Marbella Info, News, Articles, Events, Luxury Homes – DM Properties Blog The real estate experts at DM Properties share their knowledge and experience of the real estate market in Marbella and the Costa del Sol. Thu, 25 May 2017 10:22:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 International schooling in Marbella Fri, 12 May 2017 09:36:23 +0000 When families move abroad the children’s education is a matter of prime importance. Most parents will want their children to assimilate within their new environment whilst also retaining a link with their home culture, and when the time comes be able to choose from a broad range of international university options. This, in effect, is the role of the international school.

Colegio San Jose sede Estepona

People who move abroad, be it temporary, for work or as part of a new lifestyle, tend to have a somewhat more open, adventurous outlook than those who stay behind. Transplanting yourself in this way can be exciting and a little scary at the same time, especially when children are to be considered as well. For this reason families place great importance not just on a new property, residential zone and its living environment, but also on such factors as schooling and medical care.

Those who come to Marbella are by no means pioneers, following as they do in the footsteps of the predominantly Northern Europeans who have been moving there as fulltime residents since as far back as the 1960s. By now it is a cosmopolitan place with a diverse population and wide range of well-developed services ranging from professional and medical providers to a schooling system geared precisely to the needs of an international clientele.

Educational options in Marbella

Given the heterogeneous nature of the region, where British, Scandinavian and Russian residents as well as Dutch, French and German-speaking ones live alongside the local Spanish population, the Costa del Sol has effectively become a bilingual zone in which Spanish and English predominate as the common means of communication. A wide range of other languages are also commonly heard, but generally English functions as a common lingua franca both for tourists and residents, while Spanish is essential for those who wish to immerse themselves a little deeper in their surroundings.

Aloha College, Marbella

For this reason the most popular educational options are international schools where the British National Curriculum is taught in English, with Spanish as the second official language. Most of these colleges take in children from pre-school level right up to preparing them for university entrance, where the emphasis is on providing an internationally recognised baccalaureate that offers as wide a range of options as possible. Many students choose tertiary education in the UK or in their home countries, but a significant proportion also goes on to attend universities within Spain.

International or country-specific

The prevalence of English-language schools within the Marbella educational system reflects both the large British community in the area and the international benefits of an English-language education, yet schooling is also available in a variety of other languages. The Svenska Skolan Marbella is a primary school that is fully endorsed by the Swedish and Norwegian governments, while the Deutsche Schule in the hills above Elviria and the Lycée Français de Málaga are also highly regarded academic institutions.

Many parents, however, encourage the idea of multinational interaction and see classrooms made up of a wide range of nationalities as a benefit to the development and future prospects of their children. In an increasingly international world it is important not only to speak languages, including the likes of Mandarin, but also to understand the mindset of other nationalities and cultures, and have a truly international way of thinking. This feeds into the desire for their children to have a broad range of options when it comes to tertiary education and subsequent professional formation and experience. “We see it as our role to integrate and assimilate our pupils,” says one of the parents on the board of Aloha College, “so that they fit well into their new environment, but also to ultimately prepare them for education and potentially a career in the wide world.”

Laude Sports Hall, Marbella

As a result, children that grow up in places such as Marbella are often far more internationally minded and adaptable than those who stay behind in their home countries, and in tomorrow’s global working environment this is a vitally important skill set. Moreover, the friendships and contacts made here span the globe, not just a single country, so whether they opt for British, German, French or indeed Spanish private colleges, parents can add this unique element to the academic qualities of the international education provided in Marbella.

English International Schools

Spanish Private Schools

Other Languages

Record year predicted for Costa del Sol Tourism Fri, 28 Apr 2017 10:10:43 +0000 It is as official as statistics can make it – the Costa del Sol is expected to have a bumper year for tourism in 2017. The prognosis is a realistic one, as it is based on flight data rather than a crystal ball, and the resulting figures certainly look very promising for Marbella and all the other beach destinations along the coast.

Costa del Sol

According to the local press, 52 airlines have made 15.5 million seats available on flights between the end of March and October, which represents a 13% increase on last year, equivalent to around two million additional seats. The airlines will be bringing visitors from 126 destinations to holiday on the Costa del Sol.

Salvador Moreno, the director of Málaga airport, is feeling particularly confident about the forecasts and has pointed out that in 2016 some 15% more seats were purchased on flights to Málaga and that this year is set to exceed the 16.6 million passengers who had passed through the Andalusian airport by the end of 2016 compared with 15.7 million in 2015.

Summer 2017 will see 89.500 flights arrive in Málaga, which is 11.5% more than in 2016. Four more destinations, including Tel Aviv, have been added to the 126 countries of origin and in total the airline companies are now operating 242 routes into Málaga. The majority of these are within Europe, but there is increasing demand also for flights from the USA and Canada to southern Spain.

Some have suggested that perhaps tourist numbers might exceed 18 million this year, but Sr. Moreno is reluctant to confirm this prediction because, as he pointed out, there are so many factors that might influence visitor numbers, such as weather and world events.

Generally, everyone is agreed that it will be an excellent year for Costa del Sol tourism, and 2017 has already started well with 1.8 million passengers travelling on 14,650 flights to Málaga in January and February.

We sincerely hope that the ongoing popularity of the Costa del Sol among overseas visitors continues to grow and that all the businesses serving the tourism industry, including real estate, continue to flourish.

Marbella is an enduring luxury brand Thu, 20 Apr 2017 09:20:20 +0000 Luxury brands are highly valued for the sense of quality, status and privilege they convey. Usually when we speak of such elite marques we refer to purveyors of luxury goods, such as Bentley, Bugatti, Cartier, Dior, Bulgari and Louis Vuitton, but of course the concept of luxury and privilege extends beyond physical objects of desire to include luxury brands such as Marbella and its property.

Puerto Banus view, Marbella

Indeed, services fall very much into this category, with top hotels, Michelin star restaurants and exclusive beach clubs as fine an example of a prestigious brand as any jeweller, fashion designer or car brand. In fact, the two go together very well, so you might well enjoy the finest champagne as you’re pampered head to toe in a luxurious spa, but the actual setting where it all takes place is also of prime importance.

Not surprisingly, an address can also represent the best money and good taste can buy, with particular districts and resorts becoming world-famous brands in their own right. Just mention names like Mayfair, The Hamptons, Monaco, the French Riviera…and Marbella, and visions of luxury, glamour and status swim before your eyes.

Marbella as a brand

We all know that it is very hard to attain the almost mythical status of a luxury brand, but even harder to maintain it over the test of time. Marbella has long since joined the select group of resort destinations that are instantly associated with opulence, style and privilege, not least thanks to its beautiful natural setting on the Mediterranean, a climate made for an idyllic lifestyle and a long list of luxury services ranging from pampering spas and sumptuous fine dining to jetsy nightclubs and beach clubs.

Marbella is an enduring luxury brand

The area’s fine resort hotels and exclusive residential areas are at the heart of this exalted position among the world’s leading addresses, with a choice of Marbella properties that includes beautiful frontline beach penthouses, villas overlooking verdant golf courses and mansions set within expansive private estates. The desire of many of the world’s well-heeled to settle or own a home in and around Marbella has given rise to a real estate market specialised in deluxe secondary properties, but any luxury good should come with an appropriate professional service and pleasant buying experience, so this segment too has its luxury brands.

In Marbella there are a few real estate agencies that qualify as such, having become recognised as luxury brands in their own right, and we are proud to say that DM Properties ranks foremost among them. It qualifies in terms of longevity, the reputation for quality, integrity, service and expertise that it has built up, and above all for the manner in which it conducts itself – combining both style and efficiency in what it does. It is only fitting that companies such as this represent the luxury property in Marbella, dealing with clients (both sellers and buyers) as they are accustomed to.

Moreover, the alliance between DM Properties and Knight Frank binds local and international reputations to provide a combined brand with Marbella expertise and international reach.

Málaga and the Costa del Sol top international retirement lists Wed, 12 Apr 2017 15:15:21 +0000 According to American investment site Investopedia, which closely tracks business and economic news around the world, the Málaga region ranks among the finest places to retire on the planet.

Aloha, Exceptional Frontline Golf Townhouse with Golf and Sea Views

Thanks to a combination of climate, culture, cuisine, lifestyle and price levels, the region including both Málaga city and the Costa del Sol has been rated a top international retirement destination by analysts who studied comparative locations around the world. Some are indeed exclusive, peaceful, safe and attractive, but also very expensive, while many of the more economical destinations come with compromises in terms of facilities, accessibility and security.

The ideal home in Spain for retired people

For its combination of factors, which ultimately spell value and quality of life, the coastal region incorporating Málaga, Marbella and Estepona is viewed as offering not only optimal quality but also a great deal of variety and choice in terms of budgets, locational settings and desired lifestyles. There is a first-class choice of properties, which can be found in beachfront, frontline golf, downtown, leafy residential and country locations which, while surrounded by nature, are still close to the coastal towns and their amenities.

Moreover, the Málaga littoral is safe, enjoys one of the best climates in the world with a real focus on outdoor activities, sport and socialising, and it is surrounded by gorgeous countryside and historical jewels such as Ronda, Cádiz, Jerez de la Frontera, Córdoba and Granada. Málaga itself has become a centre of culture and refinement with many top international museums, a buoyant gourmet and shopping scene, and a bustling centre full of life and unexpected delights.

The climate, the healthy Mediterranean cuisine and the easier pace of life are also cited as factors contributing to the Marbella region’s status as a prime retirement destination. And while not so many people in that age group may make use of the nearby ski slopes and surfing, the great choice of golf and tennis clubs, not to mention the multiple walking and hiking opportunities, combine with a cost of living that is still far below that of the major urban centres and rivieras to which Málaga international airport offers easy access.

“A great many of our buyers come here to retire and enjoy a better quality of life,” says Pia Arrieta Morales of DM Properties/Knight Frank, “often after having vacationed or owned a holiday home here for many years. Their needs are subtly different from a family relocating here or people buying a second home for relaxation and entertaining. Thanks to our experience in this market we can offer authoritative advice and a tailored service, so please contact our team if you are thinking of making the Marbella region your home.”

Schools In Marbella East Wed, 29 Mar 2017 11:52:37 +0000 For the younger members of the family, Marbella East is very well provided for in terms of educational establishments.

El Rosario, Villa for sale in El Rosario, Marbella east

Colegio Las Chapas teaches both boys and girls at junior level but exclusively girls at secondary level when the boys move to ECOS. Approved by the Junta de Andalucía as Catholic bilingual schools, children are immersed in English for 50% of their school day right from pre-school age.

Colegio Alborán is a private bilingual school for children aged three to 18. Unusually among its facilities are a farm and stables where children learn to care for and respect animals. There are also impressive sporting and arts facilities.

The English International College (EIC) was founded in 1982 and offers The English National Curriculum in an international context to more than 500 boys and girls of many nationalities aged three to eighteen years.

The Deutsche Schüle is popular with many nationalities, teaching children from three to 18. Founded in 1898 and recognised (and approved) by both the German and Spanish educational authorities, this is one of the most highly respected private international schools on the Costa del Sol.

The Spanish state schools in Marbella East are very popular with Spanish and foreign residents too. Applications are made via the Junta de Andalucía’s Consejería de Educación in March each year for the junior school, Platero, and secondary school IES Dunas de las Chapas. The education offered is exclusively in Spanish but foreign families are welcomed.

Marbella East has an eclectic array of properties to suit families looking to settle in an area where all members of the family are well catered for.

Newly released Knight Frank Wealth Report 2017 Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:15:23 +0000 It’s here! The long-awaited, authoritative Knight Frank Wealth Report 2017 charts and analyses the latest trends in the luxury real estate, investment and consumer markets. To keep up to date with where your market is moving, contact Diana Morales Properties | Knight Frank for your copy.

Newly released Knight Frank Wealth Report 2017

Knight Frank is a global name in real estate that is highly respected as a leading purveyor of professional property services on a global scale. Founded and based in London, the company’s reach extends across the globe to include not only luxury residential homes on five continents, but also true expertise in commercial real estate, land and the most complex of investment and property deals.

The company has built its reputation on quality of service and old-fashioned ethics as well as an unsurpassed level of market knowledge. To share this with its private and corporate clients, as well as colleagues and peers, Knight Frank has become an expert in collecting and processing market-related data and is today one of the world’s leading and most respected sources of property market reports.

The Wealth Report

Published annually, the Knight Frank Wealth Report has become internationally recognised as an authoritative reference to the property, investment and consumer trends affecting the luxury market. The report is compiled professionally by dedicated researchers who not only poll High Net Worth Individuals, corporate entities and property experts and collate the resulting information, but also provide valuable qualitative analysis that puts the facts and figures into perspective.

“Our clients come to us for our expertise and the sound information and advice we can offer them within the realm of real estate,” says Diana Morales, founding partner of DM Properties |Knight Frank in Marbella. “With over 30 years in the Marbella luxury property segment, we are an authority in this market, and this is backed up by the wealth of on the ground knowledge and information that Knight Frank can supply. This is one of the many reasons why DM Properties and Knight Frank fit so well together.”

With so many factors, both economic and geopolitical, affecting an increasingly interconnected global market, resources such as the Knight Frank Wealth Report are more valuable than ever, for they chart the fast-changing patterns of our times with a great degree of accuracy, helping investors, homebuyers and industry professionals alike to successfully plot their course.

For more information or a copy of the Knight Frank Wealth Report 2017, contact Diana Morales Properties | Knight Frank, or download it here.

Golf courses in Marbella East Mon, 13 Mar 2017 08:42:39 +0000 Marbella East offers an extraordinary mix of residential areas centered around some of the Costa del Sol’s most beautiful sandy beaches, and some of its finest fairways.

Frontline Golf properties in Marbella East

The prestigious Río Real Golf opened in 1965 to high acclaim thanks to its superb location, just five minutes away from the centre of Marbella and surrounded by spectacular scenery. Spanning more than 6,000m, its 18 holes appeal to players of varying standards, many of whom choose to take advantage of the excellent Golf Academy where experts provide tailored tuition to adults, juniors and disabled golfers.

Santa Clara Golf opened much more recently in 2001 but has quickly established itself as a technically challenging yet enjoyable course designed to test players’ long and short games. Santa Clara Golf offers an unusually wide driving range as well as two practice putting greens, an approach shot area, bunkers and pitching green.

A little further to the east, the Marbella Golf and Country Club was designed by renowned golf architect, Robert Trent Jones. By the time the club opened in 1994, Robert Trent Jones had planned over 450 courses including many of the most important international championship courses. With 18 holes and a par of 72, Marbella Golf offers many additional facilities including tennis, a wellness centre, yoga, Pilates, massage, physiotherapy and a high quality restaurant in the clubhouse.

Santa María Golf in Elviria was developed around a 19th century Spanish cortijo. The club values its family of members and provides a range of sporting facilities that include tennis and bowling, in addition to a super restaurant with views over the course. Santa María’s 18 fairways are surrounded by pine trees, cork oaks and incredible vistas.

Looking for a property which enjoys a frontline golf position in Marbella? Explore our selection of first line golf properties for sale on the Costa del Sol.

Spain’s Golden Visa scheme is gaining ground in Marbella Tue, 21 Feb 2017 10:43:14 +0000 Spain introduced the Golden Visa scheme in 2013 and at the time there was considerable excitement and anticipation about its potential to boost the property market. The scheme offers residency rights and travel in the Schengen area in return for an investment of at least €500,000 in real estate. However, despite the scheme’s benefits it didn’t attract as many buyers as expected.

Spain’s Golden Visa scheme is gaining ground in Marbella

However, thanks to adjustments made to the scheme’s requirements in July 2015, this last year has seen a rise of 63% in investments made under the Golden Visa. This equates to €1.71 billion in real terms of which 94% of transactions were in Spanish property. This is a considerable increase over the €1.07 billion invested in 2015 and indicates a growing interest in the Spanish Golden Visa.

To date, Chinese and Russian investors are the two nationalities making the most extensive use of this visa. For example, Chinese investments totalled €469 million between October 2015 and October 2016, representing 666 real estate purchases. Spain has risen in popularity with Chinese property investors due to new barriers preventing them investing funds in Australia, USA and Canada, which have been their preferred countries for investment for some time. Chinese buyers tend to favour Madrid currently, but Russian investors are flocking to the Costa del Sol, with Alicante, Valencia and Barcelona other popular investment destinations. In the year to the end of 2016, Russian buyers invested €480 million in Spanish property, representing an average expenditure per transaction of €786,000.

The total number of visas issued since 2013 is 24,500, while the number of principal investors is 11,774. The disparity between the two totals is accounted for by the fact that an investor’s spouse and children are also eligible for the visa. It is also worth noting that investors can apply to the Golden Visa scheme retrospectively, that is, for property purchased prior to the introduction of the scheme in 2013, providing the investment meets the stipulated criteria.

In summary, the general requirements of the Golden Visa for investors in Spanish property are:

  • The applicant must be aged 18 or over
  • They must not have a criminal record in Spain or their country of residence in the five years prior to the application
  • They must not already be living in Spain illegally
  • They must have medical insurance
  • They must have the financial means to support themselves and any family while they are in Spain
  • They must be able to pay the application fee

If you are from outside the EU and would like to find out more about how buying a property in Marbella or the Costa del Sol qualifies you for Spain’s Golden Visa, please contact us for more detailed information.

Living in Guadalmina Baja Wed, 15 Feb 2017 16:32:12 +0000 Geographically delineated by Guadalmina golf course and the coastline, Guadalmina Baja is the most western district of Marbella and adjacent to San Pedro Alcántara.

Living in Guadalmina Baja, San Pedro de Alcántara

A beautiful area of luxury residences, Guadalmina Baja is separated from the main commercial area and Guadalmina Alta by the A7 coastal road, from the municipality of Estepona by the Guadalmina River and from San Pedro by the Chopo stream.

Originally a sugar cane plantation, Guadalmina Baja was the brainchild of Norberto Goizueta who, recognising the potential for tourism, developed not only the golf course but also the Hotel Guadalmina in the late 1950s and early 60s. Still renowned today, the hotel is a popular wedding venue thanks to its proximity to the beautiful sandy beach and the southern Guadalmina golf course that flanks it in places.

The surrounding area was divided into large villa plots, which became very much sought after by wealthy Madrileños seeking privacy and tranquility in their summer residences, combined with convenience and proximity to amenities and the beach. Some areas, such as the impressive third century Bovedas Roman Baths and Tower, were protected from development, ensuring that the stunning beach area is preserved for all to enjoy.

Guadalmina Baja has its own chapel, the Capilla de la Inmaculada, and is home to the very well respected private Spanish school, San José, attended by children of all nationalities.

Villas, apartments and townhouses for sale in Guadalmina Baja

Luxurious villas comprise most Guadalmina Baja accommodation, although there are some apartments and townhouses well located within the urbanisation. For example, this four bedroom duplex penthouse apartment features spacious rooms and private terraces from which to enjoy the sunshine and open views. Or for beach lovers, this townhouse is just 100 metres from the sand and benefits from a bright and luminous interior as well as four bedrooms and its own private garden.

More typical for the area are villas such as this Miami style property designed for his own use by an architect in 1997. South facing and open plan, it’s the ideal luxury family home with spaces for entertaining, relaxing, winter dining and hosting overnight guests or accommodating staff, all centred around a beautiful freeform lagoon swimming pool.

This more contemporary and recently refurbished villa is located just 600 metres from the beach and is absolutely spectacular, featuring seven ensuite bedrooms (each with private terrace), several entertaining areas and salons, basement gym, sleek design and manicured gardens.

Offering a variety of properties at the higher end of the market, Guadalmina Baja does continue to appeal to property purchasers from all walks of life, whether looking for a main family home or summer holiday residence. Many of the properties are within walking distance of the beach or the commercial area in Guadalmina Alta, with its range of cafés, shops, offices, supermarket and banks. Contact DM Properties for more information on opportunities available in Guadalmina Alta.

Beachfront properties for sale in Marbella Wed, 01 Feb 2017 09:37:05 +0000 Every market is made up of distinct sub-markets based upon price, area, setting and property type. Marbella is no different, with frontline beach properties high in demand and those along the famed Golden Mile very hard to come by.

Beachfront properties for sale in Marbella

Marbella beachfront property is a prized commodity that has an enduring buying public from across Europe and beyond. Within this prime location category there is naturally a hierarchy too, and for most of the top-end buyers it doesn’t get better than frontline beach Golden Mile villas and penthouses.

The area between the iconic Marbella Club Hotel and the dividing point between Marbella and Puerto Banús at the mouth of the Rio Verde, is regarded as the finest address on the Golden Mile, and therefore particularly sought after. The problem is that while beachfront properties in Marbella sells well, beachfront Marbella Golden Mile property is often snapped up before it reaches the open market.

Supply and demand of the beachfront properties in Marbella

These factors are quite nicely balanced in Marbella right now, so that on the whole we can speak of a market that is dynamic and growing steadily without showing signs of overheating or creating price bubbles. This is a desirable state of affairs that favours more solid longer-term growth, as well as the interests of both buyers and sellers. However in the most desirable parts of this luxurious resort town the situation is quite different.

What today’s buyer wants is quality, style, modern architecture and amenities, luxurious details and, of course, location,” says Pia Arrieta of DM Properties │Knight Frank. “If you can combine this with a top frontline beach Golden Mile location you have a property that won’t be on the market for long, and sometimes even be snapped up before.

An example is the El Ancon development of luxurious Golden Mile frontline beach apartments and villas that was already fully subscribed when launched recently. There was such a clamour to own one of these properties that they were all reserved within days of being released. Of course this is a rather unique situation, but it does highlight just how strong the international demand is for top Marbella beachfront homes.

You could speak of a shortage of such properties, especially as the homes in the area remain with their owners for many years and don’t change hands that frequently. Ordinarily you would say there is a need for more new homes on the Golden Mile, but the scarcity of land in this established area of Marbella means renovation of older properties remains one of the best options.

If you would like to know more about acquiring a property on the Golden Mile, speak to Diana Morales Properties │Knight Frank. As Marbella’s leading luxury real estate agent we can offer expert advice to match the properties on our books.