According to the National Institute of Statistics, sales in Malaga province rose just shy of 5% in the first quarter of 2018, compared to the same quarter in 2017. Both sales transactions and property prices are rising steadily. Property portal Idealista.com even quoted price rises of 12% in Malaga province, based on the portal's own sales data for the first quarter. Marbella was the leading performer, with an average house price now standing at 971,000 euros, according to estate agents Lucas Fox Marbella, who also reported that their sales, compared to 2017, more than quadrupled in the first six months of 2018.
The National Institute of Statistics report showed that the number of foreign buyers is steadily growing. The first quarter of last year saw foreing buyers account for 28% of the property market at the Costa del Sol, but in the first quarter of 2018 this share had risen to 31%.
Interestingly, Lucas Fox Marbella has seen a change in demographics, with buyers of Marbella property getting younger all the time. The average age is now 42, far younger than buyers used to be. As for nationality, in the last year buyers from Scandinavia dominated with 46%, followed by buyers from the UK, who accounted for 23% of the sales transactions.
Although most buyers are still buying a Costa del Sol property as a second home, Brexit has had an effect on people's buying decisions. Many younger buyers now want to move to Spain permanently or spend more time in Spain than just a few weeks on holiday every year. This is due to the fact that they can work online, and are no longer location-dependent as they used to be. Lucas Fox Marbella reported that the majority of their buyers in the Greater Marbella area were either entrepreneurs or CEOs, who chose Marbella because of the city's growing appeal to start-ups.
Meanwhile, the traditional buyer of Costa del Sol property is still looking for a home in the sun, with close proximity to beaches and amenities. Torremolinos and Marbella can be justly proud of their beaches, having both been awarded "Q" status for the quality of their beaches by the Spanish Institute for Quality Tourism (ICTE).
ICTE applies strict rules, before awarding the coveted "Q" status and handing out certificates for quality. The Quality symbol gives tourists peace of mind, because it signifies excellence in the safety, professionalism and standard of services categories. Beaches must meet a number of criteria, such as daily quality control of the water, toilets and showers, security and first aid as well as accessibility for people with disabilities for example.
Torremolinos beaches awarded the "Q" status are Bajondillo, La Carihuela, Playmar and Los Alamos, the latter received also its first Blue Flag in July. Marbella's beaches in El Faro, La Venus, Nueva Andalucia, Cabopino, San Pedro Alcantara and Puerto Banus also won the coveted "Q" status.
No wonder then that a new generation of entrepreneurs are moving with their families to Marbella. Malaga province has so much to offer to young families in terms of climate, lifestyle, good infrastructure (it takes just 40 minutes to reach Malaga Airport), cosmopolitan feel and efficient local services. Families will also find several international schools on their doorstep, when they buy a Marbella property and move to Spain.