Costa del Sol Property Market: where to buy a property?

The southernmost coast of Spain: towns, villages, prices and the best investment options. What are the property prices on Costa del Sol.
Cоsta del Sоl is the southern and most expensive coast of Spain that belongs to the Andalusia region. It is vital to understand the specifics of the region: because of the Atlantic current, the water in this part is rather cold. The coast attracts not only with its beaches, but the infrastructure, high-end services and standard of living. The water temperature is usually 22 °C - 24 °C, so Costa del Sol is in great demand for swimming pools.

In this article, we will discuss only new build houses. In the past few years, you can see how "old" traditional Andalusian Costa del Sol is becoming a modern high-tech zone. So we are about to introduce you to the new look of this cоast.

The most developed land of the Costa del Sol is located in Estepona and its surroundings, west of Marbella. In Malaga, where the largest local airport is, we can find only a few buildings of new construction. Also, due to the specifics of the city, this is usually not a resort housing – Malaga is a city for work and study. Marbella is a gem of the coast and a town marked as a luxury. Still, because being in high demand among famous people and a lack of free land, the cost of housing there is overestimated: property price starts from €400.000.

In Marbella-Estepona-Sotogrande area there is some free land, and new developers get licenses easily. British tourists are one of the most active buyers of properties in this area — they fly to Gibraltar and get there in thirty minutes. Estepona is actively developing with the help of the government: in 2019 there was opened a large hospital, and a giant stadium is currently under construction. For several years now the city has been famous for its flower beds and wide (about 70 meters) beach. Housing in Estepona and its surroundings is considered decent and liquid.

1. Costa del Sol Property Prices Overview

In June 2020, the average price per square meter of real estate in Costa del Sol, Andalusia is €1646 (+6% to the June-2019).

The region goes number 6the on the list of most expensive property in Spain (after Madrid, Catalonia, the Basque Country, the Balearic and Canary Islands). The average purchase price on the coast is €744,711. The most expensive locations of Costa del Sol are Marbella (€3059/m²), the Malaga (€2123/m²). In the province of Malaga, every third home purchase is made by a foreigner (non-resident of Spain). Please view the full table of prices below.

2. Sotogrande

Let's start from the west in a place called Sotogrande. Here the annual International Polo Tournament takes place; it is the largest one in Spain. Most of Sotogrande is occupied by training courses, which can be called one of the best in the world. Real estate here usually purchases those who are interested in this sport. Infrastructure is not the best for permanent residence here.
Polo courses in Sotogrande
Polo is a sport for the rich. It is not surprising that most of the property here is villas of various sizes. The house of 212m² with three bedrooms and a terrace (150m²) costs around €495,000 on the project stage.
The port of Sotogrande
Apart from polo enthusiasts, Sotogrande is also a favourite destination for sailing fans. The port of Sotogrande has luxurious facilities; it is the second most beautiful port on Costa del Sol after Puerto Banús. Some sailors buy properties with a private pier right in the bay. Sotogrande is close to the Strait of Gibraltar, so the Atlantic wind is continually blowing here. It is not without reason that one of the leading children's sailing schools (and summer camp) is located here. Besides, in Sotogrande you can attend restaurants of Mediterranean cuisine, you can dine with a view of Gibraltar and Africa and try a fish cooked in sea salt.

3. Casares and Casares del Sol

Casares del Sol is a beach in the village of Casares, which hides in the mountains a few kilometres inland. Only a few thousand people live here all year round. The area is dotted with picturesque valleys and hills with grazing goats, around which there are several dairy and cheese fincas (Spanish farms).
Village of Casares is hidden in hills
It takes about ten minutes to get to Estepona, but the property is much cheaper. If we talk about the village of Casares (10 km from the sea), a traditional Spanish white house built in the 80's costs around € 80,000. As for the coastline, Casares del Sol has several pebbly beaches.
View form balcony in Casares del Sol
View form balcony in Casares del Sol

4. Bahia Dorada and Alcazaba Lagoon

Upon moving to the east, before Estepona, we stumble upon the urbanization of Bahia Dorada. Here, along the sea, you can see around ten gated complexes with apartments. Those that are closer to the sea and the A-7 highway are considered prestigious and expensive. New 2-bedroom apartments on the first line start from €170,000.
Balcony view in Bahia Dorada
Previously, Bahia Dorada was called a seasonal resort. Real estate here was purchased by foreigners, who visited this resort only for several weeks a year. But in the next few years, the government plans to build all the necessary infrastructure (the large hospital will be open soon), which will lead to a rise in housing prices. So we recommend Bahia Dorada as a place to invest and earn money on a prospective resale.
Alcazaba Lagoon
Alcazaba Lagoon
Not far from Bahia Dorada, the prominent Estepona Golf complex and the Alcazaba Lagoon urbanization are sparkling with bright colours of Mediterranean nature. In addition to the golf courses, there is an artificial lake of 1.4 hectares and about 40,000 m² of gardens. The new project consists of 72 apartments with a smart home system, heated floors and sea views. It is the first artificial lake on Costa del Sol with crystal clear water. You can take part in various water sports there, but only residents of Alcazaba Lagoon have access to this lake. Real estate in this urbanization is trendy; in addition, the complex will be expanding for several years.

Alcazaba Lagoon has its restaurant, and in winter you can relax in Dutch tubs. One more thing to mention: if you drive from Alcazaba Lagoon to the sea (about 3 km), near the beach you will find Fuerte Estepona Hotel, where Alcazaba Lagoon residents can use the tennis courts and pools of the hotel free of charge.

2-bedroom apartments in Alcazaba Lagoon cost from €239,000. Penthouse with terraces is for sale for €650,000.

5. Estepona

Estepona is the first relatively large city on our route from the west to the east, and it is considered a quiet, well-groomed and cosy place. Besides, it is one of the most popular destinations for domestic tourism: citizens of Seville and Madrid fell in love with Estepona back in the 80's and built their Mediterranean residences here. Then tourists from all over the world arrived in Estepona. Today, the Spanish population in Estepona is only about 30%. The remaining 70% are foreigners, mostly Germans, Belgians, Brits, French, Argentines, Russians.
Estepona
This is an excellent place for both seasonal holidays and permanent residing. Estepona is much calmer and quieter than Marbella and Malaga, but not so small to complain about lack of infrastructure. The city has Mercadona and Carrefour supermarkets, numerous bars and restaurants, service centres, prestigious international schools in English and Spanish. You can always buy fresh fish in the city market; until the middle of the 20th century Estepona was an ordinary fishing village, and today fishing in the port is still alive. Local dorado and tuna are especially popular. If you are ever in the port of Estepona, be sure to visit the La Escollera restaurant. There you will find a wide range of fish. The owner of the restaurant is a fisherman, and every morning he fishes to get fresh food for his guests.

In Estepona, there are several museums, castle ruins, Iglesia de Santa María de Los Remedios church (first built in the XV and reconstructed in the XVIII century), the famous Orchidarium (a garden of 1300 species of orchids) and much more.
Playa de la Rada
Playa de la Rada
The local sandy beach Playa de la Rada is one of the best on the entire coast. It is about 150 (!) meters wide, which is not very common. Most tourists and travellers, even experienced ones, are surprised by the coast of Estepona. The promenade stretches along the whole city for ten kilometres, so wherever you buy a property, the sea is nearby. In addition to the beach, the Paseo Maritimo promenade runs along the sea with a bike path, flower beds, sports and children's playgrounds, giant chess set and more.

The real estate in Estepona is characterized by loyal prices. Resale apartments one hundred meters from the sea can be bought for €90,000. New buildings are located on the other side of the highway A-7 and the hill. There you can buy a new apartment (overlooking the sea and Estepona) for €250,000. It will take you 15-20 minutes to get to the sea, but the return journey "up the mountain" can exhaust anyone. New buildings on the first line of the sea are in frenzied demand, and prices there start from €1,400,000 for a multi-bedroom apartment. In the low season, a small apartment in the city can be rented for €60 per day, in the high season the price is from €100 to €150. There are not many hotels in Estepona, so during summer and early autumn the demand for accommodation is exceptionally high. We can recommend Estepona both for seasonal holidays and emigration.

6. San Pedro de Alcantara

Let's leave Estepona and keep moving along the coast. The next village that deserves your attention is San Pedro de Alcantara, seven kilometres from Marbella.
Enter the city of San Pedro de Alcantara
A 2-bedroom apartment built in the 90s within 15 minutes walk from the sea you can buy for € 150,000. New apartment on the first sealine – from € 350 000. Emigrants with children of high-school age often choose San Pedro. Here they find a balance between comfortable accommodation, high-quality recreation and education. At the same time, you can earn six hundred to eight hundred euros per month on a long-term rental.
Property in San Pedro de Alcantara
In San Pedro de Alcantara you can find a large number of international schools with the opportunity to get a high level of Spanish or British education. Studying in these schools costs from €1000 per month. These are the most popular bi-lingual or British schools in this area:

Nursery school
Baby Tinkerbell School (Centro de Educación Infantil Campanita)

Nursery+primary education
Marbella Montessori School

Primary education
Calpe School
Saint George's School

Primary+secondary education
Swans International School

Secondary education
Laude International College

Also in San Pedro there are popular language courses from Instituto Internacional de Idiomas.

7. Marbella and Puerto Banus

When entering Marbella, first you drive into Puerto Banus marina. There you will notice some yachts of Arab sheikhs worth millions of euros.
Townhouses
Around the port, there are some expensive shops of the most world-famous brands, as well as luxury restaurants and nightclubs. Some tourists come here to see how does the "sweet life" of celebrities and millionaires look. Puerto Banús, along with Marbella and several urban centres, form a single agglomeration and urban space. It's an area of wealth, glamour and hype. Marbella is a pearl of the entire Costa del Sol and the Spanish version of Hollywood.
Luxury villa with pool in Marbella
"Golden Mile" (Milla de Oro) stretches along this agglomeration, where film stars, prominent politicians, athletes, millionaires and billionaires from all over the world own their vacation villas. It is essential to understand that the "Golden Mile" is located not on the first line of the sea, but the opposite: in a quiet zone behind the AP-7, at the foot of the Sierra Blanca mountain. The mountains protect this area from winds and bad weather from the mainland, creating a unique climate: both in winter and summer the average daytime temperature is about +20°C (at night +15°C). In the seventies on the "Golden Mile" began a construction boom of luxury villas. Here is the summer residence of the ruling dynasty of Saudi Arabia, Madonna's villa, the summer house of Antonio Banderas and many others. The cost of some "palaces" is estimated at € 20,000,000.

Every summer the city hosts the famous Starlite festival, which brings together elites from all over Europe. For about a month there are concerts and discos. The stage of the festival is "cut down" in the very mountain that saves the Golden Mile from the bad weather. Sting, Julio and Enrique Iglesias, Ricky Martin, Lenny Kravitz and others came to perform in Starlite.

If we talk about housing for "ordinary people", you can find some options in Marbella: small apartments on the first or second sealine cost around €200,000 in a residential complex of the 70s-80s. Usually, it is a hundred apartments located around a communal pool and garden. Such urbanizations are gated with their private access to the promenade. However, at the exit from the city (towards San Pedro de Alcantara) there is a complex of new buildings overlooking the sea. The cost of apartments there starts from €450,000.
One of Marbellas's city beches
In Marbella, there are excellent conditions for swimming and sunbathing: 24 beaches for every taste! The central beach is called Fontanilla. Playa Del Cable is famous for DJs and youth parties, Playa de Artola and Cabopino are located next to a pine grove and delight visitors with the smell of pine. The city's beaches have all the necessary infrastructure and meet safety requirements.

8. Fuengirola

Fuengirola is best reached by train which departs every twenty minutes from Malaga airport. Along with Estepona, it is one of the best value for money resorts on Costa del Sol.

The main "pitfall" of the city is the large and noisy Muslim diaspora (mostly Moroccan immigrants). The main point of attraction for them is the local mosque. Every Friday, religious service takes place. On this occasion, many believers in white clothes arrive in the city. In public schools of Fuengirola, more than half of the students are Muslims.
Property in Fuengirola
But for €150,000 here you can buy a 2-bedroom apartment on the second or third sea line. Beaches of Fuengirola are clean and wide, and the promenade stretches for several kilometres. In this beautiful town you will find a zoo, underground labyrinths, water and amusement parks, so this resort is an excellent place for a family vacation with children.

9. Mijas

If you drive north from Fuengirola and "climb a mountain", you will get to the village of Mijas, hidden among picturesque rocks. It is one of the most beautiful places in Andalusia, and it has the charm of a typical Spanish town. Accordingly, the age of the property for sale usually exceeds 70 years, and often requires renovation. On the other hand, this residential area has proved its durability, and it is no less reliable than new buildings. A house with a living room and two bedrooms will cost approximately €120,000.
Mijas in hills
The houses in this village have never been painted. Instead, they used white lime, which is usual in Spain. Thanks to this, it is not so hot inside in summer and not humid in winter. Instead of taxis in Mijas locals ride donkeys, there is also a 12-storey car park, where you can leave your car. The romance of this remote Spanish place (although only eight kilometres from the coast) attracts foreigners, mainly the British. They like its panoramic mountain views, narrow streets and the village lifestyle, especially since Mijas has a flamenco school and wine museum.
View on Fuengirola from Mijas
Mijas is often visited by tourists and can be reached by bus from Fuengirola in 15 minutes.

10. Benalmadena

Many tourists come to Benalmadena from neighbouring cities to visit the Tivoli World amusement park. There you can go for a ride (including extreme rides), go to the house of horrors, climb a mountain to enjoy the views of Costa del Sol, take part in an eagle show and much more.
Benalmadena aerial view
Benalmadena aerial view
Because of the infrastructure and the proximity of the airport, real estate in Benalmadena is more expensive than in Fuengirola. Inside Benalmadena, there is "Venice" – an area of Puerto Marina, located in the port. There, the houses are built on stilts and "stand" right on the water. A 1-bedroom apartment with a sea view in such an extravagant building can be bought for € 150,000. In the city of Benalmadena, you can buy a studio apartment from €89,000 or a two-bedroom apartment from €180,000.
Little "Venice" in Benalmadena
In summer Benalmadena hosts a paella competition. It is considered to be the best paella place in Costa del Sol. The contestants not only cook, but feed visitors. Interesting fact: in Benalmadena, you can visit the smallest chapel in the world, Santa Isabel de Ungria in Colomares (1.96 m²), a part of Colomares castle.

11. Torremolinos

In Torremolinos, LGBT pride takes place annually. Representatives of various sexual orientations from all over Europe not only come to the parade, but also move here for a permanent residence. Nowadays, with its vibrant nightlife, LGBT-friendly community and a wide choice of hotels, Torremolinos is one of the leading destinations of world tourism on the Costa del Sol.
First lines of the sea in Torremolinos
And why is Torremolinos resort called a gay resort? In 1962, opened its doors "Tony" bar - the first gay-bar in Spain. In the 60's fascist-catholic authorities of poor Spain for the sake of currency inflow were forced to reconcile with Torremolinos – the excessively liberal, sexually promiscuous city.

It is worth saying that real estate in the city offers a competitive price. Thus, single-bedroom apartments on the first sealine can be purchased for €120,000!

12. Malaga

Malaga is the sixth-largest city in Spain and the second largest in Andalusia (after Seville). It is home to over half a million people. Malaga offers excellent shopping, a comfortable transport system and cultural sights. Eight kilometres from the city there is an airport. The port of Malaga also welcomes various ships. In addition to fishing vessels, the harbour is visited by the largest cruise ships on the planet, such as Harmony of the Seas, MSC Splendida and others. Like in any large city, in Malaga you may experience some traffic jams. Also, there are several factories within the city limits. Because of this, Malaga's beaches are not as clean as those mentioned above.
Port of Malaga
However, if you like the high pace of city life, subway rides, crowds and other elements of urban aesthetics, you will love it here. Malaga is a great place to combine a career or study with a vacation by the sea. It is not a secret that in Malaga are located several major universities, where not only students from all over Spain come to study, but many foreigners. The most famous is Universidad de Málaga (UMA) with over 40,000 students. This means that the city has a high potential for rental income. All year round you can rent out to students for €700 per month. You can buy apartments in the "student neighbourhood" for €100,000, and there will be no problem with finding tenants.
The center of Malaga
As for the cultural program, we recommend visiting the Picasso Museum, the Carmen Thyssen Museum and the local Centre of Contemporary Art. Besides in Malaga, there is a football club of the same name.

13. Velez-Malaga

If you work or study in Malaga, know how to drive but are not happy with the prices of accommodation, welcome to the suburbs of Velez-Malaga. It is located about 35 kilometres to the east (half an hour drive) from Malaga.
Road to the sea in Velez-Malaga
Road to the sea in Velez-Malaga
For the same money, you get two times more metres and a much better location. While in Malaga for €100,000 you can buy a 1-bedroom apartment built in the 80s, located half an hour's drive from the sea by traffic jams (near the Universidad de Málaga), in Velez-Malaga for the same amount you can count on a 1-bedroom apartment of five to ten years old house by the sea. It is worth noting that the beach in Velez-Malaga is pebble.

14. Nerja

The eastern border of the Costa del Sol lies outside the town of Nerja. This is the last point of our virtual route.
Cueva de Nerja
Cueva de Nerja
The main attraction of Nerja is its cave (Cueva de Nerja) , which is called the natural cathedral of the Costa del Sol. Since 1960, this place has been visited by an endless stream of tourists. The cave is four kilometres long and has a natural amphitheatre, where you can even watch a concert: every July the cave hosts the International Festival of Music and Dance (Festival Cueva de Nerja). In the cave of Nerja, there is a giant column (32 meters), listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest stalactite, stretching from the "ceiling" to the "floor" of the cave. On the way to Cueva de Nerja, you will see the breathtaking Eagle Bridge aqueduct.

What is more, Nerja has the Balcon de Europa. It is a picturesque cape with an observation deck, which photographers love. While walking along the promenade, you can choose a place for a dinner among a great variety of colourful restaurants. Because of all these attractions, Nerja is filled with tourists all year round. If you are staying on the Costa del Sol for several months, sooner or later you are likely to come here too.
Sandy bay in Nerja
There is an evident shortage of housing (and hotels) in the town. Due to the mountainous terrain, there is almost no suitable land for development. That is why it is not so easy to find a property for sale in Nerja. On the other hand, it means unlimited potential for rental housing. The cave tours take place all year round so that you won't have a tenant shortage in winter. A small 1-bedroom apartment built in the 60s will cost you from €140,000 (but again, these offers are rare).

But if you do manage to find apartments for sale in Nerja, you can count on income from € 70 to € 120 per day. Recently, a popular option is a bed and breakfast (when the owner lives in one room, and the other is rented out). In this case, the price per night will vary from €30 to €60. Let us emphasize once again: the city has little accommodation and few hotels, so sometimes tourists simply have no choice but to rent an apartment (or room) from locals.

15. Table: pros and cons of locations and property prices

In this table, we summarize the pros and cons of each town, as well as provide you with examples of housing prices.
Thank you for your attention! If you are interested in real estate in Costa del Sol contact our agents!
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