Marbella Property Report 2022

Publication: 29 Aug. 2022
Back to Blog

Well, the past few years have certainly been eventful. After very difficult conditions for Marbella society and property sector alike in 2020, the Covid restrictions abated long enough in 2021 to produce one of the best years on record. But what is the situation a year on?

The Marbella property market entered 2020 still riding strong on the post-financial crisis wave that began in 2013 and gradually gained momentum as buyers embraced the Marbella lifestyle and a new generation of modern villas and apartments with growing enthusiasm. No bubble appears in sight in a market that seemed pretty well balanced – and then the unexpected happened.

It is fair to say that the Covid-19 pandemic took everyone by surprise, across the world and in all walks of life. For over a year the market virtually froze, coming to a standstill not due to a shortage of demand, but as a result of travel restrictions that made it almost impossible for the bulk of potential buyers to visit Marbella for large parts of the year. Some feared the worst ahead.

The impact of Covid
In the first instance, the Covid pandemic was a shock to our way of life and our livelihoods, but it has had far-reaching consequences way beyond this initial impact. Quite apart from subsequent recoveries, it has changed perceptions and habits on communication, business, consumption, travel and lifestyle, as well as speeding up the development and adoption of new technologies and customs.

From a purely quantitative point of view, the market began to bloom again the moment the restrictions were gradually lifted in 2021, resulting in a complete blossoming in the second half of the year. In fact, building on the foundations of H2 2021, the Marbella property market recorded not only a good recovery of the market, but actually produced an all-time record in revenue (if not nominal transaction) terms.

This means that while more actual properties were sold at the height of the previous property boom in the mid-2000s, the average price per property was so much higher this time round that it broke all revenue records. This in itself is an indication of how the Marbella real estate market has shifted from a broad price range dominated by apartments in the €300-€500k range to one dominated by luxurious modern apartments above €700k and especially villas above €2.000.000.

In many cases you might actually say above €5.000.000, as it is in the upper segments that you find the greatest sense of dynamism, with villas sold for over €10 million quite normal these days and a new super-category of €20-30+ million growing in volume and stature. Property prices have increased, for sure, especially in €/m2 terms, but the growing price per property sold in Marbella is also the result of ever more luxurious modern villas being built and sold here.

It is an indication of a growing trend towards polarisation, but also a reflection of the fact that Marbella has become increasingly capable of attracting those with this kind of money, and this is in large part thanks to its safety, climate, amenities, connectivity, the quality of the real estate and above all, the quality of life it offers. Ultimately, the yearning for quality of life is one of the true legacies of the Covid-19 experience.

Technology embraced
Another change caused by the pandemic is the great advance in new technologies and communication forms developed and above all embraced since we’ve emerged from this unusual and historic watershed. During the lockdown, agents and clients alike made use of Zoom meetings, virtual tours, drone footage and other VR and AR-based technologies that made it possible to communicate, exchange information and view homes from afar.

Great strides have been made by the property sector here and abroad in this respect, but ultimately the Marbella market benefited greatly from the end of travel restrictions as there still is no substitute for visiting and ‘feeling’ a property for yourself. The selection tools mentioned above are here to stay, but most buyers still fall in love with a location, a setting and a home they can picture enjoying a special lifestyle and creating experiences in.

The property market today
If the focus on improved quality of life is one of the factors driving property buyers to Marbella, then it is also manifested in the things people now look for in a property here. In this regard there has been a clear shift from more purely holiday-related requirements to homes more suited to long-term stays, or indeed permanent relocation. As a result, our buyers ask for properties that offer space, views, interior leisure and workspaces – and ideally good gardens too.

The above has also resulted in growing demand for schools and co-working spaces, and it has greatly reduced the supply of modern key-ready villas and luxury apartments in Marbella. Due to this shortage, most buyers now opt for off-plan purchases or look for tastefully renovated properties, with the added advantage that the latter are often in very good locations and provide more space. In all, the market has evolved, yet sales figures for H1 2022 continue the trend set in 2021.

We may or may not break last year’s records, but the demand for the Marbella way of life is as strong as ever, and it evolves along with the times, ensuring also that the homes on offer here are up to date and responsive to an international buying public’s needs. In the top segment as elsewhere, Scandinavia, Benelux and Middle Eastern buyers are prominent, the British, French and Spanish markets resilient, and there has also been a noted increase in interest from Poland, Czechia, Romania, the USA/Canada and German-speaking countries.

In what sometimes appear to be challenging times, Marbella is an oasis with undiminished appeal.