Who buys Spanish property where?

Costa del Sol new-build prices continue to rise in Q2 2021

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    Spanish property has long been a favourite buy among foreigners who dominate the market in some parts of the country, such as the Costa del Sol and Balearic Islands. However, the onset of the pandemic put many purchases on hold, but the latest official figures show that international buyers are back in force in Spain. 

    Non-resident purchases up nearly 65%

    In late April, the Spanish Notaries Association released its latest figures for purchases by foreigners. The data for the second half of 2021 reveals that Spanish real estate is more popular than ever, particularly among the Dutch, Irish and German. 

    Purchases by non-resident foreigners accounted for 45.2% of the total foreign quota in Spain between July and December last year. Furthermore, the transactions increased by a massive 64.5% compared to the same period in 2020. 

    Back to usual share of market

    The figures also show that international buyers have returned en masse to the Spanish property market after the Covid hiatus in 2020. They represented 18.6% of all purchases in the country, a percentage similar to the 2012-19 average of 18.7%. 

    After a brief hiccup in the wake of Brexit, British buyers once again topped the table as the largest group of buyers. They accounted for 11.8% of the total. The Germans and French stood in second and third places with a 10.4% and 8.3% market share, respectively. 

    However, some nationalities have rushed back to Spanish real estate with real enthusiasm. For example, the number of Dutch buyers skyrocketed by 104.1% in the second half of last year, compared to the same period a year earlier. 

    The Irish are also back, having purchased 99.3% more properties. And the Germans, traditional fans of property in Spain, also flooded back and increased their transactions by 84.9%. 

    Foreigners pay more for property

    The Irish are also back, having purchased 99.3% more properties. And the Germans, traditional fans of property in Spain, also flooded back and increased their transactions by 84.9%. 

    Non-residents spent an average of €2,481 per square metre, which is 11.8% more expensive than in 2020. In addition, the figure is considerably ahead of the national average (€1,503), which rose by 6.9%. 

    Swedish buyers paid most for Spanish real estate, spending an average of €2,752 per square metre. The Dutch (€2,750) and the Germans (€2,741) were close behind. 

    Favourite regions for Spanish real estate

    Almost all regions in Spain saw an increase in purchases by foreigners last year compared to 2020. The Balearic Islands saw the most significant uptick (81.5%), followed at some distance by the Canary Islands (up 57.1%) and Andalusia (55%). 

    Where do the British buy?

    In terms of nationality, the official statistics found that the British preferred Andalusia, Murcia and the Comunidad Valenciana, and represented the biggest share in all three. In Andalusia, they account for 20% of the foreign market, well ahead of Swedish buyers, who make up 14%. In Murcia, British buyers represent almost half the market, while in the Comunidad Valenciana, their share is 15%, just slightly ahead of the Germans with 13% of transactions. 

    The Germans?

    German buyers overwhelmingly prefer the islands. They dominate the market in the Balearics, where they account for 59% of all foreign buyers and in the Canaries, they have a 28% share. They’re also keen on Cantabria on the north coast and made up 38% of foreign purchases in the second half of last year.

    And the French?

    For their part, the French opt for the regions nearest France, particularly Aragon, Catalonia, the Basque Country and Navarra. They have a 47% market share in Catalonia and 37% in next-door Aragon.

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