Marbella Property Insight – building land

When analysing the property market on the Costa del Sol, we tend to focus on the homes themselves, along with consumer and supply trends, but one of the key factors not to be overlooked in any real estate industry is land – its availability and suitability. To explore this in greater detail we asked José Carlos Leon, founder and CEO of Nvoga, and company Sales Director Thomas Graham to give us the benefit of their vast experience in this field.

Which areas of the coast have land available for construction?

JC – The most sought-after areas at the moment are Marbella and Málaga, and in the rest of the municipalities land continues to be sold but at a slower rate. Most of the available land is in Estepona and its surroundings.

TG – Mainly the municipalities of Benahavis and Estepona. Marbella has little available land left and its PGOU is currently under review, which may still take some time, meaning that there is very little land ready to develop.

What kind of plots are they?

JC – They are mainly for residential use, both single-family and multi-family homes. The medium and high-level product is the one that is coming out the best and developers are committed to quality projects.

TG – Mostly for apartments, townhouses and single-family villas. There is little for hotel or commercial development.

How are the prices /m2 in the market now for different types of plot

JC – Prices vary depending on the land, if we talk about plots for isolated single-family houses in a prime area they can go from €1,000 per metre, in other areas we can find plots from about €500 per metre. For plots in good areas for a larger volume, both single-family and multi-family, it is difficult to find something for less than €1,000 per square metre of buildable area.

TG – From the limited supply available, plots are on the rise especially if they have approval to start building immediately. Of course, prices depend on areas, views, infrastructures etc.

What is the estimated time to process a licence?

JC – The procedures in obtaining licences can vary a lot depending on the municipality in which it is requested. Benahavis is currently the fastest in granting licences ranging from one to three months. Estepona works very well with an average of four to six months and Marbella is improving times with the latest projects granted in about 9 months. If the plots require a special plan, partial plan or detailed study, this could easily go up to 18 months. It is very important to use an urban planning specialist who knows the steps well.

What type of land are the most interesting?

JC – The interest in the purchase of luxury homes makes developers and investors opt for high-level developments, single-family homes over a million euros, large, minimum 3-bedroom apartments with surfaces greater than 200 metres.

How do you see the evolution of the land market and prices in the short and medium terms?

JC – There is less and less land left and if we take into account that the vast majority of municipalities on the Costa del Sol do not have an approved general plan in place, the little land that is for sale will be soon be exhausted due to the current buoyancy of the market.


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