Looking into the future of the Costa del Sol

Share Diana Morales | Apr 2 2008

Ian Bateman, President of The Leading Property Agents Spain (LPA)

The Leading Property Agents of Spain are organizing a one-day conference in Marbella on 10th April to discuss the future of the Costa del Sol in 2020. We spoke to the President of the LPA Ian Bateman to learn a bit more about the conference and find out his hopes for the future of the area.

What’s your assessment of the property market at the moment?
There is a lot of concern about the world property markets following the dip in construction and the reduction in people buying worldwide. In Spain this has hit particularly hard with many estate agents closing their doors and many people worrying about their investment.

The Costa del Sol remains a great place to buy a property to live in or use as a second home. It is a dynamic, international environment with a unique micro-climate and great outdoor sports, golf and leisure facilities. It is also well connected through Malaga airport with many low cost flights to European destinations, so it is an attractive proposition for people who want to commute or need to travel for business. For families, there is an excellent selection of International Schools offering multi-lingual education. For all these reasons, we don’t see a collapse in the market ahead, just a slow down in the rate of construction and a need to increase positive publicity and remind people what a superb holiday destination this is.

So why have you chosen now to hold a conference?
The members of the LPA have decided to make the most of this quiet period by involving the business and residential communities in finding ways to improve the future for this area. Through the conference we will examine what has been done right and wrong over the last few years and how we can learn from this to make a better future.

We want to bring residents, property owners, business people and property professionals together to discuss the issues and match them with the experts with ideas to improve the situation. This one-day conference aims to get people working together and create an action plan to really make a difference for the future.

What is your hope for the future of the Costa del Sol?
That’s a big question. Like all residents, I want to be in a safe environment with a strong community where I am not worried about issues such as the security of my property. One of the greatest problems facing the Costa del Sol is that so many of the part time residents here are not registered at Town Halls, and therefore, the real size of the population is not reflected. In turn, this affects the number of police allocated to each town. Break-ins tend to come in waves, and a lot could be done to prevent them if the heads of community shared more information. Marbella has secured 100 new national police officers – which is a great start.

For all our futures we need to conserve our environment. I want to see a more sustainable Costa del Sol, conserving water and minimizing the impact of the development on the climate. This is a real challenge in a place with so many golf courses and activities associated with high energy and resource use, but I hope on April 10 we will hear from some people with inventive and cutting edge suggestions and ideas that we can build on.

A key to a successful future is a good infrastructure, with transport links and roads being up to the challenge of accommodating the projected 1 million population. Central to this will be the Malaga airport expansion, the AVE and improvements on the roads. We have invited people involved in all these developments to speak at the conference and we hope to stimulate some really interesting debate.

How can people register to attend?
If any readers would like to attend the conference, please email 2020@lpaspain.com to register. The conference is free to attend and runs from 10am to 6pm on Thursday 10th April.

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