Marbella is unique in many ways. Most esteemed are its setting and micro-climate, two factors that are at the heart of its enduring desirability; but this sunny stretch of coast in southern Spain also has a micro-market when it comes to real estate, and conditions that are specific to its position as one of the most prominent secondary housing markets in Europe, and indeed the world.
This makes the supply, demand and price dynamics somewhat different to the primary markets of large urban centres, where pleasant, safe surroundings and proximity to places of work and practical utilities are the main defining characteristics of the housing market. In places such as Marbella it is features such as views, distance from beaches, nature and amenities, as well as peace and tranquillity, as many people come here to relax.
Marbella’s market during the Covid-19 crisis
With international travel restricted, the local residential and tourist markets will suffer a blow this summer, but it is interesting to note that, just as the construction sector adjusts to new on-site health regulations, there is real a dynamic in luxury construction again. Building activity in this largely villa-based part of the market has resumed with gusto, and with the exception of a continued shortage of FFP2 and 3 masks everyone is adapting to the new industry regulations.
In the core areas of Marbella, most notably around the Golden Mile, demand remains undeterred and according to those working in the market, the average price per transaction is probably moving towards €1 million, ranging from apartments to up to over €25 million for seaside villas. Most of the people owning, buying, building and renovating such properties – a large proportion of who are foreign – are not hesitating in pursuing their original plans.
For them, Covid-19 is not much more than a hindrance or delay, though it has to be said that for large parts of the hospitality and tourism sector 2020 will be a year to overcome and forget, and there will of course also be an impact on the real estate sector and businesses in general. Marbella, like most parts of the world, will suffer a bit before it comes out of this crisis both socially and economically, but we should see this as an opportunity to reinvest in ourselves.
Times of crisis always spur creativity, so we should use the opportunity of a calmer period to reflect upon, improve and expand our offering, focusing not on quantity but quality, and seeing how we can do things better. When we return to full activity, then, it won’t be a question of ‘business as usual’, but ‘business as unusual’ – in other words, better, greener and more sustainable in every way. We must think out of the box, in Marbella as well as in Spain and elsewhere, and we must discover and develop the untapped potential that is abundantly present in this country and this region.
From solar energy to economic diversification, educational development and continued investment in our infrastructure, let’s use the Covid-19 crisis as a catalyst for positive change and readjustment, and come out of it stronger than ever.