I recently had lunch with a local minibus driver in Malaga Airport.
John, the owner of Malaga Airport Transfers and Malaga Minibus has his finger on the pulse and told me a few insights that made my ears prick up.
“We take people to and from Malaga Airport several times a day and the one thing it does it provide a great insight into whats really happening on the street level,” says John.
“Our customers mainly UK and Scandinavian tell us what restaurants they visited what food they eat, what beaches frequented but more importantly if they were full, empty, what other holiday makers think of these places and food eateries.” John continued.
“Imagine 6 airport transfers daily to Malaga Airport multiplied by 7 days a week then multiplied by 52 weeks a year for over 7 years that’s a lot of stories, restaurant and food reviews going through our private minibus transfers I can tell you,” laughs John.
“By far and away the tourists love getting down and doing the tourist thing, and there’s nothing more enjoyable than a big bowl of meatballs in my eyes!” enthused John.
“Theres nothing better than after a hard day chipping and putting on the luscious greens at Mijas golf course than going back to the clubhouse and eating tapas, drinking a few Mahou and watching my favourite football team West Ham win.
Estate Agents: Food for thought
Estate agents report high demand for land on the Costa del Sol ahead of a projected new construction campaign may come as no surprise to some people living in the area. But many places in Europe are only just starting to see some new shoots beginning to grow and have been burnt before the crash.
What has this got to do with Spanish Tapas I hear you say?
Well demand on land and property brings in overseas investors, people with money.
People with money buy nice things, spend money and improve the turnover of local businesses, invest in the Spanish economy.
Its simple economics Watson!
At what does every person do who moves or visits Spain on holiday or as a resident? They have to eat.
And what is Spain’s most favourite style of foods that they are world famous for? Tapas!
Yes, Spanish tapas is a favourite amongst locals and tourists alike.
Chorizo sausage, paella, bocorones, sardines, meatballs, fish, squid, potato bravas, Spanish salad, omelette, (tortilla) the list is endless and a foodies paradise!
The Costa del Sol is seeing a new wave of developments for the first time for 10 years. New investors are confident that the coast is on the way up, with Marbella being the most sought after area, you can tell by the amount of empty tapas plates, cranes and new billboards adverting properties for sale.
The most sought after land is with best views in the Marbella and Puerto Banus region, you might say that this has already been used but with the mountain backdrops you can see villas going further up in to the Costa del Sol hills. The searching for land has already starting to see a knock-on effect in prices.
“The changing landscape will see prices for property and land increase dramatically “says John James from a leading estate agency in Marbella, “we are seeing much more activity in the housing market from counties like Russian and Scandinavia , we expect this to be continuing for years to come with the euro showing signs of weakness, in our shop widow we used to display properties that were built or under construction now or shop window is 35% of pictures of land that is seeing a willingness for clients to build their own projects. This has now seen a less flexible approach from land owners to negotiate on price in most cases they prefer to wait until they get the asking price we have even cases where the asking price has been met for the land owner to tell us they are revising their price this seems to happen more with Spanish land owners that are simply trying to squeeze a bit more from every sale this is totally different from a year ago when they would sell very quickly.”
Average Land Prices
All new homes seem to being built with foreign owners in mind as there is no interest in building for the Spanish buyers.
Prices for land can vary from 1400 to 2100 euros per square metre in Marbella’s Casablanca area to as little as 100 euros in the Monte Mayor area of Marbella. The La Zagaleta area is on the market for 10,000 euros per square metre this is one of the most sought after areas for the rich and famous in Spain (queue President Putin, Guy Hands, Russian Oligarch’s) it doesn’t sell quickly but it certainly cause a lot of interest with many visits.
Investors Comfortable in Spain
Lots of investors are looking for land in central Marbella but this normally means buying old properties and knocking them down and rebuilding, or a totally refurbishment this does allow purchasers to buy in good existing locations. The town is now seeing big companies returning to the costa del sol and investing in projects to buy new land or existing buildings. Spanish investment companies are in the market to get the best land but big foreign companies are still the main buyers. The Spanish companies seems to want to buy now and wait for future increases in house prices before developing the land where the foreign investors are happy to start as soon as possible.
The recent surge in Marbella’s housing market has increased prices but it is still possible for the smaller investor to find a bargain in the towns ever increasing higher prices.