Move Project

Buying a plot in Marbella: what you should know

The Costa del Sol is known for its luxury property market, however, there is a key factor that should not be overlooked and this factor is land. The availability and sustainability of it and whether it is the best choice for you to purchase or not.

To get a better understanding about this, we have asked Move Project founder, Fabian Delle, for his input and opinions regarding land on the Costa del Sol.

Check for any restrictions
If you are considering building something new on the Costa del Sol, there are certain things to consider. For one, to buy a plot of land in the municipality of Marbella you would need to consider what the end use of the plot is. You also need to know how much you are allowed to build on it (in Marbella there is a ratings table called UE1-6 and PM2 etc.) and what restrictions a plot has. These restrictions can range from servitudes or overflow river zones to archaeological issues.

Therefore, it is best to check all of these factors with an architect or a lawyer that is specialised in urban planning before proceeding. Another important aspect to keep in mind is that there are many plots that are called ‘urban’ but they still need a plan parcial or zoning plan. Be aware that the ZONING can take anything from five to 10 years before you are able to request a building licence.

Where to buy
As for the areas themselves where you can still find plots, it is good to bear in mind that Marbella has tight restrictions on what is available and that there are very few plots for the construction of apartment blocks. There are generally more plots available for townhouses or individual villas. However, if you look on the east side of Marbella there is land for apartments and hotels as well as for villas, while on the western side, towards Estepona, there are a lot more plots available, including some huge ones. There will also always be commercial sites available in each development.

Cost per m2
Regarding prices, keep in mind that in Marbella prices are rising quickly at the moment and it is difficult to say exactly how much you can expect to pay when speaking about plots that qualify for licences. However, expressed in cost per m2 – how much is the cost of land for each m2 that I can build? In the less sought-after areas of Marbella, plots can cost from 350€/m2 to 4,000€/m2 of land, and in the more attractive areas much more.

What about licences?
Within the Marbella municipality, although the townhall says it is less, a building licence can take 14 to 20 months to come through. It is possible to ask for a small licence (acto comunicado) for a refurbishment but only if no structural works are involved and if construction does not exceed a certain budget. In this case we recommend requesting a licence to avoid any possible trouble with neighbours about noise and also for liability reasons as well. These are the most common licences available but there are more and it is best to ensure you know all of your options before starting any build.

Fabian Delle, Director of Move Project had some last words of advice that he wanted to share with anyone considering the purchase of a plot of land in Marbella:

– Check as many sites as possible from the internet
– Get yourself a partner who knows what is going on (project consultant or architect)
– Complete a feasibility study and then make your decision

At Move Project we want to help you to make the best decision and will walk you step by step through the process.

Contact us if you would like to help starting your building project in Spain.