Tourism and property rental in Marbella

Louise Swan, December 2016 | Local News and Information

The fact that Spain, and the Costa del Sol in particular, experienced a record year for tourism is well known by now. By the end of 2015 new levels were set for total tourist numbers, flight movements and incoming revenue into what is an important sector nationally, and a vital one locally. The Costa del Sol received 10.6 million visitors who spent a total €11.5 billion (source: Costa del Sol Tourist Board), with much of that spend going through Marbella’s tills.

With this popularity has come a high occupancy rate in hotels and restaurants, shops and beaches, not to mention rapidly growing demand for holiday rental apartments and villas across the Marbella area. Demand is especially keen in key zones near the beach, Puerto Banús and the Golden Mile, where the fashionable set wants to be.

It is no exaggeration to say that this is above all a ‘top down’ market, for if owners of mid-range apartments and villas are doing well out of the summer, the top segments are positively booming. “We had beautiful beachside villas and penthouse apartments available but they were snapped up quickly, long before the summer actually started,” says luxury rentals specialist Callum Swan.

“The Golden Mile remains among the most hotly desired locations, and though finding tenants so early on was great news for the owners it was sad to have to turn lots of people away.” The growing popularity of Marbella as a high end destination has produced occupancy rates in both hotels and residential tourism not seen for many a year. In fact, this summer new all-time records are being set!

Marbella holiday rentals: a trend or a fad?

The booming Marbella holiday rentals market has led some commentators to predict that it will become the centre of a new buy-to-let market, but before getting too carried away it is important to look into the background of the current upturn.

Firstly, it is true that Marbella and surrounding areas are very much back in vogue, and therefore popular in their own right. Having adjusted its pricing and offer during the leaner years, the region is now reaping the benefits of an upturn in tourist spending across the continent – and beyond.

This has seen more people decide to travel abroad and spend money, releasing pent-up demand from the past few years. Add to this the insecurity in the Middle East and North Africa, and it becomes clear that tourist destinations such as Spain and Portugal have become the big beneficiaries of the millions of tourists that are now opting for safety and staying away from the likes of Tunisia, Egypt and even Turkey.

The natural rise in tourist numbers Spain and Marbella were already experiencing has therefore been given a huge boost – but is this ‘injection’ of new tourists sustainable? If you consider that it will take quite some time for the affected tourist areas to win back the trust of the bulk of visitors, then it seems that Marbella’s greatly expanded client base is indeed sustainable.

What does it mean?

If so, the current tourism boom could well extend into the coming years, spurring on an already resurgent real estate market as the industry works to expand the supply of modern rental destinations both ‘normal’ and luxury. One might even expect some luxurious new resort hotels and golf courses to be built, along with new amenities and the expansion of existing marinas – another area of impending shortage.

For the Costa del Sol and Marbella in particular it spells strong growth both in tourism and real estate, but while we are all for that we do raise a cautionary note when it comes to buy-to-let home shopping. As with any investment make sure the estimates are not too optimistic and also take into account a change in direction. If your figures stack up after that you’re on to a good thing!

You can email me directly on callum@callumswan.com or leave your details here, I would be delighted to assist.

Best regards

Callum

Callum Swan, Marbella luxury estate agent
+34 952 81 06 08