New public projects continue beautification process on the Costa del Sol

New public projects continue beautification process on the Costa del Sol

Though cash has been short during the recession, as series of important infrastructural and beautification projects realised in Marbella, Málaga and other parts of the Costa del Sol have made a valuable contribution to the quality of life and economic revival of this region.

Among them are completed projects, such as the San Pedro viaduct and the new terminal and runways of the Málaga international airport, as well as those currently under development. The latter includes the new Málaga metro and the multi-faceted park that is taking shape above San Pedro’s viaduct, but in addition a whole new series of projects is set to leave the drawing boards and become a reality.

Musée Pompidou at Muelle Uno, Málaga

The famous Paris museum with the iconic modern design penned by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers is set to open a branch in the city that has become one of Europe’s most recent – and vibrant – centres of art and culture. The venue will be a ‘glass cube’ not unlike the minimalist prism designed to house the extension of the Louvre, and the addition of such a prestigious name will add further shine to what is becoming an increasingly sophisticated regional capital.

Extending Málaga’s car-free zone

The resounding success of the Calle Larios and surrounding areas, which has been car-free for some time now, has seen the creation of a vibrant town centre popular with locals and visitors alike. The plan is now to extend this area to the imposing cathedral district, which borders the Picasso Museum, and further enhance the appeal of this beautiful historic quarter.

New parks

What is now a derelict site could soon become an attractive park at the heart of a new green zone right near the airport. Called the Benítez Park, it is just one of several green areas envisaged by local authorities. Others include an expansive semi-rural park area measuring 8 hectares in Torre de Benagalbón, on the outskirts of Rincón de la Victoria, while in Vélez-Málaga work has begun on a 2.6-hectare botanical garden representing the flora of the Axarquia.

Urban beautification

Fuengirola is working on converting the Fuengirola River into an attractive leisure and recreation zone that will add large green spaces to the town. Not to be outdone, the pretty white village of Mijas Pueblo is about to launch a project aimed at the beautifications of squares and streets in the centre, while Benalmádena is similarly repaving, landscaping and renovating parts of the town in a manner reminiscent of Marbella, where the third phase of a downtown beautification process is to commence in September.

It seems fitting that the most ambitious of all these projects will take place in Estepona, the town that has done such a remarkable job in beautifying and revitalising its town centre. Here the plan is to create an elegant seaside boulevard by replacing some of the existing buildings with attractive modern shopping areas, leisure facilities like a cinema and a luxury city hotel right upon the beach and within walking distance of the historic centre. Whether motivated by the upcoming municipal elections or made possible by improving economic conditions, the latest round of improvements to the Costa del Sol will further enhance the appeal of an already enticing region.

Property trends in Marbella

Property trends in Marbella

The news continues to be good for the Marbella area, confirming the sustained recovery of its economy and real estate market.

Figures recently published and reported in local newspaper, Sur in English, reveal that while overall property transactions in the province of Málaga dropped slightly in 2013, sales in and around Marbella have continued to grow impressively, rising by 23.6% over 2012 results to a total of 3,115.

A study by property portal Rightmove Overseas confirms that the trend has continued into 2014, with Spain topping search lists and Andalucía the most popular destination within Spain. In fact, almost a third of all searches are on Spain, up a quarter on the same time last year.

It is known that Marbella represents a micro-economy that has a tendency to go into and emerge from recessions earlier than the national and regional economy, this because it is more responsive to market trends in Northern Europe than those of Spain. So where the domestic – and indeed Málaga – housing market is expected to bottom out this year, Marbella’s strong surge in demand is primarily driven by foreign buyers.

They include Scandinavians, Russians, Dutch, Belgians, French and Germans, but also a stronger interest from continued and sustained British market and the emergence of new markets in Asia and the Americas. “Where the market used to, at different times, be dominated by one nationality or another we now see an increasingly diverse buying public,” says Hayley Bromley of Bromley Estates, who confirms the ever-broader base of investors in Marbella.

It’s a trend that underpins growth, as it makes Marbella less dependent on specific markets than before, allowing it to outperform domestic markets dependent mostly on Spanish buyers. “Indications are that the Spanish market will slowly begin to return to growth next year,” says Hayley, “but in Marbella we’ve been in this process since 2011 and it’s continuing to gather momentum.”

Does this mean prices are rising? “Officially prices in the Marbella region have stabilised, with indicators of prices beginning to rise, and on the whole the trend is upwards – and in spite of the fact that there are very few bank repossessions and so-called distressed properties left in this area, there are still many fantastic buys and investments available – a look at our special selection confirms that now is a great time to buy in Marbella.”

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