The health crisis caused by coronavirus has accentuated interest in the demand for luxury housing on the Costa del Sol, making it a perfect destination for remote working due to its good connections, the abundance of nature and the excellent services that are offered. The real estate market confirms the increase in demand for properties in the area, especially among the Spanish public, who have once again set their sights on this area and have already become the main market. 52% of buyers during the penultimate quarter of 2020 were Spanish, compared to 24% in 2019, according to data obtained by Engel & Völkers. The real estate company maintains its optimistic forecasts for the next few months, since the new restrictions may consolidate this change in the market, and underlines the 18% increase in sales since July, with the end of the lockdown, and the beginning of October compared to the same period last year.
Despite the fact that the mobility restrictions implemented in various European countries have led to fewer international buyers, the international customer has increased compared to the previous year. However, as Engel & Völkers Marbella has found throughout this year, the main characteristic of the new times is the change in the origin of buyers, with a national market that has taken over in search of comfort and the better quality of life that Costa del Sol offers.
“We have seen more families planning to permanently move to Marbella or people looking to spend more time in their properties,” says Smadar Kahana, director of the real estate firm with five offices in the city. “We believe that Covid 19 created a new type of clientele who realized that much of their work can be done remotely and prefer to live in a greener place with a better climate,” she adds, underlining they have had various clients who have travelled to Marbella with the sole purpose of purchasing a property and did so in the space of 24 hours”.
After closing an excellent year in 2019, the outlook for 2020 was extraordinarily high, as corroborated by the 10% increase in sales and demand in the first quarter of the year. Since the start of lockdown, and contrary to what one might think –with forecast price drops of up to 25% – Engel & Völkers detected an “unusual number” of inquiries, up to 68% more than in the same period last year. 45% of these inquiries came from the national market, followed by local and international clients.
The validity of this interest shows that 85% of the transactions initiated just before lockdown continued their sales process and ended at the notary, and even new acquisition operations were carried out with ‘virtual’ visits to properties. Another 15%, however, decided to wait in the hope of a price drop.
Along these lines, the return to the new normal has been translated into constant activity in the different Engel & Völkers offices in Marbella, with a volume of inquiries that is 72% higher than those registered in July and September last. A trend that has lasted until October, with an increase in consultations that has been 30% higher than that of October last year.
New clients who choose the Costa del Sol show interest above all in villas costing between 2 and 3 million euros, where a 38% increase has been detected in terms of inquiries. In the case of homes above that price, inquiries have increased by 19% compared to the same period last year. Following the lockdown, interest is focused on those properties with a private gym and more entertainment space. Also, seven out of ten inquiries were about new or completely renovated and furnished properties that had private gardens and swimming pools. Finally, the average value of the properties sold rose from 1.3 to 1.8 million euros.