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The Sea View Premium

"For those buyers for whom a sea view is an absolute must the key thing to ensure is that the lovely blue view isn’t going to disappear in the future."

Some buyers looking for a property on the Mediterranean  coast don’t mind if there is no sea view. They just value a pleasant outlook with nothing ugly in the way and a location within an easy stroll of the beach. However, for others a sea view is non-negotiable and they won’t buy without it. Therefore, when I am working for these clients one of the first issues to discuss is the sea view premium as there is no doubt, there is one.  On the other hand, there is always demand for a special view of the Mediterranean, making property with a sea view a solid investment and easier to sell.

In most apartment developments close to the sea there will be some properties with no sea view, some with a partial view of the water and some with the real thing. Even in apartment complexes in a frontline location, many apartments will only have a partial sea view, leaving the panoramic 180º view to those at the front of the development, full fontal to the water. Comparing prices over the years I have come to the conclusion that in the areas where the land right on the coast is more or less flat, the sea view premium starts in the region of €250,000. So if an apartment with some view of the sea sells for around €1m then a similar apartment in the same development with no view of the sea should be €750,000.

I remember one search carried out some years ago during which I reviewed 19 apartments for a client and one stood out because of the sea view. In fact I would have put it top of the short list. Unfortunately, it sold before my clients even got a chance to see it. It had been on the market at €650,000 but was reduced to €550,000 for a quick sale. As a result, buyers were all over it like a rash with it finally selling for €515,000.  Must have been a motivated seller. Meanwhile, a very pleasant apartment in the same development but missing the sea view was unsold at an asking price of €385,000.

In the case of houses and townhouses, normally built on two floors, a sea view is unlikely in a flat area unless the property is absolutely frontline to the water. For example, this property, found for clients in 2019 and only 200m from the water’s edge but on flat land, has no sea view, not even from a roof terrace. And although this client had stipulated a sea view in the initial brief another important requirement was to be walking distance to everything, shops, bars, restaurants, tennis courts, gym, etc. One they saw that it would be impossible to get both the sea view and be within walking distance of facilities, the sea view lost out.

In another case, this time in the search for a country property with a sea view. The sea view requirement was a ‘must have’ so I focused the search in an area with spectacular views of Gibraltar and the Moroccan coast. The initial short list for viewing had eight properties on it, all matching the clients’ criteria in every respect. However, after viewing the shortlisted properties the clients decided that it would be more practical to be closer to shops and other facilities, preferably walking distance. If that could be achieved, they were prepared to live without the sea view. You can read what happened in this Case Study.

In other locations, in the hills set back a bit from the coast, or where the mountains come right down to the coast the elevation of the land means that properties with spectacular sea views are easier to find. Consequently, the sea view premium isn’t such an issue, on elevated terrain most properties will have some view of the water and in many cases it will be a panoramic 180º view. 

For those buyers for whom a sea view is an absolute must the key thing to ensure is that the lovely blue view isn’t going to disappear in the future.  One of the apartments I checked out in the case I mentioned earlier had a very nice sea view. In fact, the estate agent’s details highlighted it but it didn’t take more than a minute for me to realise that it would disappear completely when a nearby plot was built on.  Surely there’s nothing worse than buying a property with a great sea view only to have it vanish behind a building a few years later.  So make sure you always find out what is scheduled to happen on vacant plots of land in the vicinity. The Property Finders will always do the due diligence for you in advance, so no nasty surprises in the future. Guaranteeing your view is crucial.

Check out our Case Studies for more about ‘sea view’ clients.

Click the image ar the top of the page to enlarge it and find out where this guaranteed 'forever' sea view is.

About the author

Barbara Wood

Barbara founded The Property Finders in 2003. More than two decades of experience and her in-depth knowledge of the Spanish property market help buyers get the knowledge they need to find the right property for them.

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