Costa del Sol

Spain

Year-round sunshine, beautiful coastal areas and a wide range of amenities combine to make the Costa del Sol one of Europe’s top destinations for property buyers.

Located in the south of Spain, the Costa del Sol is renowned for its breathtaking coastlines which stretch over 150km and are dotted with popular seaside destinations such as Málaga, Marbella, Mijas, and Rincón de la Victoria.

Nicknamed the “Coast of the Sun”, the region sees over 325 days of sunshine every year. Tourists and expats alike are drawn to the Costa del Sol’s sunny shores by upscale restaurants, luxury yachts, championship golf courses, and world-class shopping.

In 2022, the Costa del Sol achieved its best summer ever with tourist income exceeding €7.4 billion. The region welcomed over 12.4 million visitors annually, reflecting a 10% increase compared to 2021. Better still, the next year is set to be a record year in terms of visitor numbers and hotel occupancy, creating new opportunities for investors.

Located 8km outside of Málaga city centre, Málaga Airport makes the whole of the Costa del Sol region highly accessible. It is just over an hour’s drive from Sotogrande in the west and 45 minutes from Nerja in the east.

In the first half of 2023, over 10 million passengers passed through Málaga Airport for the first time ever according to the world’s leading airport operator, Aena. These figures represent a 23% increase compared to the previous year and are 9.2% higher than the same period in 2019. The UK was the largest international market with 2,410,951 travellers, followed by Germany (703,698), Holland (635,208), France (559,553) and Italy (459,891).

A strong rebound in tourism in popular areas such as the Costa del Sol is helping to drive the Spanish economy forward, with GDP growth reaching 5.5% in 2022. In fact, Spain concluded the year as the highest-performing economy in the eurozone. With this, buyers continue to flock to the country in search of either a high quality of life (for expats) or strong and stable investment opportunities.

Our experts say

“With a pleasant climate and high quality of life, Spain’s Costa del Sol is a great place to live and invest.

Málaga Airport makes the region highly accessible for visitors and vacation homeowners. The airport recorded 1.5 million passengers in the first quarter alone, which reflects a strong 9% increase compared to 2019.

Demand for holiday accommodation is soaring, with full occupancy expected across many accommodations this year. This means that, whether you’re looking for a second home or investment property, you could make significant returns on your investment by renting out your property whilst it is vacant.”

– Kevin Martin, Head of Sales

How to get there

By road

The A-7 road is a toll motorway that traverses the entire Costa del Sol region. Rush hour can be busy on the stretch between Málaga City and Marbella. The region also has well-developed bus services in the main towns and cities.

By train

The train is a comfortable and efficient way to travel around the Costa del Sol, but it’s worth noting that the network only goes as far as Fuengirola. You can take a high-speed train from main cities like Madrid and Barcelona, as well as directly from Málaga Airport.

By air

Located 8km outside of Málaga city centre, Málaga Airport offers flight connections to more than 150 global destinations. It serves the entire region, being just over an hour’s drive from Sotogrande in the west and 45 minutes from Nerja in the east.

By boat

Málaga Port is an international seaport. Not only is it a popular fishing port, but it’s also regularly frequented by cruise ships, ferries, cargo ships and recreational boats. Ferry services run from Málaga Port along the Costa del Sol coastline.

Weather

The Costa del Sol enjoys a Mediterranean climate with hot summers, mild winters, and over 325 days of sunshine every year. This makes the region a popular year-round holiday destination, and ideal for expats looking for a sunny new start.

Spring/Summer

Summer is hot with clear skies and spring is pleasantly warm. August enjoys an average temperature of 26 degrees Celsius, making it the hottest month of the year.

Autumn/Winter

The end of the year (November/December) typically sees the most rainfall. January is the coldest month with an average temperature of 12 degrees Celsius.

Why invest

Spain’s Costa del Sol has long been a popular destination for property buyers. Those looking for a permanent or second home are attracted to the region by its year-round sunshine, beautiful beaches, charming coastal towns, and all-around high quality of life. Meanwhile, as one of Europe’s favourite tourist destinations, the Costa del Sol is a hotspot for property investors looking to generate a solid rental income from short-term lets.

Economy

As one of the eurozone’s largest economies, Spain is a prime location for investment. The country recorded GDP growth of 5.5% in 2022, driven by a rebound in tourism. Meanwhile, the Bank of Spain predicts a 2.3% increase in GDP this year.

As the largest city in the Costa del Sol by population, Málaga is a hub for international business. Over sixty multinational companies have a base in Málaga, including the likes of Google, Citigroup, EY, and Vodafone. This makes the Costa del Sol a popular location for entrepreneurs, young professionals, digital nomads, and investors.

Property Market

Spain’s population has expanded at a faster rate than many other eurozone countries, exacerbating the demand for housing. High demand and low supply are driving the property market forward.

Despite rising interest rates and market uncertainty, the country recorded near-record sales last year, reaching levels not seen since 2007, and property prices grew by 7.2% according to Eurostat.

The Costa del Sol saw the largest house price growth in Spain in 2022, with values rising 13.5% over the year (Idealista). More recently, house prices rose by 4.16% in the first quarter of 2023, which was more than quadruple the national rate.

The region is a popular location amongst foreign buyers, who often purchase second homes or investment properties in cash. This shelters the market, to a certain degree, from high mortgage rates affecting Spain and other parts of the world.

Property owners that rent out their home whilst it is vacant can generate a sizeable income. Thanks to a booming tourism industry and substantial demand for short-stay accommodation, the Costa del Sol offers high occupancy levels and strong rental yields. In March 2023, rent prices grew by 14.7% year on year, according to valuation company Gesvalt. A significant shortage of available rental properties will continue to fuel rental growth in the coming years.

Visa Opportunities

By investing a minimum of €500,000 in residential property, foreign buyers can obtain a Spanish Golden Visa and secure residency in Spain for themselves and their family members. Along with the right to live and work in Spain, visa holders will have access to world-class healthcare and be able to travel visa-free across the Schengen Area.

The residence permit is renewable and, after ten years, visa holders can apply for Spanish citizenship.

Alternative routes include investing at least €1 million in stocks and shares of Spanish companies, investment funds, venture capital funds or bank deposits. You can also invest €1 million in the creation of a new business.

In light of upcoming changes to the Portugal Golden Visa (which will mean real estate investments no longer qualify for the program), Spain offers an attractive alternative for non-EU investors hoping to secure EU residency.