THE Sotogrande crowd are a diverse lot, combining Madrid chic, nautical nonchalance and a dash of bling… and they’re back in town and buying big.
It is great news for the enclave’s property experts who are celebrating the recovery of the market from a crisis that shook Spain to its core.
They are unanimous that the bargain buys of last year – when prices were at 60% of pre-crisis levels – are now few and far between.
“We are seeing a new era for Sotogrande,” says Pueblo Nuevo-based BM Sotogrande director Bradley Falconer. “It’s very exciting, there are new owners, a new vision for the place which is actually in line with the original, historic Sotogrande.”
He continues: “The market is on the move while properties here continue to be much better value than in Marbella or Puerto Banus.”
Well established agent Kristina Szekely has offices in both Banus and Sotogrande, and agrees: “There is amazing value to be had in Sotogrande, the properties are mostly very well-constructed and the climate and space here is second to none.”
The agent, who has another office in nearby Gibraltar, adds: “It is the perfect place for families to look for a safe environment to bring up kids.”
It appears that Sotogrande’s near-perfect climate, highly-regarded international school and wealth of sporting activities will always be a big draw for families wishing to relocate here.
“It’s a relaxed, easy life here and still quite unknown which adds to the charm,” explains Monique Westdorp of Sotogrande Exclusive.
“I am seeing a real increase in sales and because an American investment group is now in charge, I can see people are more willing to buy in the area.”
The Dutch expat finishes: “Prices are going up – and I expect them to go up further next year – and we are already seeing that with the rental market.”
Ben Bateman, at Holmes, says prices are the same as they were between 2000 and 2002 but appear cheaper as, generally, wages have increased 20 to 30% since then.
“Sotogrande has really stepped up this summer, the atmosphere is buzzing with loads of interest and the exchange rate is helping for Brits,” adds Bateman.
“People are buying – and buying on a long term basis.”
Spanish yacht workers in the marina meanwhile confirmed the hub is seeing year-round interest and that, if anything, winter is the busiest time for mooring up while boaters head to Ibiza for the summer months.