Since reaching an all-time low in 2013 (thanks to lingering effects of the financial crisis), the area's housing market has begun to boom. The number of estate agents operating in the area has grown by 43 per cent.
Malaga Province has seen the creation of 14,600 new businesses since 2013. 2,900 of those businesses are in the real estate sector.
Malaga's total number of agencies reached 9,600 in January of 2017. Many estate agents were forced out of the industry during the last economic slump, but their ranks have now been replenished and the market is as busy and promising as ever.
The National Institute of Statistics (INE) publishes an annual report on local economic activity in the Central Business Directory. The latest figures show that almost 20 per cent of Malaga's new businesses are estate agencies.
The INE's dataset incorporates all forms of business into its 'local unit' count. This includes independent agencies, self-employed agents, chain agencies, and franchises.
Just prior to 2008's global financial crisis, Malaga Province was home to more than 13,200 agencies. This fell to a low of 6,750 by 2013, but recovery is now well and truly underway. Malaga saw the opening of 650 new estate agencies in just the last financial year.
There is no clearer sign of the recovery and increasing popularity of the Spanish property market than the surging estate agency count. In the last four years, estate agencies beat out multiple other industries in terms of new businesses opened. Malaga had more new estate agents than supermarkets, food and beverage service companies, construction companies, financial services companies (including insurance), and mechanics workshops.
The burgeoning market for local agents has been a great boon to the region's employment figures as well. The number of agency workers (both salaried and self-employed) rose by 51 per cent.
Malaga Province is now second in the nation for property sales scaled to population. At 17.16 sales per thousand inhabitants, Malaga is behind only Alicante with its 17.37. Both Almeria (at 13.75) and the Balearic Islands (13.25) lag significantly behind these two leaders.
In the period between June 2016 and June 2017, Malaga Province saw 28,271 recorded home sales, positioning it at the forefront of the current Spanish housing boom. According to the Registrar's Association, that figure represents a 9.25 per cent increase over the last year.
On the national stage, Malaga Province is fourth in the rankings for total number of properties sold. Madrid (63,037), Barcelona (51,010), and Alicante (32,068) came in ahead of Malaga, but Valencia, Baleares, Sevilla, Murcia, Las Palmas, and Tenerife all fell below Malaga Province.
Industry experts point to Malaga's beautifully developed and maintained coast and the province's considerable tourist appeal as the source of sustained foreign demand for property. The market is bolstered primarily by resales, which represent 81.5 per cent of Malaga Province sales (compared to the national average of 82 per cent). The remainder of the sales involve newly-built homes.
According to Tinsa, the valuation company, Costa del Sol is demonstrating an exceptionally strong recovery (compared to other areas on the Spanish coast) due to the rapid increase in both prices and number of purchases.