IF you want to discover the inner workings of picturesque Benalmadena Pueblo, Trevor Johnston of De Costa Properties is your man.
The expat from York, who previously owned a free house and hotel, moved here in 1984 after visiting on holiday, although fate had a large hand in the matter.
On a bus bound for Mijas in the 70s, he and wife Wendy got off at the ‘wrong stop’, fell in love with the 500 year old pueblo, came back in 1984 and have lived and worked here ever since.
De Costa Properties specialises in property within the picturesque village centre and 1km radius in each direction, collaborating with other agencies along the coast.
“During the 20 years we have worked here, I have seen Benalmadena’s market go through its ups and downs, and one property I have sold three times is a great example of this,” Trevor says.
“The two-bedroom townhouse sold for €240,000 15 years ago in 2001, €347,000 in 2006 and more recently changed hands for €270,000. You can really see how the market has changed through that.”
July and August used to be a quiet time, but last year they sold more during those two months than they usually do in a year and they’re gearing up for a similarly eventful summer.
People here fall in love with being only 2 kilometres from the beach whilst enjoying the tranquility of a Spanish white village and the wonderful views to the sea.
“They want two things: a nice terrace and sea views,” he continues.
Trevor, Wendy and daughter-in-law Mandy do their best to cater to the expat dream that so many arrive with.
Of course, the village has changed dramatically since the old days, when there were donkeys on the roads and open countryside between Arroyo de la Miel and the Pueblo.
“When I arrived here, there were about 25 cars in the pueblo and two of them were mine,” laughs Trevor.
“Now, more people drive, much of the centre of the old village has been pedestrianised and there has been plenty of new construction.”
A building boom from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s saw urbanisations spring up all around, he confirms.
“The market in the 1990s was better than the 2000s but they were still buoyant – and then the crisis hit all over Spain when prices were forced up by demand to unreasonable levels and it couldn’t continue.”
He continues: “Recovery is going well and the village continues to be a magnet for the many Nationalities including Danish, Finnish, Norwegians and, of course, the British.”
Trevor confirms there has been a noticeable hesitation in business in the lead-up to the EU referendum with UK clients.
While tourism in Greece, Turkey, and Tunisia look less and less appealing, millions of tourists will come to Spain this summer and Benalmadena village is definitely one for their must-visit list!