Season Changes And Rebirth Of Off-Plan Investment
It’s the winter months that make living on the Costa del Sol so special for many of its residents, as when the cold northern winds, rain and snow take over most of Europe, the Costa del Sol is protected by its own unique mountain range. This natural protection holds back all the bad weather from the North, but still allows all the sunshine and warmth from Morocco and North Africa to grace its south facing Mediterranean coastline. The end result is the Costa del Sol has a warm winter climate with clear blue skies and just the occasional rain showers, similar to that of a British summer. This fabulous winter climate coupled with its amazing luxury infrastructure earned the Costa Del Sol the nickname “California or Europe” and is perfect for sun lovers, golfers, arthritis sufferers, and even winter sports enthusiasts as the Sierra Nevada Mountain range has its own fabulous ski resort/village running from November to April and is currently hosting the freestyle ski & snowboard world championships. The Costa del Sol is one of the only places in the world where you can sunbathe in luxury Mediterranean beach clubs and within 2 hours drive, be skiing on beautiful slopes in a proper ski resort.
But all the locals I’m talking with now are buzzing with excitement over the changing of the seasons. It’s a lovely time of year right now, all the beaches are being cleared of stones, shells and drift wood ready for all the official opening parties of the Costa del Sol’s beach clubs. This weekend we joined other families and chilled all afternoon in a lovely beach restaurant between Mijas and Marbella. It was sensational, eating alfresco and relaxing with a few jugs of sangria under the Spanish sunshine but still with the crystal clear winter views of the Moroccan Atlas Mountains across the Mediterranean. Life just doesn’t get much better than that and you don’t have to break the bank either, the coast is famous for catering to all budgets. We opted for a mid level establishment, one of many we love in the area, but on the same beach, restaurants varied from basic tapas right up to extreme luxury, so if you can’t find a beach restaurant you absolutely love on the Costa del Sol, the chances are you won’t find it anywhere!
There is also a lot of excitement over the property market this year, as I’ve mentioned in previous editorials, the property market is now slowly but steadily gaining speed, and for the third year running the current figures show increases across the board. Latest figures this year show sales are up around 20% year on year and house prices in January were up again by approx 1.7%. So since 2014 when the property market stabilised prices went up approx 4% in 2015 and 5% in 2016 with predictions of slightly larger increases this year of 6%. This is great news as we want steady progressive price increases which are sustainable in the longterm.
The building trade is definitely flourishing again on the coast, now prices are going up. Owners are spending money refurbishing their villas and developers are starting new off-plan projects everywhere. We have 3 big refurbishment projects we are helping clients with at the moment and I’m wanting to develop my own villa before summer. Being a well established Master Agent on the coast, I usually have the pick of the best 10 building firms on the coast for my personal or client projects. But they are now all getting busy, thankfully, there will always be a few of them that give us priority, so if you are wanting to refurbish or build a villa on the coast and want help finding the best firms to complete the project for you, let me know and I will try and guide you in the right direction.
In previous years, I was advising clients, avoid off-plan and buy luxury bank repossession or distressed sale deals instead. However, times have changed and bargain properties are getting harder to find, so now one of the best ways to secure a bargain is utilising the off-plan discounts builders offer when launching a new development.
We have exciting new developments coming up all over the coast especially; La Cala de Mijas, Nueva Andalucia and Estepona/Casares. La Cala de Mijas seems to be one of the favourite areas for development at the moment. La Cala is a real little gem of a beach town which is fast becoming one of the Costa del Sol’s property hot spots. We have 7 new luxury developments being built with the latest specifications and quality fixtures, all easy walking distance to the centre of the main La Cala Boulevard, shops, bars, restaurants and beach. We have them at various stages of construction with completions from 1-2 years.
The great news for the buyers looking right now, is we are selling the first batches of properties at heavily discounted off-plan prices. For example, yesterday we sold an off-plan luxury 3 bed apartment at around 75,000 euros less than if it was already finished. There are different payment schedules depending on the development, and it’s now Law that all off-plan developments have bank guarantees in place to protect every payment you make. We can help arrange up to 70% mortgages on completion, subject to status. I’ve had a few clients worry they can’t wait for off-plan, but it’s not as if you can’t enjoy the coast for two years, in fact most of our clients are planing on a number of visits before they get their keys and actually look forward to seeing their future investment and holiday home take shape whilst they enjoy a fabulous holiday in their favourite destination. Once completed, these brand new luxury properties will also be ideal for any “Buy to Let” Investors, as not only will they comply with all the latest renting regulations but will be preferred buy tenants.
So to summarise, you can now buy a “state of the art” brand new luxury property in one of the Coast’s hottest new beach locations, at heavily discounted prices and finally collect keys on a property (almost definitely) worth a lot more than you paid a year or two before. It really does seem a “no brainer” and I predict that many clients that thought about it but did nothing about it, will look back years from now kicking themselves.
The best place to see plans & specifications on all seven projects, is our La Cala office which is situated in La Cala Boulevard, the main high street running through La Cala.
Peter is one of the most published Costa del Sol property experts in both the UK & Spanish press, having spent most of his working life as a professional real estate agent and valuer. He is also the Managing Director of one of the most successful Master Estate Agencies on the Costa del Sol with registered offices in both Marbella and La Cala de Mijas.
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