An impressive luxury frontline beach project, next to the protected dunes of Las Chapas. This consolidated residential area is located east of Marbella, where the best sandy beaches are to be found. ...
2021-2022 Marbella Market Report
When Covid hit the world like a tsunami early in 2020, we knew it would have a powerful impact on society and the economy alike – we just didn’t know exactly what it would be. Now, almost two years on, the picture is much clearer.
Though the Costa del Sol real estate market weathered the storm remarkably well and property values remained all but constant, 2020 was a challenging year, if only because travel restrictions meant that far fewer prospective buyers could actually come to Marbella to view properties in person. Modern remote viewing tools are very useful but there are still not that many people who take the final decision to buy without experiencing the property in question live.
However, a great deal of interest built up over 2020, and it was released early in 2021 along with a lot of pent-up demand – added to by a large surge of people for whom the Covid lockdowns had caused to seize the day and make good on their dreams of owning a second home in a sunny lifestyle location or even move there part or all of the year. Remote working trends aided this process, and of course Marbella was top of the list for this kind of life-changing choice.
A great year for Marbella luxury real estate
As a result of the above trends building up over 2020, the following year gathered pace to become one of the best on record – particularly for the higher end, which has come to dominate the Marbella property market in recent years. Most popular therefore were apartments, penthouses and especially villas upwards of €500.000 and continuing well past €10 million.
Demand was keener than ever in this price segment, with most agents rushed off their feet and one developer selling 123 modern villas in 2021 alone. In summary, this is the Marbella real estate that buyers were looking for:
• Apartments, penthouses and especially villas from €500.000 (€1 million-plus for villas) to well beyond €10 million
• Contemporary homes featuring modern architectural styling, layouts and amenities
• Above all new projects, but today’s buyers are impatient and prefer key-ready homes to off-plan ones
• Renovated/modernised properties in good locations are also greatly in demand
• Views and surroundings remain very important, with sea and golf still taking up the top-two positions
Where people bought
The classic top addresses in Marbella remained as popular as ever, though limited supply and a great deal of competition has driven prices up in such areas, allowing other upcoming ones to become increasingly attractive alternatives. For 2021, and the foreseeable future, the most sought-after residential areas are:
• Classic luxury addresses such as The Golden Mile, Sierra Blanca, Nueva Andalucía, Guadalmina, La Zagaleta and Los Monteros
• Other exclusive areas like Río Real, Santa Clara, Elviria and Los Flamingos, with El Madroñal in vogue again
• New upcoming alternatives include the likes of Mijas Costa, La Mairena, Real de La Quinta and the New Golden Mile on Estepona’s shoreline
Who they were
In many ways, the market is more diversified than ever, with the bulk of buyers still coming from Scandinavia, the British Isles and the Benelux, but French, German, Spanish, Russian and Eastern European buyers also featuring more prominently than we have seen for some time. This is also true of Middle Eastern, North American and upmarket Moroccan property buyers in Marbella.
Each region has its own demand specifics, but by and large the demand is for upmarket modern apartments and villas in good locations, and this is true of virtual all nationalities. The average age of buyers is still dropping, and now features most typically between 35 and 65, including many young families who have moved here permanently to enjoy Marbella’s lifestyle throughout the year, or during long periods. This explains the shift to villas for many, and it is driving prices upwards.
The strong demand is creating a steady upward movement of home prices, though there is no question of a property bubble occurring for some time, as these are healthy yet sustainable levels of growth that build in investor value without creating a problem. That said, it is now no longer unusual for properties to sell for above €10.000/m2, and in top locations such as the Golden Mile scarcity drives levels to above €20.000/m2.
As an indicator, prices signal the state of demand for the coming period, and in this respect the steady rise in property values in Marbella and the Costa del Sol indicates continued strong demand in a market where supply is working hard to keep up. The first indications and experiences of agents in 2022 bear this out, and with the economy expected to repeat the (recuperative) growth level of around 5,5% seen last year, and the worst of the pandemic appearing to ebb away slowly this year, the prospects for luxury Marbella property in the coming year are strong indeed.
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