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Builders and estate agents in Malaga say that properties that have been reduced in price by as much as fifty per cent are selling inside a month
09.05.09 - 09:27 -

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Apartments at 100,000 euros are beginning to stimulate the market
There has been a drop in house prices of up to 50 per cent. / J-LANZA
Gloom and doom in the property market over the past year, and too many houses sitting empty while the banks hold onto the money needed to buy them. But there is now some light at the end of the tunnel, we are assured. Builders and estate agents agree that the tide has begun to turn in the past three months, the market stimulated by a drop in house prices by up to fifty per cent.
The result is something quite unusual in these hard times: young couples moving into new apartments for which they paid a little more than 100,000 euros. One would have to go back ten years, we are told, to find comparable housing prices, although most of these cheap apartments have only one bedroom. Up to now, such a price allowed one to move into a studio apartment or an old property in bad condition.
Juan Moreno, secretary general of the Association of Builders and Promoters, confirms that sales of new apartments are on the increase, and makes a comparison we can all understand. “Just as there are usually long queues in department stores when sales are announced, we have many more clients looking for these cheaper properties that are now on the market,” he says. As far as Moreno is concerned, the new demand exists because couples keep getting married and need somewhere to live. “One of the problems up to now is that they did not know such properties were on offer at such prices,” he adds.
Second residence
The tourist and second-residence market is also making a comeback, thanks to both reduced property prices and easier access to the Costa del Sol by high-speed train and improved roads. The few estate agencies that have survived the economic crisis of the past two years are beginning to see the fruits of their determination. In the case of the Kinos group, of which Carmen Morales is sales manager, activity has increased over the past three months. In Morales’ opinion, two factors have led to this situation: the reductions of up to fifty per cent in new apartment prices and the general belief that the worst is past, property prices have touched bottom and things can only get better in the future.
The property most in demand is a new apartment with two or three bedrooms, a parking space, inside a complex with a swimming pool and communal gardens and an average price of 200,000 euros. Morales points out that in many cases, these same apartments sold for double this amount in the past.
As far as areas are concerned, the most popular are close to Malaga city centre. The most usual buyers are young married couples aged between 30 and 35, without children or with only one child, and who demand easy access to the city.
With respect to second residences, this expert tells us that the best offers are now in the Axarquía area, such as Valle Niza and Torre del Mar, where new single-bedroom properties can be purchased for a little more than 100,000 euros. “They sell more or less on a daily basis,” she says.
There are also many offers at up to 40 per cent reductions in areas such as Benahavís, Casares, Estepona, Manilva and Sabinillas, while in Marbella, Benahavís and Casares, it is possible to find more up-market properties at ten minutes from the beach by car which have dropped in price from half a million euros to half that amount. Given this changing situation, Carmen Morales calls on the banks to start releasing more money to potential buyers.

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