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. Fri, 21 Jul 2017 18:18:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Málaga, city of museums Fri, 21 Jul 2017 07:03:42 +0000 The city of Málaga has undergone a veritable transformation in recent years, evolving from an ‘ugly duckling’ Mediterranean port to a beautiful, vibrant city of culture in little more than a decade. Museums have played a vital role in this evolution from cocoon to butterfly.

Lonely Planet has described Málaga as ‘The next Barcelona’, a city just waiting to be discovered and take the world by storm. Like its famous counterpart in Catalunya, Málaga has done this by offering a fantastic dining, shopping, nightlife and cultural experience – and doing so in a lovely setting complete with sandy beaches. Moreover, Málaga has the added advantage of enjoying what is the sunniest climate in Europe, something it’s scenic and architectural beauty build upon to make this a very impressive city destination.

No wonder then Málaga is being discovered by more and more visitors keen on a heady mix of culture, vibrant city atmosphere and warm climes. Among them is the growing number of cruise ships now introducing a whole new clientele to this exciting Mediterranean city with its pretty parks, intimate squares and beautifully preserved classical architecture mixed with a very 21st century ambience. Málaga feels young and dynamic, with lots of trendy and chic eateries, shops, cafés and tapas bars, but within this there is also space for a strong cultural offering at the heart of which stands a fantastic choice of first-class museums.

A museum capital

And how could it be otherwise in a city that is the birthplace of Pablo Ruíz Picasso. When the highly popular mayor Francisco de la Torre launched the ambitious plan to transform the city, the connection to the famous artist was an obvious starting point. With this trump up his sleeve, he first attracted the Picasso Museum and its important collection to the city, and it is around this that the ‘museum district’ of Málaga evolved. Today the city is home to 36 museums, and its top international list includes the Carmen Thyssen Museum, the CAC (Centro de Arte Contemporáneo – Contemporary Art Centre, with its excellent restaurant), the birthplace of Picasso on the Plaza de la Merced, the Málaga Centre Pompidou, the Russian Museum and the Museo Automovilístico (Car Museum).

Together, they make the regional capital the foremost museum city in Spain and one of the leading ones in Europe and the world – a fact that has helped Málaga become an internationally recognised cultural destination. Just a 45-minute drive from Malaga, Marbella has a wide variety of big city delights on its doorstep. Please contact DM Properties|Knight Frank if you would like to know more about property for sale in Marbella, Benahavis, Estepona and Málaga.

The 2017 edition of Highlights Marbella Property Magazine out now! Wed, 12 Jul 2017 07:58:40 +0000 Highlights, the property magazine published by Diana Morales Properties | Knight Frank, has long been a reference of the finest properties and lifestyles of Marbella, and now the 2017 edition has just been released.

2017 Highlights Marbella property magazine

Featuring a selection of the finest properties for sale in and around greater Marbella, the glossy publication is built around beautiful, professional images produced by top photographers, who capture the essence, light, views, landmarks and lifestyle of Marbella. These include its many kilometres of sandy beaches, the bay of Marbella, sweeping shoreline with the silhouettes of Gibraltar and North Africa in the distance, as well as wide expanses of the Mediterranean Sea, the green valleys and mountain ranges, golf courses, elegant residential areas and country clubs, as well as charming towns like Estepona, Benahavis, San Pedro Alcántara, Puerto Banús and Marbella.

These are some of the spectacular views enjoyed by the properties highlighted in the magazine, and naturally the properties themselves are centre stage, with quality real estate and décor photography showing off a wide range of villas, apartments and penthouses in a variety of architectural styles. Modern, classical, eclectic and rustic designs are all featured, as well as beautiful interiors that focus on modern and country kitchens, luxurious bathroom suites, elegant living areas, panoramic terraces and pool decks, but also luxury Marbella villa features such as private gymnasiums, indoor swimming pools, spas, home cinemas, wine cellars and entertainment areas.

To make it easier, the properties featured in our Highlights magazine are divided into easy to reference residential zones that span the greater Marbella area, from Estepona, Benahavis and Guadalmina in the west through Nueva Andalucía, Puerto Banús and Sierra Blanca to exclusive East Marbella zones such as Río Real, Los Monteros, Las Chapas and Elviria. Naturally the entire selection of Marbella homes listed by DM Properties | Knight Frank can be found on our website, but the Highlights magazine offers a fantastic overview at a glance that gives potential buyers a real insight into Marbella and its real estate market.

For more information about property for sale in Marbella contact Diana Morales Properties |Knight Frank – or drop by any of our two offices for a copy of the 2017 Highlights magazine. You can also read it online here.

Sharp rise in foreign demand for Spanish and Marbella property Fri, 07 Jul 2017 12:13:43 +0000 We have reported on it before, but now there’s confirmation that there has been a surge in foreign interest for Spanish real estate. The news comes against a backdrop of strong existing demand, thus building on a positive situation to add even more fuel to the solid showing of the country’s property market among foreign buyers.

Los Monteros Playa, Exceptional Beachside Apartment

In the second half of last year the decision of British voters to leave the European Union caused British interest to tail off while that of buyers from other countries remained strong. This year, demand from the latter has continued to hold strong while there has also been a healthy revival in enquiries coming from British buyers and investors.

Over the first quarter of 2017, the Spanish Land Registrar’s Association registered 14,870 sales to foreign property buyers – a rise of 15.6% over Q1 2016. As domestic demand is also reviving well – up 14.2% over the first quarter of last year – the overall state of health of the Spanish property market is good and the prognosis for the short to medium term looks promising indeed. In total, sales were up 14.2% in Spain over the same period in 2016.

Evergreen demand for the lifestyle

British buyers continue to be the single largest market, though their share (15%) has been dropping for some time. Above all, this is because of a rapid rise in demand among Scandinavian, Belgian and French buyers. The latter are now the second-biggest group of buyers, accounting for around 10% of all properties bought by foreigners in Spain.

With 8% of the total, Germans take third place, though not far ahead of Scandinavian, Dutch and Belgian buyers, while the increase in Italian interest has been spectacular. But it’s not only Europeans who are keen to enjoy the Spanish climate and lifestyle, as there is also a notable increase in interest from Asia, the Middle East, Morocco and the Americas. The result is that the Spanish property market – like that of Marbella – is increasingly diversified, and while this creates a marketing challenge for property agencies it is good news for the sector as a whole.

For more information about luxury Marbella real estate for sale, please contact the experts at Diana Morales Properties│Knight Frank.

Up and coming Marbella areas: La Alquería Thu, 29 Jun 2017 16:08:09 +0000 With the classic prime spots in and around Marbella essentially consolidated and offering only limited scope for further development, many of those keen to find a luxury modern Marbella villa or apartment are shifting their focus to nearby areas that still have expansion capacity. One such area is La Alquería, a peaceful residential zone close to the point where the Benahavis, Marbella and Estepona municipalities meet.

Up and coming Marbella areas: La Alquería

The first part you come to after turning onto the Benahavis road from the coastal A-7 is Nueva Atalaya, a residential zone of luxury apartment complexes set within subtropical gardens. It borders the Atalaya Golf Club, but continue westwards and you enter La Alquería, whose own golf course offers a verdant focal point in a valley dotted with private villas and small gated villa communities.

Golf and views in La Alqueria

Though the elevations, orientations and vantage points vary, life here is typically characterised by attractive sea views, mountain vistas and frontline golf locations. The gently undulating terrain reflects La Alquería’s position between the beach and the hill club developments in the foothills of the nearby mountain ranges. This is a peaceful residential area with a hint of a country feel to it, but it is also just a few minutes removed from Benahavis, San Pedro Alcántara and the village of Cancelada.

Also within a short drive are beach clubs, resort hotels, spas, tennis clubs and the luxurious Villa Padierna resort hotel in Los Flamingos. The fact that there is an international bilingual school in Nueva Atalaya – literally a few minutes away – adds to the growing popularity of La Alquería as a residential option. It is especially in vogue with those people either looking to build their own villa or searching for a newly constructed home that offers contemporary style and every modern amenity.

Modern Marbella villas

La Alquería is fast becoming a newly dynamic upmarket area thanks in no small part to quality developments such as this small community of modern style villas. The five-bedroom villas offer a contemporary interpretation of Mediterranean design as well as fantastic views from the panoramic terraces and spacious open living areas. There is also a first-class choice of beautiful modern individual villas in a good variety of settings, orientations, sizes and tones, while this project of outstanding contemporary homes is designed around a true lifestyle concept.

With land available for development, the tranquil yet central residential area of La Alqueria is becoming a focal point for the creation of stylish modern villas. As a result we can offer an excellent selection of contemporary villas in La Alqueria, featuring the latest architectural styles and home comforts. For more information about this exciting new area view our website or contact the team at DM Properties.

Did the UK elections influence Marbella property market? Wed, 21 Jun 2017 15:46:05 +0000 This year’s parliamentary elections in the UK were irrevocably linked to Brexit. Though she was officially part of the Stay (in the EU) campaign before last year’s referendum, British Prime Minister Theresa May has since been on a mission to push through and ‘deliver Brexit’. This was the reason she called the snap election this spring, as confident of increasing her parliamentary majority she wanted to strengthen her mandate going into the exit negotiations with the European Union.

Did the UK elections influence Marbella property market?

Except, she gambled and lost. While May’s Conservatives remained the largest party she lost them the clear majority they enjoyed up to Thursday Jun 8th. There were calls for her to resign as PM, but the possibility of forming a minority coalition government with the up to now obscure DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) means Theresa May will be able to stay in power and salvage her Brexit drive. The problem for the beleaguered British PM is that in her desire to gain a stronger hand she will have lost face when she faces the EU negotiators.

Already there are calls from many, including not only the SNP, Labour Party and Liberal Democrats but also Tories such as former Prime Minister David Cameron and his erstwhile Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, to change course to a soft Brexit. The latter even called Theresa May a “dead woman walking,” adding to the speculation that a new election may have to be called before the end of the year.

What it means for Marbella

The first tangible result of the June 8th election was that the inconclusive result and weaker government it produced sent the pound downwards. The reaction was nowhere as dramatic as in the aftermath of the 2016 Brexit referendum, but a drop from around 1,17 euros to the pound to 1,13 impacts on a great range of factors, from the relative cost of the goods the UK imports and exports to the amount of money a sterling buyer pays for a Marbella holiday or property.

Fortunately for our region it is still relatively inexpensive compared to large parts of the UK, let alone London, in cost of living and real estate prices, but inevitably many a British buyer will wait for the latest mini-crisis to abate and the pound to edge back upwards before committing to a property purchase. In addition to this more mechanical reaction, comes an impact that is more difficult to read in the longer term but is likely to push the UK towards a softer Brexit landing than Theresa May and her Tory hardliners had hoped for.

Their position has weakened not only around the EU negotiating table but also at home, where the call for a new EU referendum seems far away but the pressure for a gentler rupture from Europe is gaining momentum. This is good news for Marbella, as it would limit the practical impact of Brexit on British expats in the area, normalise trade relations and currency exchange levels, and give large numbers of potential British property buyers the confidence to invest in a Marbella home.

It seems that, in the long run, Theresa May could just have done Marbella a great favour. Contact us if you would like to know more about the Marbella property market and are looking for a quality apartment or villa for sale in Marbella.

Get your DM Properties | Knight Frank Marbella Property Market Report 2017 now! Mon, 12 Jun 2017 08:06:19 +0000 In a recent article we reported on the release of the 2017 Knight Frank Wealth Report, an annual study of luxury consumer trends around the world that has become an authoritative source for international professionals in property, finance, investment, retail and other fields.

Get your DM Properties|Knight Frank Marbella Property Market Report 2017 now!

Now we are also proud to advise our clients, associates and peers of the release of the 2017 DM Properties|Knight Frank Marbella Property Market Report – an annual review of the Marbella market that has similarly become a highly respected source of information and analysis. Ask for your copy now and stay up to date with the latest facts and trends relating to the Marbella property market.

The DM Properties|Knight Frank Market Report sets the context for its market analysis by connecting the recent past to the present, so that we can sensibly and accurately look ahead. In linking our annual market reports in this way we provide a sense of continuity and take it upon ourselves to review the qualified assumptions we made in previous years. No-one has a crystal ball, but as with all prognoses of this kind the value lies in analytical ability and knowledge of the market, and in this respect we can count on many years’ experience in the Marbella real estate sector.

We therefore not only list and cite statistics relating to factors such as property sales, sales breakdown by nationality and price evolution, but also focus on truly understanding the underlying message they convey, for the ability to properly interpret the facts, figures and trends that shape the market is at the heart of recognising the patterns that are at work in it.

The Marbella property market in 2017

This year we continue to deal with the spectre of Brexit, as we will continue to do for some time to come, so interpreting the impact of this external situation that has so much bearing on the Costa del Sol is vitally important. Other geopolitical and macroeconomic factors such as political stability, populism, the EU, security, interest rates, price levels, investment returns and economic growth patterns also affect a local market with such an international client base as Marbella.

In this edition of the DM Properties|Knight Frank Market Report we assess all of this and more, listening also to our clients, colleagues and our own hands-on experience before drawing conclusions and offering the kind of market prognosis that has enjoyed a high degree of accuracy over the past years.

You can read or download our market report here. For more information please contact us.

Annual Dom3 Forum on the luxury property sector in Marbella Tue, 06 Jun 2017 11:33:49 +0000 May saw the second edition of the annual DOM3 Forum, a highly anticipated event at which the cream of Marbella’s architects, designers, investors, legal and fiscal specialists and also public figures discuss the way forward for luxury Marbella real estate.

Annual Dom3 Forum on challenges and opportunities in the luxury property sector in Marbella and Costa del Sol

DOM3, an organisation whose very raison d’être is to promote the highest standards in luxury real estate in Marbella, Estepona and Benahavis, acted as the hosts at the Teatro Cinema Goya in Puerto Banús. Here Don Antonio Zarco, President of DOM3, welcomed distinguished guests who included the region’s top architects, lawyers, accountants and property market specialists, as well as the president of the Malaga provincial authority, Elías Bendodo, the president of the Mancomunidad de Municipios de la Costa del Sol Occidental (inter-municipality organisation), Margarita del Cid and also the mayors of Estepona, Benahavis and Istán, José María García Urbano, José Antonio Mena Castilla and Diego Marín, respectively.

Legal and fiscal expert, Francisco Guijarro, and Ricardo Bocanegra, a leading local lawyer and “gestor”, started the day’s discussion with an analysis on foreign investment, the Spanish Golden Visa conditions, tax regulations and the legal structures that affect foreign investors. Above all, they put the above into practical perspective, assessing how these factors affect foreign investment and the local economy in and around Marbella. Followed by a round table with the participation of the Mayors of Benahavis and Estepona where town planning issues and residential tourism were discussed.

The late morning sessions focused on residential architecture and luxury home development, with the perspective not only on aesthetic design and trends, but also on issues such as quality, technology, comfort and sustainability. The speakers included celebrated architects Ignacio Vicens and Fran Silvestre, who shared a round table discussion together with local architect Francisco Guillen, where the attendees could pose questions through a special WhatsApp channel created for the event.

This interactive element worked very well, especially considering that architects formed a large part of the audience. The method was used throughout the day, and also raised interesting topics during the discussion on town planning and the future of Marbella and the Costa del Sol, as led by architects José Seguí, Ángel Asenjo and Juan Gavilanes. The event was completed with a cocktail event, but it was the debate and passionate circulation of ideas that marked the day. It is exactly this kind of collective brainstorming, networking and focus on tackling issues and ever improving all aspects of design, construction, legislation and development in Marbella, Benahavis, Estepona and surrounding areas that DOM3 was created for.

“Having been involved in the founding and the philosophy behind DOM3 from the outset, we’re very pleased to see it have such a positive effect and for DM Properties │ Knight Frank to continue to make a meaningful contribution to the process,” says company founder Diana Morales. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions regarding the topics mentioned above, would like to know more about DOM3 or the superb private collection of luxury homes for sale in Marbella through Diana Morales Properties│Knight Frank.

Marbella Real Estate Market Report 2017 Fri, 02 Jun 2017 12:19:00 +0000 2016 was a year that brought its share of surprises. For us, and much of Europe, it came in the form of Brexit and caused a temporary scare, but already 2017 is shaping up to be a very different kind of year.

Marbella Real Estate Market Report 2017

2016: Market and Trends

The period between 2013 and 2016 offered a clear enough picture of economic revival and property sector recovery on the Costa del Sol spurred on by an earlier (and continued) surge in tourism numbers, the stabilisation of the banking sector and the gradual return to growth on a national level. As this trend solidified, what were once ‘toxic assets’ got snapped up by investment funds, most of the previously unsold properties sold out and before long the machinery of the construction industry started moving again.

A new generation of foreign buyers was ready to rekindle the love affair with Marbella, but the landscape had changed since the pre-recession years. Suddenly newly built properties featuring the latest architectural styling and technical amenities were very much in demand, leaving the market for resale properties to recover but lag behind, with demand for older properties in prime locations with renovation potential also strong. Nonetheless, keen competition for scarce ready to build land caused prices to rise particularly in Marbella. It seemed that the region was on track for a classic up cycle, yet at the end of 2015 we received the first shock to the system when the 2010 PGOU urban plan was annulled by the Supreme Court in Madrid.

PDF - Marbella Real Estate Market Report 2017

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. The popularity of contemporary villas, apartments and semi-detached villas/townhouses continued, and the excellent returns of early projects combined with rising sales figures have encouraged a growing number of investors and developers to launch new small to medium-sized projects from Manilva in the west to La Cala de Mijas in the east.

Some of the many projects currently under way include: Arboleda and The Edge in Estepona, Mirabella Hills and Marbella Club Hills in Benahavis, The Hills in La Quinta and Palo Alto in Ojén and Icon-The Residences in Marbella East. Projects such as Jardinana in La Cala de Mijas and Golf Hills Village in Estepona are selling fast or indeed sold out, which provides international investors with the confidence to focus on developments in our area. Proof of this is investment by international funds such as Round Hill Capital active in the Palo Alto development, while Taylor Wimpey has new projects such as Acqua in Nueva Alcántara, Horizon Golf in Mijas and Botanic in La Reserva de Alcuzcuz. Additionally CTH Capital is involved in the project UNO at el Ancon Beach on Marbella’s Golden Mile which has been a huge success in its pre-reservation phase, and Neinor Homes and Kronos Investment Group both involved in projects in the Marbella, Estepona and Benahavis areas.

The banks, meanwhile, are playing their part with greatly improved financing facilities coupled with low interest rates. Combined with the fact that Marbella property prices still represent excellent value for money for buyers from large parts of Europe, the forecast is very positive.

Property sales from 2004-2016 in Marbella, Benahavis and Estepona

Year Benahavis Estepona Marbella Total
2004 353 882 4.779 6.014
2005 412 2.244 4.047 6.703
2006 650 1.788 4.432 6.870
2007 633 2.581 3.568 6.782
2008 438 1.721 2.116 4.275
2009 559 1.086 2.199 3.844
2010 422 1.154 2.389 3.965
2011 311 1.248 2.259 3.818
2012 593 1.490 2.519 4.602
2013 532 1.669 3.106 4.807
2014 708 2.109 3.982 6.799
2015 743 2.054 4.435 7.232
2016 625 2.123 4.001 6.749
*2016 4T figures not final yet. Source: Ministry of Public Works

The impact of Brexit

Once again, it seemed like the Costa del Sol had overcome the Marbella PGOU hurdle and was gearing up for accelerated growth as it moved towards the mid-range of the cycle. Old markets such as the UK, Ireland and The Netherlands were reviving while ‘new’ ones such as Scandinavia, Belgium, France, the Middle East and Morocco were growing at a healthy rate. Only sales to Russian buyers were not performing well in the wake of the geopolitical situation in the Ukraine, but for the rest all looked well. And then the unexpected happened: the British public voted to leave the European Union by a small margin (51.8%). If you factor in the distinct possibility that more than a few cast a protest vote – never expecting the Leave campaign to actually win – the public mandate obtained is actually quite weak, yet the referendum result holds legally and therefore the British government carries legitimacy as it pushes through the first steps of what should mean secession from the EU by 2019.

In our little paradise we feel far removed from the major theatres of politics, yet as the fortunes of the Costa del Sol are closely linked to those of its main markets in Northern Europe, important events there are felt on the ground here. Brexit is a prime example, for though their overall share of sales have dropped, the British remain the largest single market for properties in this region, accounting for roughly 35% in 2016. The market is now highly diversified and no longer dependent upon one single nationality – all the more so as you move up the price ladder – but 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.

Top ten nationalities searching for a property – 2016
In Spain In Marbella
1. United Kingdom 1. Spain
2. Spain 2. United Kingdom
3. Russian Federation 3. United States of America
4. United States of America 4. France
5. Ireland 5. Germany
6. Germany 6. Sweden
7. France 7. Belgium
8. Netherlands 8. Netherlands
9. Switzerland 9. Switzerland
10. Italy 10. Ireland
Source: Knight Frank Global Property Search in Spain &

The statistics show a decline in sales to British homebuyers last year both in our region and in other parts of Spain. The fact that it was met with a strong increase in sales to Scandinavian, Dutch, Belgian, French, German, Middle Eastern and also Moroccan buyers cancelled out any negative impact on overall sales in 2016, but it also denied the year a chance to rather spectacularly beat the previous record set in 2007. More importantly, the full impact of Brexit on property sales is likely to be felt in 2017, as sales made in one year are often completed and registered during the following one. This means some of those included in last year’s figures actually date to the pre-Brexit market of 2015.

It is a good thing that the region now enjoys such a dynamic and diverse market base, and we may well be able to look forward to growth in the domestic and international markets thanks to Spanish economic growth and a more attractive Golden Visa proposition respectively, but 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.

2016 Property Sales in Spain to Foreign Buyers
GB 10.157 (19%)
France 4338 (8%)
Germany 4121 (7,5%)
Sweden 3610 (6,75%)
Belgium 3243 (6%)
Italy 2911 (5,5%)
China 2239 (4%)
Russia 1524 (2,75%)
Property sales to foreign buyers (in Spain) in 2016 (53.690) almost equalled the previous record of 2007 (57.768), but at 13% of the total national market their combined market share is at an all-time high. Source: Colegio de Registradores de la Propiedad

Mark Stücklin (Spanish Property Insight) – “I think we will see a steeper decline in British demand in the figures for Q1 when they come out (between 40% and 50% down, maybe even more), which I suspect will lead to an overall decline in foreign purchases inscribed in the Land Register in 2017”.

Evidence suggests this is most likely to be felt in traditional British pockets along the coast and in the lower end of the market in general, with the higher price category less affected as it is more diversified and British buyers in this segment are less likely to be put off by buying outside of the EU umbrella. The low pound to euro exchange rate is the immediate cause of lower sales, but having stabilised for the time being it is expected to gradually recover in the coming years.

Q4 2016 sales
Norway 308
Russia 364
China 533
Italy 729
Belgium 794
Sweden 813
France 1084
Germany 1158
UK 2074 (16%, down from 24% in Q4 2015)
Rest 4821
Total 12.678 (up 5%)
Overall, nation-wide property sales in Spain were up 14%, foreign sales were up 16% vs. Q4 2015. Source: Colegio de Registradores de la Propiedad

Though one has to be realistic about the impact of Brexit on the fortunes of the Costa del Sol there is no need for despair. The impact will be felt mostly in the shorter term, and as the British love affair with Marbella is far from over the effect will be relative, not absolute. Demand from other countries continues to grow, and efforts such as the recent town hall envoy to the Moscow International Travel & Tourism Exhibition, at which mayor José Bernal promoted Marbella, reflect the desire to consolidate this growth among existing markets and develop those with further potential. This includes the Russian market, which is showing signs of recovery, and the Moroccan market, but also more distant ones such as China, the USA and Latin America, which act to complement the core European and Middle Eastern client base.

Looking ahead

As we speak Marbella feels quite buoyant as it prepares itself for another record summer and enjoys an upturn in property sales. Hotels are full, businesses are opening and the dining scene is developing apace, with new Michelin star restaurants turning the centre and Puente Romano’s Plaza Village into a fine-dining cluster of note. Other examples of growth include the opening of the Oasis Business Centre, the announcement of the new W Marbella Resort by investment group Platinum Estates and Marriott International in Las Chapas beach and a Nobu hotel and restaurant at the Puente Romano, with a shortage of commercial premises for rent in top locations becoming noticeable also. What remains for Marbella, therefore, is to continue to upgrade what it offers as a luxury tourism and residential destination.

La Zagaleta, Villa in La Zagaleta with sea, golf and mountain views

Frontline golf villa in La Zagaleta Golf & Country Club – Ref: DM3678

“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.”

Diana Morales Properties│Knight Frank market feedback

DM Properties 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.

Q4 2016 Sales Trends vs Q4 2015 in Spain
Moroccans +49%
Italians +44,5%
Algerians +25%
Romanians +23%
Germans +23%
Bulgarians +19%
Belgians +16,5%
Chinese +13%
Swedes +12,5%
Danes +11%
Swiss +11%
French +10%
Rest +8,5%
Russians -1%
Irish -5,5%
Norwegians -6%
Ukrainians -6,5%
British -28% (historically there is a direct correlation between the pound and British demand)
Dutch buyers were up 58%. Source: Colegio de Registradores de la Propiedad

“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.”

Pia Arrieta Morales, Managing Director

“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.

Breakdown of sales completed in 2016
Spanish 15%
British 12%
German 12%
Swedish 11%
Norwegian 11%
French 7%
Also significant sales to Belgian, Dutch, Finnish, Eastern European, Saudi and Kuwaiti buyers
Late 40s to early 60s 60%
Late 30s to mid-40s 30%
Others 10%

“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.

New Golden Mile, Stunning Beachfront Modern Property in Marbella West

Unique brand new luxury villa in the New Golden Mile West Marbella – Ref: DM3690

“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.”

British Business and Investment Barometer Post-Brexit

2017 is the year Article 50 is enacted and the process of negotiation and eventual secession from the European Union will begin to take shape. A lot will depend upon a ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ Brexit, and at this point it is difficult to predict how much investment flows will be affected, but the British Chamber of Commerce in Spain has surveyed a representative sample of 62 companies actively engaged in trade with Spain to gain an indication of business sentiment.

Negative Factors about doing business in Spain

  • Education, R&D and digitalisation could/should improve
  • The government sector scores acceptably but is considered to be one of the obstacles to growth
  • The labour market has improved but could/should become more flexible

Positive Factors about doing business in Spain

  • The quality and professionalism of companies and services is improving satisfactorily
  • The formation of a new national government at the end of 2016 is seen as a major stabilising factor and boost to economic growth, which is expected to consolidate around 3% in Spain for the coming years

Source British Chamber of Commerce

The UK has a long history of trading with Spain and is currently the third largest foreign investor in the country, with €37.6 billion of FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) and accumulated investments that in 2016 contributed €6.1 billion in tax revenue and 161,353 direct and indirect jobs – 13,868 of which are in Andalucía. In 2016, around 35% of British investment in this region was in real estate and construction, signalling how important the property sector is to trade between the two countries.

Business links between the UK and Spain existed long before either country joined the European Union (1973 and 1986 respectively) and will continue long after Brexit. While the nature of the continued relationship will at least in part be determined by the trade agreements to be negotiated between the UK and the EU, the immediate concern for many – especially many British homeowners in Spain – is how they as citizens will be affected in terms of their residency, labour, tax and healthcare rights.

FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) stock (share) by country

FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) stock (share) by country. Source: British Chamber of Commerce in Spain

The British and Spanish authorities have been keen to guarantee that changes, if any, will be mild and need affect neither foreign residents nor trade in any significant way. At a recent press event organised by the British Chamber of Commerce in Marbella, the British Ambassador in Madrid once again reiterated that it is in the interest of the UK, Spain and indeed the EU that business continues ‘as usual’. Below is a summary of a business sentiment survey carried out by the British Chamber of Commerce:

  • British companies remain mildly optimistic about investing in and doing business with Spain
  • They are positive about the economy and happy with returns
  • As a result, more than half of British companies active in Spain plan to increase their investments over the next two years
  • Over 60% of British companies expect that Britain’s exit from the EU will not affect their investments in Spain. However, nearly 30% believe Brexit will adversely affect their investments, with the majority of these firms expecting to scale back by over 10%
  • Nearly all of the British companies consulted believe it is feasible, over the medium term, to create a new framework for economic ties conducive to stable flows of direct British investment in Spain

The number of square metres US$1m will buy in… Based on prime residential prices as at Dec 2016

The number of square metres US$1m will buy in… Based on prime residential prices as at Dec 2016

Currency calculations based on exchange rates prevailing 30th December 2016. Price ranges for Hong Kong, Beijing and Shangai are for properties considered ‘super prime’. Price calculations for Hong Kong are based on apartments and for Marbella on apartments located in prime areas. Where the top locations above achieve stratospheric square metre values of $40,000 – $60,000, Marbella averages out at around $5550/m2. However, leading urbanisations such as Puente Romano, Los Granados and Oasis de Banús in Rio Verde command close to $12,000/m2, putting them close to the world’s main urban centres, while the exclusive UNO at El Ancón Beach on the Golden Mile has all units pre-reserved at around $15,000/m2. This shows that while Marbella is not a densely built up urban centre, at the top end it is beginning to touch base with square metre prices seen in the world’s most expensive location. Source: Knight Frank Research.

Download Marbella Real Estate Market Report 2017

Contributors: The DM Properties team
Written by Michel Cruz

Property for sale in the Benahavis golf valley Wed, 31 May 2017 08:14:12 +0000 Marbella’s Nueva Andalucía may have the Golf Valley, but Benahavis has a golf valley of its own, incorporating the courses of El Higueral and Atalaya Golf in the main central valley, and the Marbella Club Golf Resort, Monte Mayor, Los Arqueros, La Zagaleta and La Quinta in the neighbouring areas.

La Alqueria, Modern villa in La Alqueria

El Higueral

The Club de Golf El Higueral, Benahavis, is a gently flowing 19-hole, par 36 course that follows the undulating contours of the Benahavis countryside, as it rolls down from the village towards the sea. Ringed by hills, overlooked by the elegant apartments of the beautifully landscaped Los Capanes apartments and endowed with lakes and sea views, it is one of the most picturesque courses in the greater Marbella area.

Atalaya Golf & Country Club

Located at the point where the municipal boundaries of Benahavis, Estepona and Marbella meet, the parkland landscape of this well-established double 18-hole course forms the reference point for attractive contemporary apartments that are very centrally located yet surrounded by country and sea vistas just a few kilometres from the village of Benahavis itself.

Marbella Club Golf Resort

Set in an expansive country club environment just a little southwest of Benahavis, this hill course offers a superb 18-hole challenge amid fantastic nature and distant sea views. Golf is very much the focal point around which the luxury country villas surrounding the course have been built, making this a fascinating blend of Andalusian country atmosphere and Marbella golf luxury.

La Alquería

Bordering the Atalaya Golf Club, just a few minutes from Puerto Banús, San Pedro and Benahavis, La Alquería is a peaceful residential area with a gently undulating terrain offering breathtaking views that extend over the golf course to the sea. It is a popular area as residential option, especially for those looking to build a new home or a brand new villa or apartment with contemporary style.

Los Arqueros Golf & Country Club

Designed by none other than the great Severiano Ballesteros, Los Arqueros is a Marbella classic whose lush fairways sprawl across undulating hills at the foot of the Ronda road. The surrounding apartments and villas are very popular among second homeowners, for whom the golf course and its clubhouse are every bit as much an attraction as nearby Marbella, Puerto Banús and the sea.

La Zagaleta

Home to two private (residents only) 18-hole golf courses – La Zagaleta and Los Barrancos – this most exclusive of country clubs is set within a former hunting estate of over 200 hectares. Reserved for owners of the surrounding villas and mansions – and their guests – the courses and their clubhouse are immaculate, enveloped by natural scenery and from this elevated position the sea views are quite stunning.

La Quinta Golf & Country Club

La Quinta offers 27 holes within a similar country setting that forms the visual centre point for the attractive villas, apartments and penthouses of this well-established residential area. Also home to a luxurious spa hotel, the excellent clubhouse and academy are a hub of activity in an area with great future growth and investment potential. La Quinta offers a true country club feel at just a few minutes from the beach.

French election a boost for EU and the euro Fri, 26 May 2017 07:47:01 +0000 Whether you like newly elected French President, Emanuel Macron, or don’t care for his policies, the fact is that both the markets and the EU as a whole breathes a collective sigh of relief when he was recently elected by a considerable margin.

French election

The young man who ‘came out of nowhere to win’ has defied the gravity of politics, where many had earlier predicted centre-right François Fillon to win, but for those mostly engaged with economic and political stability not only in France but beyond it Macron is a very acceptable alternative to the Republican and Socialist parties that have dominated French politics since the 1950s. All the more so since more extreme, populist politicians such as Jean-Luc Melenchon and of course Marine Le Pen performed better than usual in these elections, and with the hard-line socialist policies of the former and the anti-EU agenda of the latter there were fears that the electoral choice of the French people could seriously rock the boat across Europe.

Stability and continuity

This has now been avoided, and in Macron the continent has a pro-European leader who will fight to maintain the overall status quo whilst attempting to liberalise the French economy and labour market, and also reform the European Union. Macron will have his hands full addressing the needs of the French economy and those of a populace increasingly disgruntled with what they perceive to be a distant, elitist European political class, but in the interim he represents a bolstering of the continent’s preferred path of considerate moderation.

The markets responded with relief, the euro held its own and now everyone watches hopefully to see if he can deliver on his promises of boosting the Eurozone’s second largest economy. For Spain, and in particular the Costa del Sol, it is good news too – and the French market has become increasingly important in recent years – but as we saw during the initial years of François Hollande’s presidency, even an unpopular president can cause many to discover the delights of Marbella.