Spanish Property News: November 2023
This month we chatted to seven of our top estate agents to find out what’s new in the ever-evolving world of Spanish real estate. From shifting buyer demographics, and the success of AI and virtual viewings, to unprecedented demand for properties and the eternal allure of Marbella, these are the subjects that have gotten our agents talking this month.
Evolving buyer demographics
In Málaga, Alicante, and Murcia, our estate agents have reported a significant shift in the nationalities of their buyers since Brexit and Covid. Patrick Flynn from Murcia Resorts and Sofia Sanchez Watson from Barclays Properties and Watsons Real Estate in La Marina, Alicante say they have seen a “noticeable decrease in British buyers.” However, this decline has been balanced by a surge in interest from other parts of Europe. Now they’re seeing clients from the Czech Republic, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Poland and even Canada and the United States.
Jeremy Webster from Space Real Estate in Marbella highlights the growing allure of the Costa del Sol to the American market, while Taylor Wimpey Spain made sales to an astonishing 42 different nationalities in the first half of 2023. It is still generally agreed that British buyers continue to lead the pack, but their market share has reduced significantly, our agents estimate UK buyer interest has dropped from 50-55% to 25-30%. And it’s not just nationalities that are changing, Keith Spitalnick from Target Property Spain, based in Mijas Costa says “the age bracket of buyers has shifted, with younger families and new money entering the market” since the pandemic.
Demand for properties outstripping supply
“Properties are entering the market only to be snapped up quickly, leaving potential buyers vying for the limited options available,” says Ryan Hough, Director at Crystal Shore Properties on the Costa del Sol. A significant proportion of properties are being sold before they even make it to the market, underlining the urgency in which buyers are seeking to secure their Spanish dream home. But Sofia in La Marina remains optimistic about the future, foreseeing a potential increase in property supply with the completion of new developments and hopes for a more balanced market. With new properties becoming available for resale and La Marina’s ongoing expansion, opportunities are expected to abound. Spain, and especially Murcia, according to Patrick at Murcia resorts, is witnessing a surge in new developments; golf resorts and leisure opportunities are booming.
Technological advancements in the Spanish property market
The impact of artificial intelligence, automation, and virtual tools is starting to have a positive effect on the real estate industry in Spain. Sofia says “virtual viewings, drones, and interactive presentations have ushered in a new era of property marketing,” bringing a breath of fresh air and presenting new ways to interact with clients. In recent times, remote viewings have become increasingly popular among property buyers. Many American clients in particular, opt for buying properties over the phone. “We provide all the necessary information, legal support, and even conduct virtual property tours,” says Daniel from Spanish Property Expert. This trend is indicative of the changing dynamics in the real estate market. Keith confirmed that while the number of leads coming in has decreased somewhat, the leads they do receive are stronger and more qualified; virtual tours and Google Street View have made clients more informed and discerning, and therefore more confident to make a purchase without a traditional viewing trip.
Exciting trends in property development
Ryan from Crystal Shore Properties, located in Estepona, is excited by the visionary approach of developers on the Costa del Sol. Many are taking on properties in need of renovation, displaying remarkable vision in their transformations. The outcomes are nothing short of spectacular. These properties are being refurbished into ultra-modern, aesthetically pleasing residences, often adopting unique styles such as introducing a Balinese theme. The before-and-after transformations are awe-inspiring and are setting a new trend in the market.
Also on the Costa del Sol, branded residences are having a moment, which may or may not be inspired by the increase in American property buyers. Dolce & Gabbana, Lamborghini, Karl Lagerfeld, Missoni, Fendi Casa and Ellie Saab have all launched branded residences in the last couple of years. Think design-led luxury properties in gated communities with 24/7 concierge and hospitality staff on hand to cater to your every whim.
Another exciting development in the Spanish real estate market highlighted by Marc at Taylor Wimpey is the growing emphasis on energy efficiency. “Taylor Wimpey Spain is actively working to improve the energy efficiency of their properties. Solar panels, energy-efficient insulation, and effective ventilation systems are all being integrated into our new builds.” This focus on sustainability and energy efficiency represents a promising new direction for the industry.