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In the Know: Expert Insight on Buying Real Estate in Mallorca & Marbella, Spain

by | Feb 7, 2024

In this week’s In the Know, The Agency Mallorca’s Managing Partner, Alby Euesden and The Agency Marbella’s Managing Partner, Leif Orthmann unpack the secrets of their regions’ most sought-after real estate. Discover why international buyers—especially from the U.S.—are drawn to these sun-soaked destinations and gain invaluable insights on visas, emerging market trends, the perks of owning property in Spain, notable new developments and more. 


Who is buying property in Spain right now?

Alby: Mallorca has become a diverse hub of various nationalities and cultures. Though the majority of buyers are from Northern Europe, with Germany, the UK, and Scandinavia being the top countries, we’ve observed a 13.6% rise in U.S. buyers across the country. This may be due to the introduction of direct flights from New York’s Newark airport to the capital.

Leif: Generally speaking, the current market for property buyers in Spain is diverse. We have observed a mix of international investors, retirees, and individuals looking for vacation homes. While British and Scandinavian buyers continue to be prominent, we are also witnessing increased interest from Eastern European and Middle Eastern investors.


 What is attracting buyers to Mallorca? 

Alby: Mallorca has earned its reputation as the “jewel of the Mediterranean” for several reasons. Firstly, its convenient location within a 2.5/3-hour flight from major European capitals makes it easily accessible throughout the year. Northern Europeans can escape colder climates in winter and autumn and enjoy an average temperature of 25 degrees centigrade (77 degrees Fahrenheit). The island also offers a wide range of sporting facilities, including 24 golf courses, the renowned Rafael Nadal tennis academy, and 50 marinas spread across 344 miles of stunning coastline making Mallorca a dream for sailing enthusiasts.

In addition to its natural beauty and sporting opportunities, Mallorca boasts excellent infrastructure, international schools, and world-class healthcare. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or an active lifestyle, Mallorca has something to offer.


What is attracting buyers to Marbella? 

Leif: The allure of Marbella, Costa Blanca, and Mallorca lies in their unique offerings. Marbella attracts buyers with its luxurious lifestyle, beautiful beaches, and renowned golf courses. Costa Blanca’s affordability, pleasant climate and cultural richness are drawing attention. Mallorca, with its stunning landscapes and sophisticated ambiance, appeals to those seeking a more exclusive and serene living experience.

Marbella’s magnetic appeal to property buyers stems from its unique blend of luxury, natural beauty, and cultural richness. The stunning Mediterranean coastline, with its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, creates an idyllic backdrop for those seeking a beachfront lifestyle.

Moreover, Marbella has earned a global reputation for its world-class golf courses, drawing enthusiasts from around the world. Charming Old Town, with its narrow cobblestone streets and historic architecture, provides a delightful contrast to the modern amenities and upscale boutiques found in Puerto Banús.

The allure of Marbella extends beyond its physical attributes. The town is synonymous with a sophisticated and vibrant social scene, featuring fine dining restaurants, exclusive clubs, and a calendar of cultural events. The glamorous lifestyle, combined with a mild climate year-round, makes Marbella a sought-after destination for those looking to embrace the Mediterranean way of life. In addition, the town’s strategic location offers easy access to nearby international airports, making it a convenient hub for global travelers. Whether one seeks a peaceful retreat, a golf lover’s paradise, or a glamorous social scene, Marbella caters to diverse tastes, making it a compelling choice for property investment.


What is the visa process like for foreigners interested in buying property in Spain?

Alby: If you’re a foreigner interested in buying property in Spain, there is a program called the Golden Visa Program, which grants residency to those who invest a minimum of 500,000 Euros in Spanish territory. The Golden Visa has several advantages, including the ability to override the 90/180-day limit for staying in Spain and simplified application procedures. The visa is initially granted for three years and can be renewed every five years. It also allows you the option to work, obtain permanent residency, and even apply for Spanish citizenship.

Leif: Spain has a relatively straightforward visa process for property buyers. Non-EU citizens can obtain a Golden Visa by investing a certain amount in real estate—500,000 Euros, as Alby mentioned. This initiative facilitates residency and, eventually, citizenship. The process is designed to attract foreign investment while offering a pathway for those interested in establishing a more permanent presence in the country.


 Are there any notable new developments coming into Mallorca and Marbella? 

Alby: As an island, land is scarce in Mallorca, making new developments highly sought after in the real estate market. While branded residences are yet to arrive on Mallorcan shores, I believe this could be the next wave of development reaching the island. These developments offer an opportunity to own a property with a prestigious brand affiliation, ensuring a high standard of quality and luxury.

Leif: Marbella is currently enjoying a robust luxury real estate market, featuring prominent segments like branded residences, high-end promotions, and villas. Standout projects, including Epic Marbella and Elie Saab Villas, showcase the pinnacle of opulence in the branded residences sector through collaborations between luxury developers and renowned brands. Other noteworthy developments like Marbella Design Hills with Dolce & Gabbana, and Tierra Viva inspired by Automobili Lamborghini add diversity to the real estate landscape.

In addition to the flourishing market for branded residences, high-end promotions and villas are gaining significant traction in Marbella. The prestigious Golden Mile, Sierra Blanca, Cascada de Camojan and La Zagaleta remain a focal point, attracting attention as an exclusive address for luxury residences. Beyond bespoke design, these developments emphasize extra amenities like sports facilities and concierge services, catering to a sophisticated lifestyle.

Collectively, these dynamic developments solidify Marbella’s standing as a sought–after destination for those in pursuit of exclusive and luxurious real estate options. 


What are some other perks a person from another country could enjoy if they owned property in Mallorca or Marbella? 

Alby: Owning property in Spain, particularly in Mallorca, comes with several perks. For mainland Europeans, Mallorca provides a warmer climate throughout the year and easy flight connections to major European capitals. For those coming from the U.S. and Canada, Mallorca serves as a gateway into mainland Europe and a convenient hub for summer travel. Thanks to direct flights from Palma, the capital of Mallorca, to other European destinations, you can easily explore the continent from your Mediterranean base.

Leif: Owning property in Spain offers a myriad of perks. Besides the Mediterranean lifestyle and diverse cultural experiences, residents enjoy excellent healthcare, a renowned education system, and a vibrant expatriate community. The favorable tax regime for foreigners and the ease of travel within Europe further enhance the overall appeal.


What do you hear from your clients as to why they want to either relocate or purchase property in Spain?  

Alby: Like my own parents, many people are motivated by a desire to improve their quality of life. Mallorca, with an average of 300 days of sunshine per year, attracts people from colder climates and busy urban areas who seek a relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle. The island offers a perfect balance of tranquility and vibrant amenities, providing residents with the opportunity to enjoy a slower pace of life while still having access to world-class services and facilities.

Leif: Clients often express a desire for a lifestyle change – to enjoy a more relaxed pace of life, better weather, and a richer cultural experience. Many are drawn to Spain’s exceptional quality of life, world-class amenities, and the diverse leisure activities available. The stability of the real estate market and the investment potential also contribute to their decision.


Do you have any stats or data about your markets over the past year that are notable?  

Alby: Over the past year, Mallorca’s real estate market has shown notable growth. The total sales volume in 2022-2023 reached approximately 7.5 billion Euros, representing an increase of around 14% compared to the previous year. With approximately 25,000 individual transactions across the Balearic Islands, including Mallorca, Ibiza, Menorca, and Formentera, the market remains active and attractive to buyers.

Leif: Over the past year, we’ve witnessed a resilient market despite global challenges. There has been a steady increase in property values, especially in prime locations. The demand for luxury properties has remained strong, reflecting the enduring appeal of Spain’s lifestyle.

In 2021, following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and shifts in lifestyle models such as increased telecommuting and emerging tech opportunities, the real estate market in Marbella has demonstrated remarkable resilience. Despite global challenges, the market has not only rebounded but has reached historic highs in terms of sales figures. While demand for luxury properties has remained robust, Marbella continues to attract high-net-worth buyers, solidifying its status as a premier destination.

This surge in demand, even in the face of changing global trends, underscores the enduring allure of Marbella’s lifestyle. In essence, Marbella has not only weathered the challenges of the past year but has positioned itself as a standout choice for those seeking high-quality, luxury living experiences.


What are your predictions for real estate in Mallorca and Marbella? What can we expect to see this year and into the future?

Alby: I believe that the future of Mallorca’s real estate market appears promising. Following a slightly lower volume in 2023, 2024 is already showing positive signs. With financial markets trending upward, interest rates dropping, and updates to the wealth tax laws in Spain, the conditions are favorable for continued growth. 

The recent increase in the minimum exemption for wealth tax purposes is expected to attract affluent investors looking to maximize their wealth and enjoy the benefits of owning property in Mallorca, in the heart of the Mediterranean. With its stunning natural beauty, convenient location, world-class amenities, and promising real estate market, it is no wonder that buyers from around the world are drawn to this Spanish paradise.

Leif: We remain optimistic about the real estate market in Marbella. The demand for quality properties is expected to continue, driven by international interest and lifestyle-driven decisions. Sustainable and technologically advanced developments will likely gain traction. 

These positive projections for the luxury real estate market in Marbella and surrounding areas are supported by data and figures gathered at the end of 2023 and the beginning of 2024. This period has underscored the enduring strength of the market, with a notable presence of increasingly younger and sophisticated buyers. This shift in the buyer profile, aligned with new trends, reflects the evolving dynamics of Marbella’s luxury real estate sector. The city continues to showcase its lasting appeal for high-end properties, emphasizing innovative developments and delivering an exceptional living experience.

To learn more about buying or selling property in Mallorca, contact Alby Euesden directly at alby.euesden@theagencyre.com, and for more information about buying or selling property in Marbella, contact Leif Orthmann directly at leif.orthmann@theagencyre.comBrowse available listings in Mallorca here and available properties in Marbella here


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