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On the Spanish coast the price is right for a dream home in the sun

SPAIN had it coming. The overdevelopment, the overpricing and the overexcitement were sure to lead to a property crisis. Which, of course, is good news for buyers who still fancy a gorgeous place in the sun. At last, the prices in Spain, particularly along the over-extended southern coast, are right.<br /><br />According to James Stewart, an associate of Savills who covers the Costa Del Sol, Sotto Grande and inland areas, prices this year are down 20-40 per cent, from &ldquo;the crazy prices of a few years ago.&rdquo;<br /><br />&ldquo;All economic laws were ignored for a long time,&rdquo; says Stewart. &ldquo;You could see it building up. As late as last August sellers and agents were keeping their heads in the sand about what was happening.&rdquo; After a &ldquo;dead&rdquo; winter, the market along the popular southern Mediterranean stretch of coast is picking up a bit now.<br /><br />&ldquo;You could certainly say this is a good time to buy,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve got lovely properties that were on for &euro;1.5m that are now going for &euro;900,000. There are great deals to be had now in Sotto Grande and Marbella, also inland, in towns such as Jimena and Gaucin.<br /><br />&ldquo;The Euro&rsquo;s softening a bit, too, which helps.&rdquo; Hello sunshine.<br /><br /><strong>MONDA, MARBELLA</strong><br />6,000 sq m mansion with exotic gardens and state-of-the-art fittings. <br />&euro;2.9 (25 per cent fall in price) <br />Savills, tel: 020 7016 3704<br /><br /><strong>EL MADRONAL, BENAHAVIS</strong> <br />Luxuy villa with superb views and all the bells and whistles of a boom-time home. <br />&euro;2.65m (25 per cent fall in price)<br />DM Properties, tel: (0034) 952 765 138<br /><br /><strong>ALTOS REALES, MARBELLA</strong><br />Elegant villa in one of the most prestigious regions above the Golden Mile. Private and luxurious, with lovely views<br />&euro;1.59m (16 per cent fall in price).<br />DM Properties, tel: (0034) 952 765 138 <br /><br /><strong>COSTA DEL SOL</strong><br />The spacious Los Robles de los Arqueros development in Los Arqueros golf club.<br />Three bedroom apartment: &euro;284,900 (23 per cent fall in price). <br />Taylor Woodrow de Espana, tel: 08000 121 020