Estepona – On Trend for US Investment?

by Thomas Harper

American investor interest in southern Spain has shown a significant increase in the past five years. This growing trend has been underlined in the inaugural Real Estate Trend Alert (RETA) International Real Estate Index, recently published in International Living magazine.

In the report, compiled by RETA’s international network of property experts, Estepona was listed as the third best place to buy real estate globally, tied with Rocha in Uruguay and Riviera Maya in Mexico.

To create the RETA index, experts looked at destinations that excelled in at least two of the following areas: value for money, growth potential (and thus the potential to deliver strong capital appreciation, strong appeal to short-term and long-term renters from home and abroad), and excellent quality of life.

Destinations were then judged across 10 equally weighted categories on a scale of one to 10. These included Income Potential, Quality of Life, Stability, International Appeal, (which also considered how internationalised a market had become, covering such factors as flight connections, internet connectivity, and visa requirements). The Path of Progress Indicator category any infrastructure that makes a place easier to get to (new roads, airports, or bridges) or more desirable (a five-star resort in a place that previously had only cheap hostels), while Relative Value was neatly summarised as "bang for your buck." Most destinations listed in the index offered exceptional value when compared to major markets in the US and Canada, with 16 of the top 20 recording an eight or above

International Real Estate expert Ronan McMahon, whose track record in spotting trends in the market include Tulúm on Mexico's Riviera Maya, in 2009 and Panama, in 2004, when he predicted that values in Panama City were about to spiral quickly, singled out some of the main reasons that Estepona is so attractive.

“The Costa del Sol in southern Spain has it all”, he wrote. ”The weather is amazing (it has 320 sunny days each year)… the beaches are stunning… and it boasts historic towns and cities, incredible locally produced food, world-class golf courses, and shopping and entertainment.

“In the pre-2008 boom years, development came hard and heavy to this region. Huge condo blocks and pricey vacation homes sprang up. Now, many of the most popular locations west of Málaga have been completely overdeveloped.

McMahon was amazed by Estepona’s recent transformation into a vibrant international resort. “On my last visit, I was blown away by how much this picturesque, whitewashed town—one of the prettiest on the entire Costa del Sol—had come to life. It offers great restaurants, the beautiful old town, and the beach. There’s a palm lined waterfront boardwalk, botanical gardens, and a glass-domed orchidarium. And it still retains its traditional Spanish charm in a way that many other towns along this coast have not.

“Prices in and around Estepona are rising fast, but it’s still possible to buy ahead of the Path of Progress if you move quickly”.

Estepona’s recognition and recommendation by one of America’s most influential Real Estate trend spotters is significant. With an increasing number of direct flights to major US cities now operating from Malaga airport and the current political uncertainty ahead of this year’s Presidential Election, Americans contemplating a move may well find the stability of Estepona’s real estate market, combined with the coast’s superb lifestyle, an irresistible investment.

You can read the full inaugural Real Estate Trend Alert (RETA) International Real Estate Index on

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