The property market in Marbella is recovering and the town is now showing signs of being a leader in this sector. This emblematic town on the Costa del Sol ended last year with a total of 3,115 property sales , a figure which is similar to that of 2007, before the bubble burst. In terms of total figures, Marbella is now in a similar position to Malaga city, where the recovery in the property market has failed to take off and the number of sales has fallen for three consecutive years.
The results for property transactions last year, which have just been released by the Ministry of Development, reveal that Marbella is the Spanish town in which the number of sales has increased the most, by 23.6 per cent.
The Ministry’s statistics include all provincial capitals and towns with more than 100,000 inhabitants. Marbella has ranked higher than Parla (17.2%), Móstoles (12.7%), Guadalajara (12.5 %), Ceuta (10.3%) and Madrid (9.3 %).
In total, in the whole of Spain there were 300,349 property transactions last year, which is a drop of 17.4 per cent compared with 2012.
With this increase, Marbella has achieved its second consecutive year of growth. After 2011, when the number of transactions dropped slightly compared with the previous year, the town registered an increase of 11.5 per cent in 2012 and 23.6 per cent last year and the forecasts for the present year are optimistic.
The increase in property sales in Marbella, although it is the biggest, has not been unique on the Costa del Sol, as other towns have also seen a rise in the number of property transactions.
There were increases in Estepona (9.34%), Mijas (4.1%) and Benalmádena (0.5%). Taken as a whole, the western coast of the province showed an increase of 0.85 per cent, in contrast to a 3.64 per cent decrease in Malaga city and the eastern coast, where there was a drop of 11.5 per cent.
Even so, according to these latest official statistics, the performance of the property sector in the province cannot be considered totally negative if it is compared with Spain as a whole, where only two provinces showed annual increases: Santa Cruz de Tenerife (2.4 %) and Las Palmas (0.6 %). All the others registered a drop in the number of property transactions and, among them, Malaga’s figures were among the best because its decrease of 3.6 per cent (a total of 18,639 transactions), was only greater than that of Alicante, which registered a drop of 1.5 per cent. The remainder of Spanish provinces showed greater falls.
These results place Malaga province as one of those which is showing the greatest resistance to the difficult situation which persists in the property sector.
This is also reflected in the global volume of property transactions, where the province, with a total of 393 million euros, occupies second place after Alicante, where the total of operations amounted to 422 million euros.
The Ministry has attributed the discouraging results for Spain overall to the fact that tax relief for a first home came to an end and there was an increase in the rate of IVA on new housing. Officials say that many transactions were brought forward so that they could take place during the final quarter of 2012, especially in December when 69,750 sales took place in that month alone.
According to the Ministry, if these transactions had not been rushed through, the results for 2013 would have been similar to those of 2012.
As a result of these tax changes, in the month of January 2013 only 14,479 properties were registered, which is the lowest figure in recorded history, although the Ministry believes that the effect was diminished as the year progressed.