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By Christopher Clover, Managing Director of Panorama Properties, Marbella’s longest established real estate agency, celebrating 50 years in the city. There are a lot of questions to be answered: How is this crisis different from... The post Buying and selling property in the Marbella area during the coronavirus crisis: a market perspective appeared first on...
By Christopher Clover, Managing Director of Panorama Properties, Marbella’s longest established real estate agency, celebrating 50 years in the city.
There are a lot of questions to be answered:
How is this crisis different from that commencing in late 2007?
Will the lockdown end in a relatively short order?
When will international tourism resume?
Will non-resident owners be able to use their homes here in the near future?
What is the demand for higher-end properties in the Marbella area?
What about prices?
Let’s take a look…
Together with the Panorama Team, I have been studying all the likely scenarios regarding the future of the property market since the week before the Spanish lockdown on March 14, and I wanted to share my perspectives on the Marbella property market based on the information currently available.
Our ideas and recommendations are evolving on a daily basis, so anything we say now might change in accordance with current events and government actions. We will update you as our perspective evolves.
How is this crisis different to that of the prior one starting late 2007?
In spite of this historic shock to the world’s economies and the expected economic recession,
banks appear to be in a relatively strong position, as well as many, if not most, of the property developers.
Tourism has stopped dead in its tracks, creating the biggest immediate challenge to our industry
The hardest hit sector of the worldwide economy, and especially the Spanish economy, is that of tourism. In terms of number of tourists, Spain has held the world’s number two spot for the past three years, with 84 million tourists visiting in 2019.
The Marbella property market originates, primarily, from tourists who discover this wonderful area and later make a decision to buy or rent a property as a second home, which more often than not turns into a primary residence after some years. We estimate that 80% of the market for buying property over €750,000 in Marbella is comprised of foreigners mostly from the UK and North of Europe.
Since the lockdown and travel restrictions commenced in mid-March, the Marbella property market has slowed down almost to a halt, as it has everywhere around the world. The overall volume of sales, especially by the foreign market, will consequently drop substantially in 2020 compared with 2019. As of now, it seems likely that this year will be the hardest year ever for the tourism industry worldwide.2
Since May 18, agents have once again been able to show properties to clients in person, and there has been immediate and frenetic activity, a good sign for months to come.
When will the Spanish borders open to international tourists again?
Currently Spain is in the process of gradually opening up after lockdown commenced on March 14, and is scheduled to end the final lockdown phase at the end of June.
There were many articles in the Spanish press in April indicating the possibility of actively restricting tourism this summer to Spanish tourists only, and maybe even until the end of the year, as a preventive measure to avoid a possible “second wave” of coronavirus infections.3
President Sánchez announced on April 26 that the measures were being studied to allow foreigners to return to use their holiday homes thereby allowing another type of tourism, that known as “residential tourism” to continue, albeit with the same restrictions as those continuing throughout the country.4
On May 13 further hope was given to the tourism industry when the European commission proposed a program called “The Commission package on tourism and transport in 2020 and beyond” which is composed of three guidelines and a recommendation to help EU countries gradually lift travel restrictions, giving hope that there might be some tourism from outside Spain this summer. 5
And on May 23, President Sanchez finally announced that the country will be open for national tourism in June, and for international tourism in July, bringing excellent news not only to the tourism industry, but to the Marbella real estate sector which is largely dependent on foreign investors.
Safety is a key element of the tourism restart, Sánchez told a press conference. “Spain needs tourism and tourism needs safety … We will guarantee that the tourists won’t be at risk and won’t bring any added risk to our country.” The current two week quarantine for anyone entering Spain now, will end on 1st July.6
Spain is planning a government certification scheme for Covid-compliant tourist establishments. Hotels, restaurants, tour operators and others will get some sort of corona-safety stamp of approval. The government will soon announce more details of the health protocols for the travel industry.7
This announcement unfortunately has come too late for many. We know of many potential clients from northern Europe, the Middle East and Eastern Europe, as well as many owners, who have already made other plans for their summer holidays when the government originally announced in April the likelihood that foreign tourism would be excluded this summer.
Additionally, with the details of the implementation of the plan not yet revealed, the new health protocols themselves might discourage many travelers, as well as the fear of catching the virus on airplanes, in spite of safety measures.8
Because of the above it appears to us at this point in time that international tourism will return to the Marbella area very gradually throughout the rest of the year, with 2021 faring much better.
The important thing is that this crisis, as all of the crises of the last century, will also pass. The cards are stacked against the virus, and it is only a matter of time before it is controlled, or indeed eradicated. In the meantime, we are going to have to put up with a lot of state mandated inconveniences to protect ourselves and others.
How has the market behaved during lockdown?
Clearly, without the ability to physically view homes for over two months, and with no international visitors allowed, the number of sales has dropped severely.
Over the past two months, Panorama has seen some buyers put ongoing deals on hold, but there are, interestingly, very few cases of sales being cancelled or deposits being forfeited, not just according to our own experience, but also to that of our many agent friends and property developers. As might be expected, many are adopting a “wait and see” approach while some have made adjusted, lower offers, and many owners have shown themselves ready to negotiate.
While Panorama has made several sales during the lockdown period, most were to buyers who viewed the properties before lockdown was enforced, with the exception of a few clients who had virtual tours of a property in a complex they already knew well. We are reading of other virtual tour sales being made not only in Marbella but also in other parts of the world and we expect more sales of this nature in the coming months.9
By how much will sales volume drop this year?
With very few sales during the lockdown coupled with the unknown factors affecting the return of travel and foreigners to Spain, the annual number of property sales in this area will be drastically affected this year. However, there have been sales made and all major agents are reporting a pent-up demand of foreigners waiting for the lockdown to end so they can travel here to inspect properties.10
Given the dependence of Marbella on the foreign market our educated guess at this point for sales volume in Marbella, Estepona and Benahavís, is they will most likely drop by 25% to 30% this year, to reach the same levels of 2012-2013.
How long will market recovery take?
While recovery may take some time, it is unlikely that we will be facing the same scenario as that of the last crisis where the market took more than four years to touch bottom before starting to recover. Barring no second-wave of coronavirus and counting on a vaccine, or at least an effective treatment in the next year or so, we believe it will take up to two years for the local property market to regain the same sales volume we had before lockdown began. This is an approximation which is backed-up by many other professionals in the industry, keeping in mind that market recovery is in good part, economy dependent, and that we are in unchartered waters.11
Where are prices headed?
In the following paragraphs, we distinguish clearly between “asking prices” and real after-negotiation sales values.
Owners who want to sell their property within the next few months should carefully analyse their “asking price”, and adjust it in the light of the present state of the market. The single most important factor in selling a property (in any market) is to get the asking price right.
The market for resale properties in resort areas has never been a particularly fast one, other than for exceptionally well-located and well-priced properties. Under normal market conditions, properties can, and do, take up to a year (or more) to find the right buyer.
With the current crisis, potential buyers are naturally expecting prices to be lower. This is simply an example of the classic law of supply and demand at work.
Adjustments to the asking prices of properties by owners who want to sell their properties in the next year might need to be anywhere from 10% to a more hard-hitting 15% or even 20% (or more) for seriously overpriced properties. Some properties, however, may not require any asking price adjustment at all.
Adjustments in asking prices depend on a number of variables:
Once an asking price has been adjusted with the advice of the owner’s agents, there should also logically be a margin left for negotiation.
About 35% of the owners with whom Panorama has been in touch in the last couple of months have adjusted their asking prices. The average reduction of asking prices we have witnessed has been close to 11%. Also, almost all owners will listen to reasonable offers.
There is a strong but unrealistic perception from buyers today that all sales prices will be heavily reduced. This will no doubt increase the slowdown in sales until there is a better match between buyer and sellers perceptions on real market value. Of course, there will be some real bargains available from those owners who have decided that they must sell this year and have adjusted their asking price accordingly, and are open for offers.
There is nothing to stop buyers asking for more aggressive discounts, but they will have to remember that the Marbella area is comprised, for the most part, of relatively well-off property owners, which is one of many factors which distinguishes it from the rest of the country. In the luxury market, potential buyers should be prepared to see many sellers refuse low offers, even in these extraordinary times.
For those owners who prefer to wait, we believe it is a waiting game which will take well over a year. Some owners will no doubt also consider renting their properties on a long-term basis to well-qualified tenants.
How much are resale property values (not asking prices but real sales values) going to drop this year with respect to luxury Marbella property in the Marbella area, compared with pre-coronavirus property values? Based on the positive factors analysed later in this article, and the various publications and surveys by other professionals, we are estimating a real sales price decrease this year somewhere in the region of 5% to10%. In some high demand areas, less. In less desirable areas, perhaps more.
In a summary of various studies of different areas around Spain, by the national newspaper Expansion, a price decrease in Marbella of up to 6.5% was estimated.12
Some new properties under construction will see developers reduce their prices to sell now, rather than later. However, given the strong financial position the developers have now we have seen and read many interviews with developers who have stated they intend to wait patiently until the market improves. In this respect, these are some of the points to consider:
We believe it is too soon to estimate the percentage of decrease in real sales prices of new developments, and it will be interesting to discover how many of them become great opportunities for investments within the next few months. What is clear is that with less foreign clients travelling to this area, demand will be weaker and sales will be slower.13
The local and Spanish markets will be the most active in the coming months
The local market: There is an ever-increasing number of potential buyers of all nationalities who already live full or part-time in Marbella, either in rental properties or properties which they already own, who will not be affected by travel restrictions. Marbella has a census population of 150,000, to which at least 100,000, must be added on account of the floating or unregistered, off-season residents. Some will undoubtedly be actively looking to buy in the coming months, in order to upgrade their properties, or pick up well-priced properties for investment purposes which some owners may need to sell to obtain liquidity.
The Spanish holiday home market: The certain return of national Spanish tourism to our area this summer, in large, maybe even record numbers, is likely to mean that there will be a significant increased interest in purchasing homes here by those Spanish buyers less affected economically by the crisis.
Spaniards, who historically represent the very foundations of the Marbella property market, have been less present in the market since the crisis of 2008, and we will welcome their return with open arms!14
Reasons for optimism
Prospective Buyer Enquiries
In the 30 days preceding the publication of this report (June 2, 2020)), Panorama’s enquiries from potential buyers were down only 2% from the same period last year. This is very encouraging news, drastically different to what we experienced in 2008, where buyer enquiries virtually disappeared for months on end. Many of our colleagues are reporting the same results.
An unusual number of potential buyers, international as well as Spanish, are honing in on small details of specific properties that we are offering for sale. This indicates an extremely strong motivation factor, which we have seldom seen in the past.
As further evidence of the “pent-up” demand mentioned earlier, Panorama agents have accompanied prospective clients on a substantial number of property viewings since the “state of alarm” restrictions were relaxed on the 18th of May, even though tourism and travel from outside the province is still not permitted.
New criteria are being manifested by potential buyers
Marbella will endure and adapt
Despite what will be very difficult months ahead in the Marbella area property market, we have a clear perspective, a firm vision and absolute confidence that a healthy property market will return in the medium term. Although nothing will be quite the same in the post-Covid-19 world, Marbella will not only endure, but will adapt to new circumstances, and prosper.
The extraordinarily positive factors making Marbella so spectacular include, more than any other single factor, the interesting and accomplished people from all walks of life, from all over the world who have chosen the Marbella area to live all or part of the year, enjoying a 12-month season which is unknown elsewhere in Europe. Marbella’s strength is that there is nowhere else that offers quite so many advantages within the borders of Europe. This is precisely why we established our agency here in 1970.
Over these past 50 years, Panorama has faithfully and successfully served buyers and sellers through many economic crises. Even though this crisis is different, I believe that Panorama is uniquely qualified to counsel our clients and facilitate successful brokerage, especially in times like these.
©2020 Christopher Clover, Panorama Properties SL
1. Fomento: Valor tasado de la vivienda
2. El País: El turismo afronta el peor año de su historia, 19.04.2020
3. El País: El Gobierno planea una recuperación de la actividad en dos fases,17.04.2020
Marca: Spain will not allow tourism, culture or leisure until Christmas, 18.04.2020
4.UH Noticias: Sánchez, ante la petición de alemanes con segunda residencia en Mallorca, 25.04.2020
5. European Union: The Commission package on tourism and transport in 2020 and beyond, 13.05.2020
6. El País: Spain will lift two-week coronavirus quarantine for overseas arrivals from July 1, 25.05.2020
7. Forbes: Spain Travel: Here’s How World No.2 Destination Wants Tourists Back, 23.05.2020
8. Financial Times: Aviation industry prepares for sweeping changes in post-pandemic travel, 25.05.2020
9. Idealista: Extranjero paga casi 7M por una casa en Londres tras realizar una visita virtual, 27.04.2020
10. Bloomberg: Loaded With Cash, Property Buyers Wait for Sellers to Crack, 19.05.2020
11. El Diario: El sector inmobiliario volverá a estar en un año a un 80% de su actividad anterior, 11.05.2020
12. Expansión: ¿Qué va a pasar con los precios de la vivienda de costa?, 10.05.2020 /
EDeconomíaDigital: El precio de la vivienda caerá pero “no se derrumbará”, 20.04.2020
Aura: Luxury House Prices to Fall by 4% in Madrid and by 2.5% in the Rest of the World, 05.05.2020
13. Idealista: Las principales promotoras residenciales ya han abierto sus 250 oficinas de venta, 11.05.2020
14. Bloomberg: Spanish Homebuyers Tired of Confinement Seen Fleeing Cities, 14.05.2020
15. El País: El éxodo inmobiliario que viene tras el virus: de la ciudad al campo, 02.05.2020
Idealista: De la urbe a la ‘urba': los españoles, más interesados en abandonar la ciudad, 22.05.2020
16. Idealista: Los tipos de viviendas que podrían subir de precio en plena crisis del coronavirus, 29.04.2020
17. Diario Sur: La alcaldesa de Marbella, indignada con la decisión del Gobierno sobre Málaga, 08.05.2020
18. Diario Sur: Todos los indicadores de Covid-19 Costa del Sol mejoran la media española, 12.05.2020
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Panorama, Marbella’s longest established real estate agency, was awarded the highest accolade for the category of BEST REAL ESTATE AGENCY SPAIN (SINGLE OFFICE) at the European Property Awards held in London on the 24th October... The post Panorama recognised as best real estate agency in Spain appeared first on...
Panorama, Marbella’s longest established real estate agency, was awarded the highest accolade for the category of BEST REAL ESTATE AGENCY SPAIN (SINGLE OFFICE) at the European Property Awards held in London on the 24th October 2019. Panorama won the 5-star variant of the award after competing against the best property professionals in Spain.
As a top winner for its category, Panorama is also nominated for BEST REAL ESTATE AGENCY (SINGLE OFFICE) in Europe. Award winners for this category will be announced at the overall International Property Awards ceremony, which will be held at the Savoy Hotel London on 2nd December 2019.
Christopher Clover, Panorama’s owner and Managing Director, said: “It is a great honour to be awarded this magnificent recognition. Winning the award for best real estate agency in Spain is a reflection of our team’s joint effort, and of our commitment to clear and transparent communication and providing an unbeatable service to our clients. Little by little we have gathered together the best team of champions in our field we have ever had. This is perhaps the most fundamental reason for our success and longevity.”
Facts & Information
International Property Awards
To read more about Panorama’s rich history and legacy please click here.
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PANORAMA’s CLIENT SERVICE department was created in 2016 in order to continue their commitment in offering the best possible service to its customers year after year. There are many issues with which our clients are... The post PEACE OF MIND – Panorama’s Client Services Department appeared first on...
PANORAMA’s CLIENT SERVICE department was created in 2016 in order to continue their commitment in offering the best possible service to its customers year after year.
There are many issues with which our clients are faced when selling or buying a home on the Costa del Sol. This is the reason why Jo Borda, director of our Client Service department, has taken on the task of assisting all clients in everything they may need before, during and after the purchase or sale process is completed.
With almost 50 years of experience in Marbella, Panorama has carefully selected the companies and professionals with whom to work to guarantee the best possible services and qualities to all of their clients, with respect to:
Renovation and interior design are two of the most demanded services and thanks to the extensive experience of our department in these areas the process generally runs quite easily and smoothly.
We provide several projects options catered by different companies that best fit the budget and needs of each client, from where they can choose the most suitable for them. We guarantee a “turn-key” project, assisting the client throughout the entire process, carefully monitoring the execution of works from the beginning through to the final completion.
Our Client Service Department is very accessible and straight forward: once the client has informed us of their needs and requirements, our job is to get in touch with those companies and professionals that can offer the best solutions for each client. Once our client decides for the most suitable project, we accompany both the client and the company or professional every step of the way. In most cases our clients are not in Spain, and therefore we act as their “representative party” to ensure all works are carried out according to plan.
Jo personally leads all projects and our clients are delighted and grateful for her professionalism, transparency, dedication and commitment.
To see other of other clients testimonials about Jo’s work, kindly click here.
“It is a pleasure and an honor for me to have taken the leadership of Panorama’s Customer Service department, dedicating my full efforts to give the best possible quality service to our clients”, says Jo.
For more information or any queries please call me on +34 952 774 266 or on my mobile, +34 664 225 667.
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Tucked within a natural setting on Marbella’s Golden Mile, between the Mediterranean Sea and the incredible La Concha Mountain, this idyllic charming complex called La Virginia is designed to mimic a picturesque typical Andalusian village.... The post La Virginia appeared first on...
Tucked within a natural setting on Marbella’s Golden Mile, between the Mediterranean Sea and the incredible La Concha Mountain, this idyllic charming complex called La Virginia is designed to mimic a picturesque typical Andalusian village.
Built in the late sixties, this dreamy complex of cobbled streets, stately squares with fountains, water features and paved walkways, comprises 68 unique homes, including, townhouses, apartments and villas, layout of which recalls some corners of the famous Seville’s neighbourhood Barrio de Santa Cruz. This quaint community offers its own small and charming chapel and two restaurants, La Tienda and La Virginia, both with cosy romantic terraces wrapped in flowers and vines, offering exquisite dishes and a wide selection of wines to its residents, guests and patrons in general.
La Virginia was the preferred landing place of inspiration for many artists, bohemians and eccentric characters of the extravagant jet-set who filled the Andalusian village with parties, banquets and gatherings unleashing their creativity, imagination and talent.
Its exquisite design has created a privileged environment that has encouraged a large number of artists, architects and creative people to make up this small community today. And whom during the Christmas and Easter celebrations hold their traditional flea market offering a variety of art pieces, antiques, gifts and clothes, and at the same time opening their homes for neighbours and visitors to show their typical Andalusian homes accompanied by homemade tapas and wine that kindly serve.
The community was conceived, designed and built by the developers Juan Manuel Figueras and Freddy Wildman with the contribuution of Donald Gray, Maria Luisa Larrañaga (Mary Foxá), Rafael Neville, Carlos Ochoa Hernandez-Blanco, Rafael Arvilla Jiménez and Ignacio Dorao Orduña.
Some of these well-known professionals also participated in the design and construction of another hidden community also Andalusian-pueblo in style, located in the prestigious area of Las Lomas del Marbella Club on Marbella’s Golden Mile, and steps to the Puente Romano hotel. And doing justice to their design, they decided to call it Las Lomas del Marbella Club Pueblo, broadly known as “Lomas Pueblo“.
Conde Nast’s Traveler magazine has just published an article, based largely on information and quotes provided by Panorama’s Managing Director, Christopher Clover, that studies the evolution of modern Marbella and its fascinating transformation. Now also the... The post Conde Nast looks at Marbella’s history & revisits the legacy of Mayor Jesus Gil appeared first on...
Conde Nast’s Traveler magazine has just published an article, based largely on information and quotes provided by Panorama’s Managing Director, Christopher Clover, that studies the evolution of modern Marbella and its fascinating transformation. Now also the subject of a documentary series on HBO, “The Pioneer” (“El Pionero”), the legacy of the late Mayor of Marbella, Jesús Gil, has been revisited in this July 2019 article.
Going back to 1943, the arrival of the multifaceted aristocrat Ricardo Soriano, Marquis of Ivanrey and his nephew, Prince Alfonso von Hohenlohe, is a milestone in the history of Marbella. Ricardo and Alfonso were considered the first promoters of Marbella since Alfonso purchased the beautiful Finca Santa Margarita, located in the area now known as The Golden Mile, surrounded by pine trees and bathed by the Mediterranean sea. This Finca then became the famous and luxurious Marbella Club hotel and during the sixties and seventies attracted the “Jet-Set” personalities, who fell in love with the city.
But in 1991, “El Pionero” (as refered to Jesús Gil, in the documentary series that premieres on HBO Spain) became the mayor of Marbella at a critical moment when the city had been neglected, was dirty and the infrastructure was not enough due to significant population growth and poor investment by the local administrations and the private sector.
Gil had been declared by the local administration preceding him “persona non grata” in 1987 due to a dispute over the granting of a building license, which was eventually resolved in his favor.
How sweet a victory it was for him when he won the elections in 1991, but with no money in the municipal treasury and no financing available, how did he finance the amazing public works he performed in his first years? Through a swap of municipal land with major building companies, for units of construction to be performed by those companies.
In his first years, Gil brought not only a renovation of Marbella by repairing severely deficient infrastructure, new planting everywhere, public art, decent public services, events of all sorts, but he really brought an amazing number of new investors and personalities to Marbella. In the 1990’s with Gil as Mayor it was “show business” like never seen before in our city.
Of course, the other side of the Jesus Gil story was the chaos in zoning he left behind him. As many of you know, Marbella is still in the process of recovering from this unfortunate mismanagement today. Fortunately, significant progress is being made by the local and regional governments, and a new general plan is already on the drawing board. I hope to soon be able to talk about Marbella’s zoning difficulties in the past tense. And of course there were the issues of corruption of those surrounding Jesus Gil.
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We are pleased to announce to all our clients, collaborators and friends that volume 11 of The Marbella Property Magazine® is now available! This new edition features Christopher Clover’s 2019 Marbella Property Market Report; an... The post The Marbella Property Magazine® 2019, vol. 11 appeared first on...
We are pleased to announce to all our clients, collaborators and friends that volume 11 of The Marbella Property Magazine® is now available!
This new edition features Christopher Clover’s 2019 Marbella Property Market Report; an insightful article about the Clover family and their fourth generation in real estate; guides on buying and selling Marbella property and an amazing selection of the most exceptional and unique properties on the Marbella area, from quality holiday apartments to grand, luxurious estates.
We are distributing our magazine as follows:
We hope you enjoy reading it, and as always, we welcome your comments, or any suggestions you might have for future editions of our magazine.
With our best regards,
Christopher Clover, FRICS and the entire Panorama Team
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