According to Spain’s College of Property Registrars, last year a huge 33.92% of the properties sold in Málaga province – home of course to the perennially popular Costa del Sol – were purchased by foreigners, the lion’s share of whom, despite the inevitable uncertainties caused by Brexit, continue to be British.
Based on our own experience, sales made to UK nationals were down from 36% of the total pre Brexit (January – June 2016), to 29% post Brexit (July – December 2016), and 28% in the first quarter of 2017.
But while the British market remains in pole position, other nationalities have more than made up for its weakening demand. The dramatic and sustained upturn in Spain’s economic fortunes and improving job market, for example, mean that Spanish buyers accounted for 17% of yourVIVA’s sales in 2016 – putting Spain in second place – followed by Swedish buyers (12%), Belgian buyers (7%), while German and French purchasers were in joint 5th place with 5% each.
So where the British were once the dominant force, the Costa del Sol property market is now becoming much more balanced with Danish, Norwegian, Dutch, American, Russian, Finnish and Irish buyers also forming part of the increasingly cosmopolitan mix.
So far as price brackets are concerned, while we have properties for sale with price tags ranging from €100,000 to several million euros, last year our clients were enquiring about properties costing an average of €350,000, and while all locations – both along the Coast as well as inland – continue to attract a great deal of interest, the Marbella, Mijas, Estepona, Benahavís and Manilva areas are among the most popular.
Indeed, a recent report from the Tinsa valuation agency states that, during the first quarter of this year, compared with the same period in 2016, property prices have increased by 15% in Manilva, and by 11.3% in Marbella. On the Coast, frontline properties in Marbella and Estepona – some of the most expensive in Spain – are currently costing around €6,000/m2 and €8,000/m2 respectively.
If you want to live in Spain long term or even permanently, you will need to apply for either permanent residence or become a Spanish citizen.