Words by Sean Woolley, from leading real estate agency Cloud Nine Spain.
Just as we agents here on the Costa del Sol began settling into the New Year, expecting at least another six months of Covid-19 chaos, a paucity of clients and huge market uncertainty, many of us are now reporting record sales volumes achieved in the first quarter of the year, with Q2 looking just as, if not even more, promising.
So what on earth has been happening?!
The main thing to note is that enquiry levels are very stable compared to previous years, indicating that interest in buying property on the Costa del Sol remains buoyant. Secondly, the interest is coming from all directions. There is no one buyer market that is dominating. A reflection of this is that our last 22 sales transactions have been attributed to buyers from 18 different countries. This tells us that we are dealing with a truly international client base, and possibly the most cosmopolitan residential property market on the planet.
Whilst appointment levels have declined mainly to the travel restrictions, many more ‘viewings’ are now being conducted virtually, with the use of video tours, whether they be professionally edited productions or prospective buyers joining agents on a WhatsApp call for a live look around a property. This means that even those buyers that have been stranded in their home countries are being afforded the opportunity to conduct viewings of a sort, which then places them further along the buying journey. Many of these clients are planning to fly to Spain in May/June, already well researched and armed with a suitable shortlist of attractive properties to view.
In terms of buyer profiles, we have noticed a marked shift in typical budgets into the HNW and UHNW brackets. The most active segment of the market is the super-high end, i.e. transactions of €3 million plus. In fact, one Marbella-based promoter alone has been responsible for over €90 million worth of property sales in the first three months of 2021. That’s a staggering achievement, and is probably testament to these types of clients being the fortunate ones that can more freely travel and take time away from the workplace or their business.
Our feedback from these client groups is that the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated their overseas purchase plans, and that the budgets for their purchases have increased as they seek a home that can now offer the space and homeworking solutions that these strange times have forced upon us.
In our 20 years of business, we have never before handled such a volume of clients with such a concentrated level of wealth. It’s not at all what we had expected in this locked-down world in which we are living. It clearly shows that buyer appetite is truly alive and that those purchasers at the top of the spending tree feel comfortable investing considerable sums in a luxury lifestyle purchase in the California of Europe.
All imagery used in this article credit: Cloud Nine Spain