The Scandinavians buy houses just like in the happy 00s
The impending Brexit and a sensitive Spanish economy are leaving a clear mark on the local property market. But that doesn’t seem to be a concern for the Scandinavians. Despite uncertainty and a weak Swedish and Norwegian krone, Scandinavian buying on the Costa del Sol is fully on a par with the good years before the financial crisis broke out just over a decade ago.
This is clear in the feedback La Danesa has received after consulting with a handful of the Coast’s leading Scandinavian brokers.
They know what they want. And they know what they’ve got.
The homes must be new, delightful, bright and in a modern, Scandinavian style. A price of around 300,000 euros fits most people’s preference – and preferably with lending of 80 percent.
“From a global perspective, neither the Danish, Swedish nor Norwegian markets have had much impact on the housing market. But when we merge the three nationalities, we have seen a desire to buy in recent years that is about the same as the large German and French markets. I haven’t witnessed that before.” These words come from Finn Wissenberg, who for four decades has worked in, and followed, the southern Spanish real estate market closely.
A good image
The newer players on the market are also feeling the increasing Scandinavian interest on the Costa del Sol, and they know why. “The image of the Costa del Sol has changed significantly. We’ve gone from sun & sangria to something delightful & exclusive, which we previously only thought we could find in southern France, Tuscany or Mallorca. The weather is even better here, and most people are starting to be more aware of it,” Per Mønsted from Mojo Estates says. With his participation in the television program “Sol for millioner” (Sun for millions) last year, he really helped to open the eyes of the Danes to the “new” Costa del Sol. “Today we see entirely new types of people settling here.
It is Scandinavians in their 40s who can keep up to date online or easily commute between Scandinavia and Spain,” Per Mønsted says. His point of view is backed up by Sven Källström of Alamo Real Estate. “Today we have a brand that sells itself. Security is at the top, the Coast is bursting with life and the infrastructure is better than ever. A few years ago, the Costa del Sol, the Costa Blanca and the Costa Cálida were put in the same category when you talked about Spain, but that is no longer the case. The Costa del Sol is clearly the most attractive. Our buyers know that too – and they will happily pay a little extra to move here.”
Despite a weak Swedish and Norwegian krone, which means a loss in the exchange rate with the euro of 10-20 percent compared to the past, 2019 has been Alamo Real Estate’s best so far since it was founded ten years ago. The brokerage has a good hold on the Swedish and Norwegian markets and Sven Källström hardly dares imagine how well it could go on the day that the Swedish and Norwegian krone regain their strength.
“We are seeing a new will to buy and invest among younger Scandinavians.
The Costa del Sol has a better reputation than ever.
The same applies to the investment opportunities.”
Positive prospects for the future are also available at Nykredit in Marbella. The past year has been very good. “There is a lot of interest in our products – especially from the Danes. They are able to buy and often want the highest possible mortgage, either to invest their liquidity or to get liquidity to live the good life,” Christel Mark Hansen from Nykredit’s Marbella office says and continues: “Our clear impression is that Scandinavians are not holding back on either buying, lending or investing. They believe in the Costa del Sol and the future. And so do we.”
Wissgar Estates certainly believes in the future, although he is a little more careful. “I am one of the people who believe prices have peaked and the market is in stagnation after many good years. This is most evident in the resale market to foreigners, where the first figures for 2019 report declining sales – not only among Scandinavians. That said, there is no drastic decline coming up, unlike in the past, and construction is currently being initiated on demand,” Finn Wissenberg says. He sees today’s market full of opportunities for future homeowners. “The right broker who knows his local area today has several good homes for good prices at hand,” Wissenberg assures, who specialises in the Calahonda/Elviria area between Fuengirola and Marbella. It is precisely the good houses at good prices that we are looking for right now.
Good prices – but no steals
Mojo Estates sees potential in Benalmádena. There are several reasons for this. “The area has received, and still receives, a big boost with the five-star Hilton Hotel, the Ibiza hotel concept, Palladium Hotel, and the beach restaurant, the Trocadero. And more is on the way. Both as a private homeowner and investor, there are very good homes at good prices here,” Per Mønsted says, and makes a spectacular comment: “The postcode has become less significant. Today it is the location of the dwelling, its quality and the potential of the area that is the most important.” The concept of potential has become one of Mojo Estates’ trademarks. The company is increasingly focusing on real estate investment. Negative interest rates and faith in the Costa del Sol’s housing market have brought the eyes of several private and medium-sized enterprises to Mojo’s investment projects.
There is plenty of potential in Fuengirola, according to Alamo Real Estate. “The city will always be a focal point for Scandinavians. Most things are in walking distance and the social life is top notch,” Sven Källström says, who sees plenty of good investment opportunities in Fuengirola. “Prices are still below the level of 2008 and we have very good houses on hand for 200,000 euros. A new exciting project in the city is “Jade Tower”, which are luxury apartments with large terraces at prices from 300,000 euros and up. This is the amount that our Scandinavian customers are buying for on average today,” becomes the penultimate word from Sven Källström. “It’s only the skilled, diligent and investment-willing estate agents who survive on the Costa del Sol. It’s easy to start as a broker here – but hard to survive. You need to work hard and have large sums of money invested in marketing. It’s far from everyone who is willing to do that.”
There is a lot of work going into finding the dream homes for the Scandinavians who love Spain.
A dream that is diligently lived out in at the moment.