If you want a 75m2 apartment in Benahavís, currently the municipality in Malaga province with the highest property prices, it will cost more than 286,000 euros to buy. For a little more than that (300,000 euros) you could buy the most luxurious mansion in Teba: the Palacio Marqués de Greñín, in the old town, with its five bedrooms spread over two floors.
There are huge differences in property prices in the province and therefore major differences in the ability to access housing. Few young people could afford to live in Benahavís, Istán or Ojén now - all places that are expensive because of the luxury estates built within their boundaries and their proximity to Marbella's famous Golden Mile.
These three small communities, together with Marbella and Nerja, are the 'top five' for prices per square metre, according to a report from the Idealista website for April.
Benahavís comes first on the list with 3,818 euros per m2, after an increase of 12.2 per cent in the last year. Istán is second, because the average price there has shot up 42.9 per cent to 3,704 euros per m2. In third place is Marbella, at 3,581 euros, 13.5 per cent more than a year ago.
Prices in all of these three places are at record highs. Nerja, the only town east of Malaga on the list, is fourth, although unlike the others its prices have actually fallen in the past year, by three per cent, to 2,696 euros/m2, and fifth is Ojén, where prices have risen by 38.5 per cent in the past year and property will also cost buyers 2,696 euros/m2.
At the other extreme of the pyramid of property prices are five municipalities inland in the north of Malaga province: Teba, Sierra de Yeguas, Alameda, Humilladero and Mollina. In none of these does property cost as much as 1,000 euros per square metre, despite the fact that the average for the province is 2,550 euros.
In all these villages, there are apartments for sale for less than 50,000 euros, and houses for under 100,000 euros.
On average, property prices in Malaga province went up by 10.2 per cent in the past 12 months, but 15 municipalities seemed to escape this trend and prices there actually went down.
For those who want to rent, not buy, Ronda is the cheapest place to look. There are properties to rent for 5.5 euros per square metre: for example, a two-bedroom apartment is likely to cost around 400 euros a month. In Coín, Cártama, Alhaurín el Grande, Manilva and Alhaurín de la Torre, rental prices are all below eight euros per square metre.
The Costa del Sol is another story altogether: Marbella is the most expensive place in Malaga province to rent a property, with an average of 12.80 euros per m2. In Benahavís, Torremolinos, Benalmádena and Estepona, rental prices are also above the average for the province, which is 10.60 euros/m2.
Although the study by Idealista includes small villages for property sale prices, it does not for rentals, because there are so few apartments or houses to rent in them.
Only one place in the province, Cártama, has escaped the general increase in rental prices. There, they went down slightly by 2.3 per cent between April 2021 and April 2022.
Rents in all the other municipalities in the province rose by over 10 per cent, especially in Casares, Estepona, Alhaurín el Grande, Mijas, Marbella, Benalmádena, Fuengirola and Torrox.