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'Resurgence' noticed in Spain's luxury housing market


A recent observation by a leading international property consultancy that wealthy individuals are renewing their interest in the luxury residential market in Spain should be a heartening one for many of our clients wishing to sell desirable Marbella properties, as well as an indicator to prospective purchasers that now is the time to act.

What's happening to prestige property in Spain?

It has been noted that after years spent saving their money and awaiting the recovery of national and global economies, many high net worth investors are becoming active again in the Spanish prime property market.

Not only are the transactions on such luxury homes gaining in value - frequently exceeding the €500,000 required to secure a so-called Golden Visa - but the typical completion period for these sales is also shortening, having now reached between three and six months, compared to the between 10 and 12 months that was typical previously.

Such trends are part of a pattern of recovery in the Spanish luxury housing sector that was first noticed last year, when the Ministry of Public Works revealed a 25% jump in prime residential transactions compared to the previous year.

Indeed, even during the most difficult years of the global financial crisis, the 'top end' market appeared to show greater resilience than Spanish residential property as a whole. Whereas average prices for the latter fell by around 41% from their peak levels, the equivalent figure for the country's luxury property was just 31%.

Positive signs for the Marbella market

Various reasons have been suggested for the ongoing rejuvenation of the luxury housing sector in major Spanish cities, not least the lack of prestigious residential stock in such other sought-after global cities as London and Miami.

As a matter of fact, Madrid has been widely declared one of the most attractive European cities in which to invest for those seeking luxury homes, along with the likes of Berlin and Dublin. No less exciting, however, are the implications of the wider Spanish property market's recovery for desirable residences in the Marbella area.

As noted by the aforementioned international property consultancy and reported by El Economista, interest has increased as of late in Marbella and its environs, including along the Golden Mile and the private luxury developments of Sierra Blanca, La Zagaleta and Camojan.

However, with another report indicating that in July, prospective buyers of property in the wider Andalucía region were still making offers 19.9% below the prices set by owners, there are signs that even those with an interest in more expensive Marbella property could snap up a comparative bargain if they make the right moves amid the market's resurgence.

The coast is increasingly the place to be

Marbella is, of course, a coastal city and municipality, albeit one that provides a rich cultural and recreational life to its residents beyond the mere presence of the beach. Nonetheless, as another recent report has indicated, the coastline could be very much the place to be for future high net worth city dwellers.

The Sustainability Observatory found that some 27.8% of the Spanish coastline - amounting to 7,898 kilometres - has already been urbanised or transformed by man. The 24-year period between 1987 and 2011 saw 32.9% growth in occupation of the first line of coast, 500 metres from the sea. That represents a rate of urbanisation of 22.7km every 12 months.

With Marbella continuing to welcome a host of exciting developments - including a new town centre gourmet market built by Grupo Alfil and expected to open at the end of November - the city has remained at the forefront of the Spanish coast's sustained status as the perfect place for well-heeled property investors to live, work and play.