Geoffrey Donoghue of Always Marbella property sales and rentals, reports on the latest news and events. For more information please visit Always Marbella’s website at www.alwaysmarbella.com
Plans for new properties increased last year in Mijas and Marbella, two towns that have recently approved their new PGOUs
The crisis continues to produce overall negative figures when it comes to new construction projects in the province of Malaga, however there are some positives that could be a sign of a slight recovery. According to figures released last week by the Official College of Architects in 2010 the number of plans for new properties approved in 2010 increased in three towns on the western Costa del Sol: Marbella, Mijas and Torremolinos. The reasons for this first increase since 2007 can be found, in the case of Marbella and Mijas, in the recent approval of the new revised urban development plans (PGOU).
Marbella’s much-needed new PGOU came into force last May with the approval of the Junta de Andalucía. Here, the number of construction plans approved by the School of Architects has gone from 75 in 2009 to 331 in 2010.
Similarly Mijas, whose PGOU has also been adapted to meet the Andalusian Government’s planning regulations, the number of new homes approved by the School has gone from 67 to 156.
In Torremolinos on the other hand, where the urban development plan has not yet been revised, the increase in construction projects is due to plans for VPO subsidised housing.
The figures mean that construction projects on the western Costa del Sol as a whole went up by ten per cent last year. Nevertheless the overall figures for the province of Malaga are still negative with a reduction of 30 per cent (although this is an improvement on 2009 when the number of new construction projects stamped by the School of Architects plummeted by 70 per cent).
Antonio Vargas, president of the Malaga College of Architects, whose stamp is required by all new building projects, has no doubt that the new PGOUs are behind the upturn. He claims that the increase in activity in the second half of 2010 only goes to confirm what his organisation has been saying for the last year: that the authorities must make an effort to facilitate the approval of PGOUs in the province.
“The second half of 2010 has not been as bad as we expected. It looks like the worst is over, although that doesn’t mean that everything is fine”, explained Vargas.
Meanwhile the eastern Costa del Sol as yet shows no sign of recovery with 33 per cent fewer projects in 2010 than in 2009. The general figure for inland areas is also down, by 46 per cent, although there were more projects approved in Antequera, Campillos and Coín than the previous year.
Marbella is the only town where property sales increased in 2010
As well as having more construction projects on the drawing board, Marbella was also the only municipality in the province of Malaga to see an increase in property sales in 2010. According to a report compiled by the Association of Residential, Sports and Health Tourism businesses, Promotur, in the first eight months of 2009 only 1,371 properties changed hands in the town, while the figure was up to 1,730 in the same period of 2010.
However, although developers have had to reduce their profit margins by an average of between 10 and 30 per cent, property on the Costa del Sol is still on average more expensive than in other Mediterranean holiday areas. Average prices in Marbella are still as high as 2,745 euros per square metre, a figure that is only beaten by Estepona where a square metre costs 2,930.
The residential tourism association stresses, however, that there are a number of factors that are still contributing to one of the western Costa del Sol’s biggest problems, the huge stock of brand new homes that have never been bought. They mention the high volume of exclusive properties, an insufficient adjustment of price levels, a lack of trust on the part of the buyers due to the delicate situation and the lack of security still caused by political and planning problems.
source: sur in english 18.01.2011