Killer Deals in the “Garden of the Costa del Sol”

We need to talk about the Costa del Sol…

For decades, Spain’s sun-drenched southern coast has been a magnet for vacationers and expats.

It’s not hard to understand why. This is one of the world’s most inherently desirable destinations. It’s beautiful…endlessly sunny…and boasts stunning beaches, historic towns and cities, world-class golf courses, and incredible marinas, shopping and entertainment.

A playground of royalty and celebrities since the ’50s, the Costa del Sol is arguably the world’s first true “internationalized” destination.

Now, though, something new and extraordinary is happening there…

Every year millions of vacationers flock to the stunning beaches of the Costa del Sol on Spain’s sun-soaked southern coast.

I’ve been predicting and tracking the rise of remote work for decades…

In the early days of COVID, I realized the pandemic would be the great accelerator of this trend. And I predicted that remote viewings of properties would go mainstream…city center office space would become less vital…and remote workers would continue flocking to desirable overseas destinations in even greater numbers…

The speed and scale of this transformation is now becoming apparent.

Recently, passengers numbers for 2023 were released for Malaga-Costa del Sol Airport.

Last year, the airport saw 22.3 million passengers. That’s not only a new record high, it’s a massive 21.1% more than in 2022. So, the airport didn’t just beat its record passenger number, it smashed it.

The Costa del Sol is one of the most developed tourist destinations in the world. It’s not normal for an advanced market like this to record such insane growth.

And yet we’re seeing trends like this right across our global beat.

From Cabo to the Costa del Sol, from Portugal’s Algarve to Playa del Carmen on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, the world’s most desirable destinations are seeing huge influxes of people—vacationers, retirees, young families, digital nomads, work-from-anywhere professionals.

And many of those coming are staying for months or even years at a time.

This is a huge opportunity for real estate investors…

The Costa del Sol has been a playground of the ultra-rich for decades.

Malaga province, where the Costa del Sol is located, is one of the fastest growing provinces in Spain, and nine out of 10 of its new residents are from overseas according to recent data.

Many of these arrivals are work-from-anywhere professionals.

Outside of Malaga City, the most popular destination for work-from-anywhere professionals on the Costa del Sol is what’s known as the Golden Triangle—the three towns of Marbella, Estepona and Benahavís. In Marbella alone, demand for long-term rentals is up 40% in the past year, according to a new report.

Marbella is where the Costa del Sol was born.

In the 1940s, a German prince, Max von Hohenlohe, bought a Mediterranean hideaway for his family—an old farm facing the sea in Marbella, then a small fishing village.

Prince Max was an old snowbird, he just wanted a place in the sun by the sea. His son Alfonso, on the other hand, was a bit of a playboy…

Alfonso had gone to the U.S. to study agriculture but came back a graduate of the high-end nightclub scenes of New York and California. Alfonso opened a small hotel. The idea was simple: to create a playground for European royalty and international celebrities…

The Marbella Club was born and it became the destination for the jet set. They all came: Grace Kelly, Ava Gardner, Marlon Brando, Orson Welles, Brigitte Bardot, Frank Sinatra. Audrey Hepburn lived full-time in a private villa in the Marbella Club.

When the age of mass tourism arrived, people flocked to the Costa del Sol and to Marbella.

Today, the area from Marbella to Puerto Banús, a nearby marina town, is one of the most prestigious in all of Europe. There are Michelin-star restaurants and 5-star resorts. Celebrities own here. Homes sells for millions, even tens of millions.

But now, there’s virtually no room left to develop. Puerto Banús and Marbella are reaching a point of overdevelopment….even as more and more people come.

So, development is pushing west to the other end of the triangle: Estepona.

The charming town of Estepona is seeing huge new investment as development pushes west from Marbella and Puerto Banús.

Over the past decade, the area around Estepona has undergone a stunning transformation, with new world-class golf courses, 5-star resorts, incredible marinas, and million-dollar residential communities.

That was helped in large part by a new highway that was built in 1998. Before that highway, it would have taken you 90 minutes to get from Malaga airport to Estepona. Today it’s less than an hour.

As the money has flowed in, Estepona has become one of the prettiest towns on the Costa del Sol.

It’s home to pristine palm tree-lined promenades that meander beside the glistening Mediterranean…charming, cobblestoned squares filled with orange trees that give the town the smell of orange blossoms in springtime…winding alleys of white-washed homes, with hanging baskets of flowers that add riotous splashes of color…

And then there are its glorious beaches, botanical gardens, and glass-domed orchidarium…

This constant presence of lush trees and vibrant flowers has earned Estepona the nickname the “Garden of the Costa del Sol.”

Estepona is called the “Garden of the Costa del Sol” due to its flower-filled alleys and tree-lined streets.

As it’s developed, Estepona has worked to retain its traditional Spanish charm in a way that many other towns along this stretch of coast have not.

Sure, you’ll now find modern symbols of wealth—organic supermarkets, luxury shopping, high-end restaurants—but it also has quaint cafés and rustic tapas bars that harken back to yesteryear.

You’ll also find these incredible murals all over town…a symbol of its vibrancy and energy.

All of this gives Estepona a unique flavor. I can think of few destinations in Spain or anywhere else that so effortlessly merge modernity and tradition…

Last time I scouted Estepona, I took some time to explore its murals. You’ll find murals like this scattered all around town…adding to Estepona’s charm and vibrancy.

Estepona has long been a key destination on my beat.

Over the past decade, as Spain bounced back from the global financial crisis, I’ve brought members of my premium Real Estate Trend Alert service some incredible deals in and around the town. Here’s a brief sample…

  • Gain of €155,000 ($168,500): I brought RETA members a deal to own sea-view homes in a community called Rock Bay. One RETA member bought here in 2018 for €230,000 and sold several years later for €385,000. One of my Costa del Sol contacts tells me these homes would now sell for at least €550,000.
  • €131,000 ($142,000) More: In 2016, I brought RETA members an opportunity to own in a community called Dama de Noche. RETA members could buy here from €254,000. A condo that a RETA member bought here has since been sold for €385,000—an increase of €131,000.
  • Uplift of €180,100 ($195,500): RETA member got in on a deal to own luxury homes in a golf community called Ibergolf. A RETA member who bought here in 2017 for €189,900 sold last year for €370,000.
  • A boost of €223,000 ($241,500): We had a RETA opportunity at Casares Costa in 2020. A condo that a member bought here for €327,000 was sold in late 2023 for €550,000—an incredible boost of €223,000.

Deals like this are becoming rarer in and around Estepona as the town hits a whole new level…

But about to unveil something special for members of my Real Estate Trend Alert group…

The chance to own luxury sea-view condos close to Estepona and within walking distance to the beach at killer pricing. These sea-view condos are in an incredible, amenity-rich community and I expect them to be worth €120,000 more just three years after delivery.

The full details will be in a special alert for RETA members coming very soon.

If you’re a RETA member, stay tuned to your alerts…

If you’re not a member, you can find out more about RETA here.

Wishing you good real estate investing,


Ronan McMahon, Overseas Real Estate Expert

P.S. The plans for this community are exceptional. The next-level amenities include a saltwater swimming pool, gym, spa, co-working space with terrace, beach volleyball court, underground parking, jogging path, pergola for yoga, meditation and Pilates, children’s play area, and golf practice green. This is something special…

RETA members will get all the details in their alerts soon…

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