Sales Tel. Closed
Rentals Tel. Closed

Marbella is the only municipality in Málaga where the sale of homes rose in 2010

The price of the square metre continues to be one of the highest on the entire Mediterranean coast of Spain
Published in on 30.12.10 – 01:43 – MÓNICA PÉREZ | MARBELLA

Despite the economic crisis and the ups-and-downs of recent years in city politics and town planning, the Marbella real estate market is managing to raise its head. Although the figures are not quite the same as they were six years ago, 2010 looks set to end with more homes being sold than in 2009, making Marbella, in addition, the only municipality on the Costa del Sol where sales have actually increased. So says the December 2010 report Coyuntura del Sector Inmobiliario (Situation of the Real Estate Sector) drafted by the Andalusian Association of Residential, Sports and Health Tourism Businesses (Promotur). While the fourth quarter results are not in yet, the first three quarters of the year evidenced greater sales of non-subsidized housing than in the same period a year earlier. In 2009, there were 1,371 sales in the first eight months of the year, compared with 1,730 over the same period in 2010. The greatest increase was recorded in the second quarter of 2010, with 711 sales as opposed to 438 in the second quarter of 2009.

City First Quarter Second Quarter Third Quarter
Marbella 470 711 549
Mijas 448 526 338
Estepona 235 318 247
Benalmádena 297 427 274
Fuengirola 252 396 201
Torremolinos 247 374 225
Benahavís 157 148 45
Rincón de la Victoria 138 307 110
Málaga 1,041 1.544 753


Despite the near paralysis suffered in the real estate sector, two other features put Marbella ahead of other municipalities on the Coast. On one hand, it offers the highest percentage of new homes for sale, and on the other, it has managed to keep prices much higher than neighbouring towns.

The Promotur report notes that Marbella offers the highest rate of new housing at 18.8%, followed by Mijas with 17% and Estepona with 16.7%

As far as prices as concerned, and despite the fact that developers have been forced to reduce their profit margins – which in the case of Marbella ranges between 10% and 30% – the Costa del Sol continues to have the highest average price per square metre compared to other holiday destinations on Spain’s Mediterranean coast. Only Estepona, with prices reaching 2,930€/m2, surpasses Marbella, where the price per square metre goes up to around 2,745 euros.

The approval of the Marbella zoning plan (Plan General de Ordenación Urbana) which came in 2010 has eased the uncertainty which reigned in the market. And, in only five weeks, around 400 homes which had zoning issues have been legalized.

Stock levels rise

But it´s not all good news. The sector displays a special set of characteristics along the western coast, which residential tourism specialists sum up as follows: a high number of exclusive products, an insufficient re-adjustment of price levels, prospective buyers’ wariness, and the insecurity still felt regarding political and town planning problems.

All this has meant that, despite the slow-down in the construction of new homes and the slight impulse in sales, the inventory is still as large as ever. If there were 7,431 unsold homes “in stock” in 2009, the following year that figure rose to 7,705 for all the Costa del Sol municipalities put together. This situation can be explained by high prices and by the fact that many people who bought properties “off plan” failed to follow through on the purchase at the time of signing the Title Deeds, the report says. In addition, the time period for marketing and selling properties has increased and currently sits at an average of 84.8 months.

In order to make some kind of profit from this unsold stock, developers – just like many owners – have had no other alternative but to change the “use” to which their properties are put. Increasingly these are being marketed as holiday apartments and are rented out at prices to “fit” the current market. The number of rentals with a purchase option has also increased, and continues to do so, thanks to the interesting supply now available throughout Costa del Sol.