Marbella, on the road to recovery?

Share Diana Morales | Oct 27 2009

This post refers to a recently published article by the NY Times, Spanish Market Shows a Few Glimmers.

We see in various media, articles on signs of property market recovery. We read with pleasure articles about recovery here in Spain, but we are also cautious when saying the worst may be over. The crisis may not be over, but signs of recovery are definitely good news and it means we are on the way to better times. While the news may be good for some, for others it is still not enough. Where some only see the negative aspects of some of the consequences of the past local government policies, others see the recovery of this very special place which is Marbella.

I could go on to list the various things that make Marbella a great place to live, but you can read about them in some of our recent posts in this blog, or even better, if you live here, you already know why. Yes, it may not have the infrastructure/cultural offer for eg which other cities/areas of Europe have, but it will do eventually, and we are well on the way to getting there. On the contrary, those ‘first class’ cities and areas will never be able to compete with our area in terms of weather and lifestyle possibilities derived from it. Marbella has no less than 320 days of sunshine and mild temperatures: today it is forecasted min. 16ºC and max. 25ºC in Marbella whilst (source: USA today weather forecast) the mean temperatures will be: 12ºC in London, 7ºC in Paris, 8ºC in Berlin.

Marbella Coastline

Yes, Marbella has been terribly and shamefully managed for many years, and is now paying the consequences. While the article reads “the damage is done” and I do not disagree with this, I must also say that the damage is not irreversible (the new Marbella PGOU will bring added security to buyers in our area and help to clean up the mess left by the previous administration at local level).

The article mentions that “…With banks now pumping foreclosed properties onto the market at sharply discounted prices, views are divided on how long it will take the market to recover…” and goes on to say that “…Foreclosure sales are producing some activity…” I went into several bank websites and looked for properties in Marbella. What did I find? A surprisingly low number of bank repossession and nothing really interesting or as a matter of fact even competitively priced! You can find better priced re-sales from real estate agents actually. (Santander has 1 property in Marbella, Cam has 16, BBVA has 4 and Bankinter has 1). Most property agents in Marbella will agree that reactivation has occurred since February of this year and fortunately we have had a busy few months in terms of clients looking to buy and in terms of sales. So, having said this, you can imagine what significance foreclosure sales have in Marbella…none at all, luckily.

The “horrendous traffic jams” (this, in my opinion is quite exaggerated, and anyone who has been to New York or Mumbai will agree) are a result of the infrastructural development works which will bring added quality of life in the area. But far from being immersed in “general chaos” ( I’d probably be writing from some place else should this be the case), Marbella is steadily recovering and putting back the pieces together.

Marbella Old TownI quote Diana Morales’ words which appeared in a recent article on the new PGOU (Urban Master Plan) of Marbella in the October issue of Essential Magazine (page 96) “In spite of the bad an often biased press we have had during the last couple of years, Marbella continues to be a most desirable holiday destination and a great place to reside all year round and we expect there will be more people buying, once the banks are ready to lend money on property that will be legalised under the new plan. Even if the press continues to focus on cases that go to court, this can be countered if, at the same time, the Administration proves to be efficient and there are evident improvements in Marbella, coupled with some effective and honest campaigns to restore its image.

Like all places, Marbella has its pros and cons, and only you alone will know the reasons why you chose Marbella over London. While you may choose to buy a property in London, for some reasons, you choose to relocate to Marbella for others. Each place must be enjoyed for what it is and yes, there is always room for improvement, no matter where in the world you are! When things get tough, just look ahead, as better times always come.

Pia Arrieta


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