2015: a year full of prospects
If 2014 confirmed and indeed strengthened the recovery in the Marbella real estate market that tentatively began in 2013 and gathered pace in 2014, then the new year looks set to further underpin not just recovery but the beginnings of a new growth cycle.
In Marbella, in particular, the property market has rallied to such a point that not only have prices stabilised, but they are beginning to rise. This is particularly true of the most highly desired areas such as beachfront locations and largely consolidated luxury residential areas such as Sierra Blanca, where little land remains for new construction.
Driven by strongly resurgent demand, this process has been moving outwards from Marbella, gradually reviving the real estate market in areas such as Estepona, Mijas, Calahonda and Fuengirola. Next it should reach areas such as Manilva and Puerto Duquesa, but also the rustic inland areas bordering the Costa del Sol.
What people want
In keeping with the latest design trends, most new buyers in this area want not just prime seaside or country club settings, but also modern styling and the most up-to-date technical amenities and comforts. In many cases this means sleek, whitewashed villas and apartments with open-plan layouts, state-of-the-art kitchens and domotic home automation systems.
Properties that meet these requirements are top of the list in terms of desirability, but this is not to say that other styles are no longer in demand. Thankfully the buying public remains varied in its tastes and needs, even if many of those who buy older properties do so with the intention of modernising them.
Where demand is coming from
If during the height of the recession it was wealthy Russian buyers that stood out, now the market is more varied in origin – ranging from Scandinavian and Arab buyers to a resurgence of French, Belgian and now also British interest. The Dutch market is consistently strong, the German-speaking countries contribute a fair share of buyers and the number of investors from Asia and the Americas in growing steadily, though the untapped potential remains huge.
The current resurgence in this region’s property market has been driven overwhelmingly by foreign cash buyers originally attracted by great price opportunities and gradually increasingly by a revival in demand for the Marbella way of life. The return of financing is producing a broadening of the buying public, initially among foreign buyers, but it is expected that the national market will also gradually begin to grow again in 2015.
Looking forward to 2015
Heading into a new year the world economy is still not into full swing again, yet there are some highly encouraging factors pointing towards an ongoing acceleration of growth in the Costa del Sol region. Lower fuel prices should aid international economic growth, financial stability has largely returned to Europe and Spain is back on a path of economic growth, falling unemployment, growing income and consumption, and reduced public debt.
Strong showings in exports, tourism and technology are matched by an increasingly stable banking system and it is expected that real estate and construction will contribute to economic growth in 2015 for the first time in seven years. Prices remain attractive – especially among those buying in pounds, dollars and Norwegian krone – and this part of the world is increasingly in vogue with investors and end users alike not just because it currently offers fantastic opportunities, but because all of this is underwritten by a quality of location and lifestyle that retains its appeal because it is so unique.
This, ultimately, is the strongest factor of all, and combined with the above, sets the tone for continued yet measured growth in 2015!