being felt across the Costa del Sol, some specific locations are proving to be more attractive than others for these investors:

  • Málaga. The capital of the Costa del Sol has become one of the favorite destinations for American investors. The cultural, gastronomic, and leisure offerings, along with the international connections provided by the airport, are major attractions.
  • Estepona. The development this city is experiencing, while still retaining its traditional charm, is capturing the attention of powerful investors both for second homes and for business purposes.
  •  Casares Costa. Mainly the premium areas around Finca Cortesín, this location has seen a significant increase in investments from the US in recent years.
  •  Exclusive Residential Areas. Premium developments set in nature, such as La Zagaleta or El Madroñal, are also highly coveted by American investors.
  • Marbella.The epicenter of luxury is also one of the preferred destinations for American investors. Properties on the beachfront in the Golden Mile are the most sought after, although branded residence projects being built in the city are also generating significant interest.

Buying Guide for American Investors:

At Pure Living Properties, we have a team of international experts who are well-acquainted with the real estate market in the most prominent locations on the Costa del Sol. If you are considering investing in the area, we are the perfect agency to ensure your success. Here are some of the most important aspects to consider:

inversores americanos
  1. Choose a Leading Agency. Engaging the services of an agency is essential for a successful investment. Pure Living Properties, with over 15 years of experience in the premium market of the Costa del Sol and an international, multilingual team, is the perfect partner for American investors.
  2. Obtain an NIE. The tax identification number is crucial for making any investment, so obtaining it should be the first step in the process.
  3. Explore and Familiarize Yourself with the Area. At PLP, we recommend spending a considerable amount of time on the Costa del Sol before making an investment to get to know the different areas and types of properties available on the market. However, if the client cannot travel to Spain, PLP can provide virtual tours to showcase all the details of the properties of interest.
  4. Secure Transactions. Once the client has found the property that meets all their requirements, it is very important to ensure that it complies with all legal regulations and is free of any encumbrances. The PLP team handles all the arrangements with local councils, the Land Registry, Cadastre, and homeowners’ associations, so the client can invest with complete peace of mind and security.
  5. Reservation Contract. Once the property price has been negotiated, another important step in the process, the buyer and seller must sign a reservation agreement. The contribution for this contract is negotiable, but it usually ranges from 1% to 10% of the property value.
  6. Purchase Agreement. Commonly known as the deposit contract, it is signed within ten days after the reservation contract, once the buyer wants to fully formalize their interest. The investor must contribute 10% of the price, which will be deducted at the time of purchase.
  7. Signing and Registering the Property. The seller and buyer will sign the deeds of the transaction in front of a public notary, after which the investor must register their new home in the Land Registry. Pure Living Properties manages all these procedures, guiding the client, or their legal representative, in their language throughout the process.
Can we help you?
Javier Nieto CEO +34 952 868 945 Whatsapp