Monday, September 21, 2009

Coming Back

I recently came back from Edinburgh. Very charming and I recommend a visit especially during the Fringe Festival. When I arrived back it reminded me of one of the things I love about Marbella. No matter where you have been or for how long, when you come back to Malaga airport you can not help but feel good. It is hard to describe but usually when you come back from holiday most people get a little depressed, end of holiday, going back to work etc but here maybe because there are holiday makers on the plane or because of the light and energy of the place you cant´t help but get that feeling you get when you arrive at a holiday destination. Strange but true. Does anyone else get this?

So what has been happening here over the last ten years? Well in summary, although I was keeping an eye on the market for the first 6 years I could not help but think how the market kept going up. When I arrived prices were reasonable (not cheap) but they seemed to be for ever increasing and pretty soon the link between even short term rental yield and price had been broken. There was no logic behind prices it was simply a bubble where the price was what someone would pay. In some ways it was justifiable, people were told they were buying a dream and because of the limited area of coastline there was a limit of supply and many buyers felt this was the case. What is the price of a dream? (I could go into a rant about the sales people and dubious sales tactics used by them and their bosses but we have all heard the stories already). The paradise element will always be here but when the dream can no longer be financed because the banks will not lend, then it turned into a nightmare, especially for people who thought it would go on for ever uninterrupted. My view is it will go on for a long time but there will be dramatic ups and downs more so than in say in London. Why? Because here people are buying luxury: second homes, second cars , holidays etc. etc. but when things turn and people need to save then they not only stop buying second homes but actually sell second homes so the volatility here is exaggerated in comparison to a normal residential area. This may seem like common sense but when buying or investing in property the simple supply and demand formula and drivers must not be forgotten. We are now looking in some cases at prices that are half what they were three or four years ago. Given the drop in rental income I believe these prices are now more reasonable (please note I did not say reached the bottom but I think we are close). You can definitely earn a higher yield from a well purchased property, even with depressed rental prices, than you can if you put your money in the bank.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Life in Marbella

For the ten colourful years that we have been here I have very much enjoyed the lifestyle that the Costa del Sol provides. No place that I have visited or lived in is perfect. All have strengths and weaknesses but the Costa del Sol is truly a beautiful place; where a very comfortable lifestyle can be had whether you are one of the wealthy people who live here six months in the year or if you have submersed yourself into the local community. The local Andalucian people are great and once they see that you are making an effort they will go out of their way to be hospitable. The vistas and contrast between sea and mountains are stunning and last but not least is the climate. I was never a big fan of the sun but the lack of rain is noticeable and it allows life to be lead outside. There are of course negatives for example if you are impatient then this may not be the place for you. Although you will enjoy yourself, frustration will become a problem if you are always in a rush. The other benefit, that some people may see as an incumberence, is that you do get a lot of visitors, so you don´t have to loose touch with old friends. In short this is a wonderful place and a lot of people would like to live or holiday here. That is why this region is such a good long term investment. It is a cliche but there is truth in it "there is only a limited amount of coast line and not all of it is as pretty and accessible as here". I am happy that I am in real estate, although it is tough now, this is a good business in this part of the world. I am always interested to hear other peoples views so feel free to post some of your own good and bad experiences on the Costa del Sol.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I moved to Spain in 1999 and enjoyed the New Millennium Celebrations from a roof terrace by the beach on the Costa del Sol. Prior to Spain I was in Vienna and London. My background is finance but ever since being a teenager I have had an interest in Real Estate. Having watched the market here for six years I decided to set up an agency about three years ago. This was at the peak of the boom and we were already seeing signs of a turn around. I thought this would be an excellent time to build a good reputation which would enable us to provide a quality service because of our knowledge and contacts. Giving us something of substance to build on for the next boom. So far this seems to be working, however, the downward spiral has lasted longer than we had hoped and just as we were seeing some recovery we have had the credit crunch take effect. There are a lot of misconceptions about the market and property especially for this region. Much of it is propagated by the UK media. If possible I would like to present my views and experiences from someone who is actually here on the ground. I apologise in advance if I approach the subject from an investment perspective.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


I am sure a lot of people are like me when they start blogging; not quite sure what we are supposed to be doing. From what I understand it is a chance for me to air my views. As I am in real estate (see website ) I suspect most of my comments will concern the state of the market in the Costa del Sol. However that does not stop me throwing in a few other general observations. Lets see how it goes.

Saturday, February 2, 2008


Welcome to my new blog. I hope this is interesting.