Investing in Marbella property
Why are so many people investing in Marbella real estate right now? Because, after years of falling prices and negative indicators the market has picked up in earnest. By this we don’t mean the Spanish housing sector in general (yet), nor are we talking about a mass market revival for Costa del Sol real estate, but focused investors and cash homebuyers that are specifically interested in areas such as Marbella, Mallorca, Ibiza, Madrid and Barcelona.
“You could add Tarifa to that list,” says Marbella Direct founder Tony Cassidy, who has seen several economic cycles play themselves out in this market and now recognises the signs of recovery. “There was great value for money available in Marbella real estate back in 2011,” says Tony, “but neither the confidence in the global economy nor the belief that prices had stopped falling.” And so, as economies began to recover, people continued to follow price fluctuations in search of the ideal moment to invest.
“That moment came over a year ago, when prices bottomed out and buyers returned to the market in increasing numbers. Many of the people who had been using our website, among others, to track the properties and prices on offer in Marbella, now contacted us with highly informed and often very specific requests. Most are familiar with the area and will not only know the area, price range and property type they are looking for, but sometimes even the exact urbanisation.”
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It is in such cases that long-established agents with solid reputations stand out. At the core of companies like Marbella Direct are professionals with many years experience, in-depth market knowledge and very broad networks. “This means we attract the best properties,” says Tony, “but also that if a client wants something very specific that is not on our books we will be able to find it for them.”
Enjoying a good name that stretches back over 35 years in Marbella real estate also means that Tony Cassidy has access to those new projects now being developed in hotspot areas such as Nueva Alcántara. “The companies that have been the first to respond to the resurgence in the Marbella market and the growing demand for modern properties with the latest amenities are solid developers with a long track record and a long-term vision, not the fly-by-night people seen during booms.”
The new developments currently being built and commissioned represent the first new projects started in over six years, so perhaps it is little wonder that they are selling out within as little as three months. Who is buying them? “For the time being the market is limited to cash buyers,” says Tony, “though mortgages are slowly coming back into the equation now, and there is a good mix of end-user buyers making the most of a great time in which to buy a property at great value, and savvy investors who realise that we’re at the beginning of a new period of growth.”
He emphasises that both groups of people are better-informed than ever and value working with local agents that are professional, knowledgeable and trustworthy. “They look for the Golden Triangle of Marbella, Benahavis and Estepona, or more specifically the area between Cabopino, La Zagaleta and Bel Air, and while they are driven by the appeal of this luxury destination value for money continues to be a prime consideration. We must remember that Marbella faces competition not just from the Cote d’Azur and the Algarve for this kind of investment flow, but that people also consider real estate investment alternatives across the UK and Northern Europe, so our offer has to be great and our prices attractive.”
He believes the local market – and in particular homeowners – must resist the temptation to begin raising prices too much. “That will come in time, but would be premature now. Yes, Marbella has a wonderful climate and lifestyle, with skiing and the surfer’s paradise of Tarifa on its doorstep, but it must continue to offer value, even if the pound is rising again and interest rates are dropping. Right now, with prices having levelled off, great investment opportunities available and growth forecasts for the Spanish economy looking better than they have since 2008, the indicators are positive – and that is why so many people are investing in Marbella again.”