Back in 2005 Marbella became the centre of the biggest corruption scandal in Spain when the Malaya (white whale) operation exposed a network of money laundering amounting to over 2.4billion Euros. Only a couple of years after the worst financial crisis in modern history hit Marbella’s property market like a ton of bricks bringing the construction industry to its knees.
A town in disgrace, from 2006 Marbella became the target of a barrage of negative publicity particularly from the British press with horror stories of illegal homes and documentaries about stolen deposits regularly appearing in the Media.
Property prices crashed, businesses went bust, new developments, shopping centres and even airports were left half finished or completely abandoned.
In 2007 the current Mayor of Marbella Angeles Muñoz, took up office and faced the unenviable job of cleaning up both Marbella’s urban plan and rebuilding Marbella’s damaged reputation.
Muñoz has been instrumental in legalizing most of Marbella’s illegally built properties and has drawn up a new transparent urban plan governed by the new PGOU law, she has reduced unemployment to well below the national average and led a successful publicity campaign that is placing Marbella Rising back in the International spotlight as one of the most desirable destinations in Europe.
2013 is proving to be a turning point for Marbella with top class destinations like Puerto Banus and la Zagaleta once again in Vogue with Hollywood A listers, Spanish celebrities and international footballers. George Clooney recently bought a luxury villa in Marbella and will soon be joined by famous couple Brad Pit and Angelina Jolie who were seen property hunting in Marbella during the summer.
Brits have long enjoyed a love hate relationship with Spain and not surprisingly in the last 6 years it has been Hate with a capital ‘H’. This summer the loving feeling has returned and the Brits were back in record numbers.
Tourism rates were at the highest levels in ten years and Spain’s housing department has shown that nationwide demand for foreigners has risen over 29% in the last 12 months but in Malaga province this figure is estimated to have increased by 61%. Malaga airport has also reported a 30% increase in the number of flights in and out by private jets.
- Spain’s housing department shows that nationwide demand for foreigners has risen over 29%
- Malaga airport reported an 30% Increase in the number of flights in and out by private jets 30%
- Spain’s housing department shows demand by foreigners increased in Malaga Province 61%
Marbella’s planning department has released figures showing an increase in construction and building licenses issued in the first half of 2014 and they are predicting that this trend will more than double in 2015
Statistics have shown that property sales in Marbella were up by over 21 per cent last year with prices rising for the first time in 41 months. This has largely been due to the massive influx of Russian and Scandinavian buyers who have been snapping up the luxury high end properties and also property bargains in prime locations along the coast.
Middle Eastern, Chinese and other Investors have been pouring money into Spain in the last couple of years and Marbella has attracted investment of 400 million into the new Port project funded by Qatari Sheik Al Thani. Despite a few hiccups, Muñoz has confirmed that the development of Port Al Thani will definitely go ahead bringing a new dimension to Marbella as a major international cruise destination.
The announcement of the new residency visa for non eu citizens investing in Spanish property is also forecast to have a huge impact on the recovery of the property market, as with Cyprus and Portugal agents are experiencing a surge in enquiries for properties over 500,000 Euros. Information on the New Spanish residency visa is available here!
The Sunday Times published a positively glowing article about the rise of Marbella and its return to favor amongst the international jet setters & Russian Oligarchs. It appears Marbella has at long last ditched the tarnished reputation left by the previous Mayor, survived the worst of the economic crisis and is taking its place once again as the rising star of Southern Europe.
THE FALL AND RISE OF MARBELLA