Following on from a period in which the number of Russian visitors and foreign buyers on the Costa del Sol decreased dramatically—which was mainly due to the value of the Ruble to the Euro going down by 50% —2016 is predicted to be the year they will make their return to the Costa del Sol, in particular the Marbella Area.
With regards to both real estate and tourism, traditionally January is the quietest period. However, the number of Russians arriving at Málaga Airport had increased by 23% compared to the same month in 2015 and now tourism officials are forecasting 2016 to reach the record levels, with regards to Russian visitors which was last seen between 2000-2003. The Russian Association of Tour Operators has stated that bookings to Spain, especially the Costa del Sol have risen by a total of 34%. This is very good news for Marbella, as Russian visitors to the area are some of the highest spending and they are renowned for their appreciation of the upmarket charms of both Puerto Banus and The Golden Mile.
The Junta de Andalucia’s tourist board is partly to thank for the recent increase in Russian tourism. After seeing the downward spiralling trend of Russian visitors to the Costa del Sol over the last two years, they promptly put into place a marketing campaign to drive more Russian visitors to the Marbella area. Including representation of Andalucia and it’s charms at approximately 20 events in Russia, designed to highlight the culture and appeal of Andalucía. This included a display by the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Arts, who had previously never visited the country.
Important investors in Marbella real estate
The Russians have been important investors in the Marbella high-end real estate market over recent years, and they are still leading the way in applications to the ‘Golden Visa’ programme, which gives those coming from outside of the EU residency—and the ability to travel to Schengen agreement countries. This visa is available to people who invest a minimum of €500,000 in real estate.
Recent statistics show that Russian investors made up 35.1% of applications under the scheme, spending €327.9million since it’s foundation in the second half of 2013—many of this data comes from investments made in upmarket towns like Marbella. With tourism increasing, we can expect the profile of Marbella as a luxury destination for real estate investment will significantly increase in Russia, and with it property sales amongst these important clients.
The significance of this nationality to the area is evidenced by the businesses catering to the local market. The Casa Rusia commercial centre, located between San Pedro Alcantara and Nueva Andalucia, with it’s restaurant, business centre and movie/cultural theatre, gives a sense of strong community amongst Russians in this part of Spain, while galleries, artists, musicians and fashion designers from Russia have increasingly made Marbella and Puerto Banús a second home.
If we combine this information with statistics of advanced bookings from other European countries, plus investment plans valued at hundreds of millions from various luxury resort companies, the future looks bright for Marbella and the property market. If you would like more information regarding purchasing a property in Marbella, please contact us– we would be happy to help!