First post-Covid Costa Del Sol property report

The first post-Covid Costa Del Sol property report shows that the interest from local, national and international buyer is back.

Costa Del Sol property report brings some good news for this region. The southern coast of Spain has long been a popular destination for tourists and foreign buyers, driving much of the nation’s housing-market recovery after years of falling prices in the wake of the global recession. Before the coronavirus forced Spain to shut down in March, the market on the Costa Del Sol, just south of Malaga, was “very stable, with constant high demand since 2012,” said Smadar Kahana, managing director of Engel & Volkers Marbella. Sales-wise, 2019 was “one of the best.” “Many important sales were achieved prior to the lockdown,” said Pam Arrieta Morales, a partner at Diana Morales Properties. “Prices did not seem to be affected by the fears announced by some experts.”As of Aug. 18, Spain had reported 359,082 cases of Covid-19 (the most of any European nation) and 28,646 deaths (fewer than Italy, France and Britain), according to the The New York Times’s coronavirus map. Costa Del Sol property report, today, shows that the market has nearly bounced back to pre-pandemic levels. “Though a few deals were immediately canceled when the lockdown began, most agencies saw strong interest, fielding more inquiries than usual from local, national and international buyers,” Ms. Kahana said. “We were able to close deals also during the lockdown and some deals were generated via virtual viewings.” Still, total real estate transactions fell by about 20 percent from 2019, said Mario Garnica, director of Engel & Volkers Malaga, because of the “historic drop in air traffic and to the quarantine imposed to avoid the virus spread.” When stay-at-home measures were eased in Spain and other countries, “pent-up demand” for properties on the Costa Del Sol rocketed, Ms. Morales said, with property searches on her company’s website climbing 34 percent compared with the same period last year. 

Property sales started happening

“As soon as flights were authorized to land in Spain, sales started to happen,” she said, “with many of the deals agreed prior to Covid-19” completed in May and June. “Prices and sales remain on par with 2019, with neither significant discounts on the deals nor big hits on the asking prices,” she said. With so much demand, some asking prices have increased. Deals are also closing quickly. “We have many European clients that seem to be in a hurry to purchase houses here,” Ms. Kahana said. “People realize the comfort and efficiency of working remotely.” The Costa del Sol has 17 municipalities and more than 93 miles of coastline. Marbella has long been “the jewel of the crown,” including the neighboring towns of Estepona and Benahavis in the “Golden Triangle,” Ms. Morales said. The “Golden Mile,” between Marbella and Puerto Banus, is also coveted by deep-pocketed foreign buyers, with luxury prices ranging from $3.5 million to more than $70 million. Sixty percent of buyers are purchasing holiday properties, Ms. Kahana said, often seeking modern new houses with traditional Andalusian flair. Prices for two-bedrooms near the beach range from 700,000 to 2.5 million euros ($828,000 to $2.95 million). Further inland, buyers can find properties for as little as 350,000 euros ($415,000), Ms. Kahana said. In the port city of Malaga, home to about 570,000 people, the majority of buyers are full-time residents, Mr. Garnica said. Resales of older homes dominate and Mediterranean style is most coveted. New condominiums are being developed in the city and along the coast. In Malaga East, mansion prices top out at 4 million euros ($4.7 million), far lower than in Marbella, Ms. Herrera said. 

Who Buys on the Costa del Sol?

In the province of Malaga, 28 percent of property transactions in 2019 were completed by foreign buyers, said Maria del Mar Poza, marketing director for Diana Morales Properties. In the first quarter of 2020, it was about 33 percent. Hans Veenhuijsen, managing director of the local Christie’s International Real Estate, said buyers typically come from Britain, Germany, Scandinavia, the Netherlands and Belgium. Buyers also come from France and Finland, Ms. Herrera said. Lisa Sadleir, a relocation consultant and property finder who runs the website said clients span the globe, including the United States, Canada and the United Arab Emirates.