The Costa’s real estate sector has got off to a strong start this year, new data shows.
In figures released this week by the Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos -the official body in Malaga that certifies architects’ plans for new buildings - its experts approved 1,397 new flats or houses in Malaga province from January to March. This was an increase of 121 per cent on the same period in 2016.
The biggest rise in architects’ plans presented for approval has come from the coastal resort areas. On the western Costa del Sol, covering areas such as Fuengirola, Estepona and Marbella - where the town is still waiting for a new master town plan to speed up planning decisions - 589 new homes were planned in the first quarter of this year. This is an increase of 250 per cent on January to March last year.
The recent recovery reported on the western side of the Costa appears to have now spread eastwards. Here the number of new homes that got the architects’ seal of approval rose from 69 in the first quarter of 2016 to 252 in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 265 per cent.
Inland Malaga has seen no growth in new projects, with only 45 new homes having their architectural plans approved in the first quarter of this year.
The value of architects’ projects approved by the Colegio de Arquitectos in January to March was 419 million euros. Notably, only ten of the properties planned in the whole province are destined for social housing.
For the head of the Malaga developers and builders association, Violeta Aragón, the increase in the figures is “very positive”. “We’re seeing an upward trend. It’s slow, but it’s something at least,” explained Aragón, also highlighting that the growth had reached the eastern coast. Here 235 new homes have been certified in Rincón de la Victoria alone in four different projects. “We just need this increase to spread into the inland parts of the province,” she continued.
According to the constructors' association, the stock of available, empty housing built before the 2008 financial crisis is running out, spurring new projects into life.
The head of the Colegio de Arquitectos, which prepared the report, Francisco Sarabia, said he was “mildly satisfied” with the figures but thought it unlikely that there would be such strong percentage growth next year. He also urged the Junta de Andalucía to move to reform regional planning law to speed up the building of new homes.