Welcome to the 20´sBy James Stewart, 10 Jan 2020
So it’s 2020 and the start of a new decade, the fifth different one for me here in Sotogrande and the fourth for James Stewart in association with Savills at our office here in Pueblo Nuevo de Guadiaro, Sotogrande’s satellite village. For Sotogrande, the eighties saw the opening of the frontier with Gibraltar after eighteen years of closure and, thus, the availability of an airport twenty minutes away which bought an influx of new UK buyers as well as wealthy Gibraltarians finally able to move freely into Spain. The nineties was the decade of Valderrama and the Ryder Cup with Sotogrande emerging as a fantastic golfing destination frequently seen on television golfing channels and written about in the sporting media.
The noughties were the years of crazy expansion with the 1200 odd apartments in the Sotogrande Marina being built and successfully sold and hundreds of houses in Sotogrande Alto constructed, suddenly creating a fully developed and consolidated urban area. Prices in Sotogrande Costa, particularly on Royal Sotogrande golf course, doubled in the space of two to three years from 2002. Heady times indeed which came to a shuddering halt at the end of the decade with prices falling off a cliff and transactions drying to hardly even a trickle. This meant the early twenty teens were depressing years indeed for Sotogrande with a very slow and sometimes even dead property market and no investment at all from the owners of the principal assets and remaining development land in Sotogrande. However, the owners, NH Hotels, struck a deal to sell in late 2014 and the new owners, Orion Capital Managers, slowly embarked on a programme of new investment and brand recognition for the remainder of the decade.
So it’s 2020 and how will this new decade be defined? We are certainly overdue a dynamic decade and the signs seems favourable. Above all, the new SO/SOTOGRANDE hotel, will bring us in 2021 the luxury hotel we have always needed. After the massive disappointment of Hotel Almenara, which did nothing for Sotogrande’s image or reputation for certain exclusivity, we are looking forward to Five Star luxury with fine dining and a magnificent state of the art spa. La Reserva will also shortly see the construction of more €5m plus homes as this area advances its claim to be the jewel in Sotogrande’s residential crown. Meanwhile, the prestigious Kings and Queens ares of Sotogrande Costa has quietly been recording new price levels well above pre-recession levels and we are seeing a shortage of supply of good second homes. We should also start to welcome the return of British buyers as the uncertainty of Brexit recedes and they see new standards of excellence spreading through the resort.
With the right will, vision, proper management and, above all, positivity from all of us who have the good fortune to live and work in Sotogrande, 2020 and the new decade should herald a new and explosive era in Sotogrande’s nearly sixty year history. Let’s go for it and make it the best decade yet.