Published 06/07/2016 by Carrie Frais

Lucas Fox commentary on the Marbella – Costa del Sol property market

Stephen Lahiri from the Lucas Fox Marbella – Costa del Sol office reflects on the property landscape so far during 2016 and shares his thoughts on how he thinks it will shape up for the rest of the year.

How would you sum up the property landscape during 2016 so far?

There has been a significant increase in the number of quality modern standard projects being built in the Costa del Sol and the most popular projects are selling out quickly whilst still off-plan. Properties in prime locations continue to be in most demand and as a result prices have been increasing significantly. On the other hand there are still some very good deals to be had for those clients who are more flexible on the location but still only 5 to 10 minutes from the beach and main hotspots.

How does it compare to the same period in 2015?

As the supply of distressed properties for sale has become exhausted there has been a slowdown in the numbers of speculative purchases from buyers who are buying to renovate and flip. Most buyers are buying for pleasure either as a holiday home or as a permanent residence. As the supply of new off-plan properties grows, these properties are becoming an increasing percentage of the sales in Marbella.

Is it how you expected it to be?

Yes the market is pretty much progressing as expected. Interestingly, the profile of buyer is much younger than before – in their 40s. The mix of nationalities is much broader than before also, as opposed to just British retirees who used to dominate the market 10 to 15 years ago.

What are the noticeable trends in Marbella – Costa del Sol?

Clients tend to opt for modern designer properties with the latest features. Style, design and quality are very important. This can be reflected in the sales and prices with modern off-plan properties being much more popular than older classical designs. There is quite a lot of demand for small modern style villas in gated urbanisations in preference to larger properties or luxury apartments. Good location and/or views are often a must.

Who are the key nationalities this year? What about the local market?

Marbella has always been and will always be very international. It is becoming increasingly international with a much broader range of nationalities coming to the area than before. So far this year most of the interest has been from Europe with Scandinavian, Belgium, Dutch, French and Swiss clients leading the way.

What product is proving to be most popular?

The most popular requested properties are those close to facilities and the beaches. Most buyers are looking for new build properties whether they be apartments or villas.

How would you describe the situation with regards to sales and asking price?

Without doubt sellers are far less open to negotiation than before. Most developers selling new properties are not negotiating at all. Indeed, they often increase the prices of remaining units as the sales are coming in. On the other hand, sellers with properties in more inland locations, perhaps 10 minutes further back from the coast, are far more open to negotiation.

What is your outlook for the rest of 2016 and beyond?

Brexit is undoubtedly going to have an impact on the UK market, but since this market had already declined from previous years 5 to 10 years ago, the impact will not be critical. Other nationalities continue to be interested in Marbella, in particular from Scandinavia and Benelux, and there is also a lot of interest from French buyers. Marbella continues to be a big favourite for clients from the Middle East and we expect the usual high demand and influx of clients over the summer and beyond, particularly as they now turn their focus away from London and the UK.

View properties for sale in Marbella – Costa del Sol on the Lucas Fox website

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