Malaga the 2nd best city for work-from-home


According to a study by the consulting firm Savills, Malaga is ranked as the second-best city in the world for telecommuters, after Dubai. The pandemic and the digital revolution gave rise to a new category of professionals, known as “digital nomads”, who can work from anywhere in the world. This option is no longer limited to a select few professionals in the technology sector, as many workers and managers from various industries can work remotely and become expatriates.

Savills’ annual Executive Nomad Index report ranks the world’s most attractive cities or regions for remote workers, with a focus on digital nomad executives. Malaga made it to this list for the first time and was ranked second, overtaking Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca. Other cities that made it to the top 20 best locations for telecommuters include Miami, Abu Dhabi, Lisbon, Barbados, Algarve, and more.

Malaga’s inclusion in this international ranking can be attributed to the many positive reviews and opinions from companies like Vodafone, Citi, and Globant, as well as its excellent internet connection speed, quality of life, climate, air connectivity, and affordable high-end rental housing.

The Executive Nomad Index scores each city based on five key factors: internet connection speed, quality of life, climate, air connectivity, and price of high-end rental housing. Malaga scored 32.38 points, just two points less than Dubai, which ranked first in the list. Malaga achieved the highest score (10.38) for quality of life and scored highly for internet connectivity (8.06) and competitiveness of primary rents (5.26). The climate received an average score (4.45), which is better than Dubai or Abu Dhabi but lower than tropical destinations like Barbados, the Cayman Islands, Santa Lucia, or Miami.

DUBAI – THE BEST CITY

Dubai’s flourishing fintech and financial services sectors, coupled with its tax-free environment and high standard of living, make it an attractive destination for executive nomads seeking new opportunities. According to Swapnil Pillai, Director of Middle East research at Savills, many of these individuals have been impacted by job cuts at global tech companies, and are considering Dubai as a base to support the thriving industries in the city.

Most of these executive nomads are DINKY (Dual Income, No Kids) and prefer luxury residences in Downtown Dubai near the Financial Center (DIFC) or Dubai Marina, due to their proximity to Media City and Internet City. Pillai also notes that the city’s co-working spaces operate at almost full capacity, confirming Dubai’s position as the top destination for executive nomads. Dubai’s connectivity is also a major draw, with Dubai International being the busiest international airport in the world, and the UAE boasting the fastest mobile internet speeds globally.

MALAGA – THE SECOND BEST CITY

The Andalusian economic capital has raised the stakes in recent years as a major cultural and tourist destination, known for its excellent museums and beautiful old town. Malaga received special attention this year: Google created its new cyber security center here, which includes 2,500 m2 of office space and is located on Paseo de La Farola.

You can read about Google’s new cyber security center here

While the wealthy have traditionally moved into large villas on the city’s east side, the west side is the new focal point for renewal and landmark developments. Among them is the Sierra Blanca Tower, whose prices represent a new benchmark for Málaga, hovering around 10,000 euros per square meter.

The typical rent for first-class apartments is 15-22 euros per square meter, but the demand is much higher than the supply.

“Executive nomads want everything ready when they move in, including furniture and internet. There is a high demand for fully furnished and connected properties among executive nomads, but the real estate market falls short of meeting this demand, says Perez-Peña. Nowadays, we see a lot of new companies that serve this market, but there is not enough real estate.”

He adds that there is also a shortage of high-quality office space and co-working spaces. “We didn’t build enough to meet the demand”.

MIAMI – THIRD BEST CITY

The fine line of sunshine, low taxes, and beautiful beaches have long made Miami one of the most popular destinations for Americans looking for a better quality of life. The current influx of executive nomads includes emigrants from New York and Chicago financial firms.

“This affluent demographic has driven demand for luxury real estate to an all-time high, making it more challenging for families moving here to find the best private schools,” says Cyril Bijaoui, a broker partner at Corcoran.

They like areas like Miami Beach, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, and Key Biscayne and prefer single-family homes) over condominiums. Those looking to rent before buying will find that price increases have moderated somewhat now, after a period of very high demand and tight supply and rapid inflation, notes Bijaoui.

However, about half of the nomads in leadership positions – many of whom are thinking long-term and have signed commercial leases for office space for more than 10 years or bought commercial real estate – are buying apartments.

“They generally don’t like to waste money on rent,” says Bijaoui. “They are used to ownership and are not afraid of reselling and moving.”

MALAGA – CLIMATE – CULTURE – PUBLIC SAFETY

According to Savills, all locations included in the rankings “have a digital nomad visa program or equivalent, or are already part of a large economic bloc that allows people to move freely to live or work there; they offer a year-round favorable climate, high quality of life and established,  first-class housing markets  ”.

The  report  highlighted that Malaga “has become a major cultural and tourist destination in recent years, known for its excellent museums and beautiful old town”. “The arrival of highly listed companies like Google is a big milestone for Malaga. These companies all say that Málaga is the place to be and their word of mouth is spreading”.

THE DIGITAL NOMAD VISA IS NOW AVAILABLE IN SPAIN

The report noted that the  introduction of Spain’s digital nomad visa  in 2022 “undoubtedly contributed to Malaga” breaking into second place in the ranking. “The city’s attractive climate, beaches, culture and gastronomy are big plus points, but also the relatively affordable rental market; costs are half that of European competitors in the index. Malaga International Airport is easily accessible from the city center, which is an added advantage for executive nomads who need to travel regularly. Savills recalled that a direct flight from New York to Malaga was launched earlier this year.

Restaurant prices, rents and daily life in Malaga are still cheap compared to other big European cities, and people feel “safe” in the city, Pérez-Peña added.