Real Estate

Sean Woolley in Spain: Is now a good time to buy property on the Costa del Sol?

Many potential buyers are concerned that external factors like inflation, the cost-of-living crisis,
Brexit and the war in Ukraine will negatively affect the economy and the property market and ask
me whether now is a good time to buy on the Costa del Sol.

Obviously, I’m an estate agent, so you’d expect me to always say “yes, it is a good time to buy” and I do feel like there are lots of opportunities out there.

However, I also advise caution, as prices have been increasing here on the Costa del Sol due to a
post-COVID mini-boom to satisfy pent up demand, so you need to make sure that the property
you’re considering is not overpriced.

Overall, I’d still say that it is a good time to buy. I don’t think you’re paying over the odds in general terms, but I will say that there are some properties where you could be paying more than market value. So, you’ve got to be careful and make sure you are guided by an expert in the market in general, but also in the specific area that you are planning to buy in.

They need to know what’s happening to the prices and be able to guide you to whether you are paying a good price, a fair price, or an overinflated price. We are already seeing some prices dropping off a little bit, as those sellers who got a little bit excited post-COVID with some of their asking prices get a reality check.

So those are just tailing off slightly, but it’s a correction rather than a slowing or falling market in general.

Real estate arbitrage?

Having said all that, there are some developers out there who are just about to release new phases of existing developments. They’re releasing two bed off-plan apartments at 700,000 euros to 800,000 euros when they were selling very similar products in their first and second phases for half the price.

If this is the case with the property you are considering, my advice to you would be to bear in mind that those people who invested two or three years ago in the first and second phases will be controlling future selling prices. As they paid half the price that you are paying, that might cause you problems.

If they start advertising their resale properties at 500,000 euros to 600,000 euros and you’ve paid 700,000 euros to get in, it will restrict the price you can get if you do need to sell. So, you just need to be guided on all these things in order to be able to make an informed decision.

Still value out there

Despite these cases, there’s still value out there and some great properties available for very good prices. I’m investing in the market and putting my money where my mouth is! I bought two properties in the last 18 months on the Costa del Sol and I’m planning to buy another one this summer. So, as you can see, I really believe that there are opportunities out there, but you do need to be careful and ensure you’re making an informed decision.

In terms of whether now is the time to buy, due to the current geopolitical situation, I’d say that there are always reasons not to make any significant purchase. There are always problems in the world and there’s always a war raging somewhere. There’s always a nation having a financial crisis. But thankfully the property market on the Costa del Sol is relatively protected, because we have a truly multinational set of buyers.

That means, when one market, say the British market is a little bit quiet, the Swedish market might be up, the Middle Eastern market might be up, the America market might be up.

We’re getting inquiries and buyers from all over the world.

So, while life might not be great at the moment for some people, you can bet your bottom dollar that somewhere around the world, it’ll be fantastic. So we’re very positive about the future of the property market on the Costa del Sol.

I’m not telling you to go and buy, or not to buy, but if you decide the time is right for you, please be careful. Be careful how you do it. Be careful who you speak to and who advises you. With the right
advice, you can make an excellent long-term investment and enjoy the unbeatable lifestyle on the
Costa del Sol.


See more about real estate in Spain here in Dispatches archives.

See more from Sean and Cloud Nine Real Estate here.

Website | + posts

Sean Woolley is the founder and director of Cloud Nine Spain. With 20 years’ experience of helping clients buy and sell properties in Spain, he’s known as “The Property Doctor” and has contributed to a host of publications. He has recently written the book “From the Ground Up – The Insider’s Guide to Buying Spanish Property,” sharing his years of experience, real life stories, tips and tricks with buyers interested in investing in Spanish Real Estate.

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