How the Marbella property market recovered – and why now is the time to invest

As the Marbella property market continues its remarkable recovery, the best estate agents in the Costa Del Sol are gearing up for a busy summer.’s no surprise. With the dark days of ‘la crisis’ now a distant memory, property sale prices are slowly but steadily creeping back up from their rock bottom lows of recent years. This makes 2015 the ideal year to invest – for whether you’re looking at budget apartments or luxury villas for sale, the combination of still bargain prices and a market only heading upwards is hard to resist.

But how did we get back to such a lofty position – and so quickly? It seems like only yesterday that even the best Marbella estate agents were overloaded with unsellable properties – penthouses and apartments repossessed by banks, and luxury beachfront villas unable to meet even heavily discounted asking prices. How did we get from that as recently as 2012 to the situation we find today – with many properties going for above asking price, values expected to rise by 10% in the next year alone and even the return of waiting lists for certain areas by the sea?

Estate agents in the Costa believe there is no single factor leading the recovery –encouragingly, it’s a combination of things. For one, there is the wider upturn in the Spanish economy in general. Recent data from Spain’s Ministry of Public Works shows that property sales were up across the board in 2014 – from Marbella to Madrid, from Estepona to Barcelona. Combine that with the highest levels of overseas investment and the lowest levels of domestic unemployment since before the recession, and it’s easy to see why the future is looking so bright.

Even then, the recovery in Marbella has been especially remarkable. Property sales in the Costa Del Sol have surged an incredible 89% since the worst days of 2008 – and by 28% in the last year alone. Clearly, there is something about the region itself that just stands the test of time, and continues to offer a way of life that other Europeans find extremely attractive. This is perhaps best reflected in the region’s equally resurgent tourism industry – people are clearly discovering and falling in love with this corner of paradise all over again.


Also of note is the changing composition of developers in the area. While the usual suspects – notably the Russians – had their hands full with ‘la crisis’ and the conflict in Ukraine, other nationalities have discovered the area’s potential and stepped in to fill the void. A quick glance at many of the luxury apartments or beachfront villas now in development along the Golden Mile reveals a whole host of new nationalities behind the scenes – Benelux, Scandinavian, French, Arabian and more. Looking to the future, this diversification adds a welcome degree of stability to the area’s real estate market – reducing the impact that any future financial problems in a developer’s home country might have on the Marbella market as a whole.

Clearly, the dark days of ‘la crisis’ are behind us. The property market in Marbella and the Costa Del Sol has shaken off the shackles of the past seven years and is starting to show the type of resurgence that many hoped but few really thought possible in 2007. Encouragingly, as we have seen, there is no single reason for that resurgence – it is rather a series of factors that all point to a bright, sustainable and resilient future. With current prices as low as they’ll ever be, now is the time to invest in property on the Costa Del Sol.