While the bottom and middle of the Spanish property market flounders, those with cash to splash have started to return to the Andalusian sun.
Fine & Country’s Tony Instrall knows this better than most. Together with Martyn Ball, Instrall runs the estate agent’s Costa del Sol business, based in the uber posh Marbella Club.
“We don’t sell anything under a million euros, which keeps us to a very niche market,” Instrall explains. “We offer a full premium service to our clients and the results have been very good so far.”
Crucially, unlike in the rest of the Spanish market where the bubble has well and truly burst, the demand for high end and exclusive property in Marbella remains steady. Those on the hunt for a perfect piece of Spanish real estate tend to be a mix of retirees, holiday home hunters and investors who come for Marbella’s micro climate, coastline, golf courses, and, let’s face it, glitz.
And there’s strong interest from UK buyers, says Fine & Country Spain director Martyn Ball.
“The British market in Marbella is once again particularly strong, rivalling recent healthy markets of Russia and Scandinavia.
“During the last decade we experienced booming global markets and purchasers were prepared to travel further afield to buy property, with their curiosity for new horizons. It seems, whether cyclical or due to economic and political unrest in numerous global destinations, the British market is returning to areas much closer to home and to trusted areas to buy property, Marbella being one of them.
“One thing is for sure, the British buyer is a savvy purchaser and is seeing great value in the many opportunities in the upper quartile of the market. Consequently the British are active again and are benefiting from the current availability of luxury mansions at 2004 and 2005 prices.”
On their books at the moment is one of Spain’s most expensive homes, the incredibly grand La Casa Loriana (pictured above), which at 4,000 square metres can accommodate up to 20 people, has its own private lift, guest quarters, Turkish bath, gym, medical room and cinema and is on the market for 50 million euros.
Slightly more affordable at 5.9 million euros is a six bedroom new build (pictured above) with panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea in one direction and the La Concha mountains in the other. The swimming pool, gym and home cinema are of course included.
The high end property business is going so well that Fine & Country are now looking to sell homes in Barcelona and property in Majorca. “Barcelona has strong international appeal, but there’s a domestic market there too,” Instrall explains. “It also has a strong appeal to Russians, but not necessarily the Oligarch billionaire market, it’s more wealthy people who want to bring up their families in an international setting, but within striking distance of home. While prices may have dropped a bit in Majorca, there are still lots of people buying there, including huge interest from the German market.”