TO a casual passer-by, the imposing site of multimillion euro mansions that pepper the Costa del Sol’s ‘Golden Triangle’ are the ultimate show of decadence and wealth.

However the industry that makes these palaces possible brings in a substantial economic boost to the region according to a recent study.

The not very catchily titled Association of Employers for High Quality Housing (DOM3) estimates that the appearance of exclusive properties between Marbella, Benahavis and Estepona generate €500 million in revenue during their building.

On top of that, the gargantuan projects employ over 3,500 direct and 9,500 indirect jobs in both construction, maintenance and logistics.

In total, the DOM3, with the help of the Real Estate Association, have 120 villas on record that exceed the €1 million mark in the Golden Triangle.

According to president of the DOM3, Laura Pou, the creation and sales of these high end properties are an individual industry in itself, requiring ‘estate agencies, lawyers, notaries, engineers, architects, decorators, installers specialised in hydraulics and electricity, painters, landscapers, specialists in natural stone or home automation’.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry has shown a great resilience to the economic downturn that has swept the country.

“The sector appears to be immune to the crisis, and it continues to be a benchmark economic engine on the western Costa del Sol,” said Pau.

The three municipalities of Marbella, Benahavis and Estepona hold some of the most luxurious villas in Andalucia and has been a long time home to wealthy celebrities and business moguls.

In a recent survey done by local estate agent, the Golden Mile in Marbella comes in top for the most expensive place to live in Southern Spain, with prestigious addresses such as Santa Margarita, Puente Romano and La Torres de Marbella.

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