Experts worried that residential tourism on the Costa del Sol will make a slow recovery

Delegates at the conference at Villa Padierna.
Delegates at the conference at Villa Padierna. / Josele
  • Speakers at a conference this week explained that while lockdown saw more enquiries from foreign buyers, this has not so far translated into more sales

The residential tourism market on the Costa del Sol is expected to drop from five to eight per cent into next year and the recovery in demand from international buyers for second homes will be slow. This was the majority opinion of experts attending the 12th annual Residential Tourism conference, held at the Hotel Anantara Villa Padierna on Tuesday.

Juan Ramón Rubio Zalabardo, market expert at Deloitte said that the pandemic had hit the Costa del Sol directly and a recovery was expected by 2022-2023.

Delegates discussed how during lockdown there was an increase in enquiries but this didn't translate into real sales afterwards. When the restrictions ended, there was a bounce back in the market for first, main homes but interest in holiday properties saw a negative effect.

Prices stable for new homes

Experts feel that prices for secondhand properties should fall, but new-builds will not change.

Mikel Echavarren, CEO of Colliers International Spain, explained that, unlike the last financial crisis, property developers aren't in debt, so aren't in a hurry to lower prices. Whereas, private homeowners may be keener to sell and take offers from interested buyers. Rubio recalled that in 2019 the market had already fallen 10 per cent with demand stagnating from international buyers, which make up a third of sales.

The effects on sales of Covid-19 will be felt for some time, as tourist activity has fallen 80 per cent and the size of the economy by 10 per cent. However the experts at the conference pointed out that the launch of new developments hasn't been affected, with a 36 per cent increase in building projects getting under way.