Luxury Real Estate: Marbella or Ibiza?

Who says luxury real estate on the Spanish coastline thinks of two areas: the city of Marbella in Andalusia or the island of Ibiza in the Balearic Islands. And yet, these two tourist resorts are very different. For simplicity, when you are young we choose Ibiza in summer, and when we are older, we live in Marbella out of season!


Marbella (Belle Mer in French) is located in Andalusia less than 60 km south of Malaga and 100 km north of the Strait of Gibraltar. The city extends along the coast on 114 km2 and has 140,000 inhabitants. Average temperatures range from 17º in December-January to 30º in July-August. Marbella enjoys 300 days of sunshine a year. There are 23 beaches on its 27 km of coast (20 km of beach).

The island of Ibiza (Ibossim for the Phoenicians) is part of the Balearic Archipelago and is located less than 80 km east of the Valencian coast. It has an area of ​​572 km2 and has 5 municipalities with a total population of 140,000 inhabitants. Average temperatures range from 12º in January-February to 26º in August. Ibiza enjoys 320 days of sunshine a year. On its 210 km of coast, there are only 18 km of beaches.

Access: advantage Marbella

Services: Marbella advantage

Beaches: quality

Heat: Marbella advantage

Sun: Ibiza advantage


The tourist development of Marbella dates back to the 50s. The major Spanish and European families transform the city into a favorite holiday resort for the international jet set. The Puerto Banus Luxury Marina (915 rings) was created in 1970. However, Marbella has been declining since the 1990s, in connection with numerous corruption scandals of local political staff.

Well served by Malaga airport (30 minutes by car), the community is experiencing a new period of success in the 2010s, benefiting in particular from a decline in tourist attendance in Arab countries around the Mediterranean, affected by terrorism.

Marbella has a hotel capacity of 13,000 beds. There are also about 5000 apartments for rent on Airbnb. More than 600,000 foreign tourists stayed there in 2017. It should be noted the very low seasonality of tourism in Marbella: they are also numerous every month from April to October, and only 2 to 3 times less numerous from November to March.

Tourism exploded in Ibiza: in 1960 there were only 37,000 tourists, then went up to 350,000 in the early 1970s and exceeded the million in the late 1980s. In the 1990s, tourist attendance ranges from 1.5 million to 2 million. In 2010, there are 3 million visitors and in 2016 … more than 4 million, including nearly 3 million from June to September!

The island is saturated in the middle of the summer in the hotel beds (46,000) but especially by the offers of tourist rentals: more than 100,000 offered (of which more than half are illegal). This situation of “tourist anarchy” creates serious problems in July-August for the resident population (and the “regulars” of Ibiza), some of which calls into question more and more the artificial identity “festive, multicultural, fun and cosmopolitan “which has been created for 40 years.

Animation: advantage Ibiza in summer, and Marbella out of season

Mastery of tourist flows: Marbella advantage


Whether in Marbella or Ibiza, the prices are at the highest.

The real estate market in Marbella has restarted in 2012, two years before the rest of Spain, thanks to foreign investors. Prices are even 10% higher than the highest level before the 2007 crisis while on average in the rest of Spain, they are still 20% lower. In 2017, 4275 real estate transactions were registered in Marbella, twice as many as in 2008. The average selling price is 3145 € / m2 according to Idealista.

In Ibiza, the exponential growth in the number of tourists in recent years has generated a high price inflation. It is in 2014 that the real estate market has restarted on the island with a spectacular increase of 47% of real estate transactions compared to 2013. In 2017, there were 2386 real estate transactions in Ibiza, twice more than in 2013! The prices are much higher than before the crisis of 2007, 5520 € / m2 according to Idealista, which makes it one of the most expensive areas of Spain.

Real Estate: Marbella advantage

Real Estate Price: Marbella Advantage


In both tourist resorts, there are dozens of super luxury real estate offers worth more than € 6 million, almost all of them villas of more than 500 m2 with land, pool (and sea views in Ibiza):

  • Marbella has about forty real estate offers at more than 6 million € (5600 € / m2 on average)
  • Ibiza, there are about thirty real estate offers at more than 6 million € (7600 € / m2 on average)

Super Luxury Real Estate Prices: Marbella Advantage

  • Ibiza for a risky and highly profitable investment in the short term because we are facing a tourist bubble in a closed space (an island) which will necessarily be corrected by the local authorities (on the model of what the big Spanish cities do)
  • Marbella for a safe investment and good long-term profitability. Tourist pressure is lower in Marbella and attendance is much more spread over the year.


With more than 20 years of experience in real estate acquisition procedures in Spain, we are at your disposal to assist you with all the necessary steps from the search for a property to services offered after the acquisition. When you are buying a home in Spain we help with organizing the visits of properties, the legal verification of the properties, the obtaining of a mortgage, the administrative procedures and the signature of the different notarized documents.
Do not hesitate to contact us!
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