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Foreigners are now buying one out of every five properties sold in Spain

The property market continues to recover, primarily thanks to foreign investors.  2015 would be boomed in Spanish Property transactions thanks to overseas buyers. Foreigners are now responsible for one out of every five Spanish property purchases.  According to information provided by the General Council of Notaries, foreign investors are contributing to the recovery of the Spanish property market as they were responsible for 15,402 house purchases (+27.2%), constituting 19% of the total 81,041 transactions carried out in the first quarter of 2014.

  • Foreigners were responsible for 19% of transactions between January and March, purchasing a total of 15,402 houses
  • The Brits, the French and the Russians are the foreigners buying the most property
  • The Basque Country, Catalonia and the Balearic Islands are seeing the greatest increase in sales
  • Foreigners are paying, on average, €1,588 per square metre; 1.3% more than during the same period in 2013
Foreign buyers are also chasing opportunities in the cities

Foreign buyers are also chasing opportunities in the cities

Statistics show that Brits (13.8%) are the main contributors, followed by the French (10.5%), Russians (8.4%), Germans (7.5%) and Belgians (6.9%).  When it comes to the most active contributors during the same period, we see an increase in the purchases made by Americans (88.9%), the Chinese (83.1%), the Irish (78%), the French (69.8%) and the Russians (62.6%).

Overall, the Russians and the Chinese were the most active foreign residents with an inter-annual growth rate from January to March of 77.7% and 66.5% (respectively).  British residents (-3.6%) and Norwegian residents (-21.6%) were the only foreign residents to see a fall in the amount of open market property purchases when compared to the first quarter of 2013.

Non-residents account for 52.8% of transactions, while residents account for 47.2%.

Statistics show that non-resident foreign investors account for 52.8% of property purchases, while the remaining 47.2% is held by foreign residents.  Purchases of open market dwellings by foreign residents increased by 38.9% when compared with the same period in the previous year, while non-resident foreign investors saw a 18.5% increase.

Following cessation of the property purchase tax relief period (which saw an increase in transactions), the volume of purchases returned to normal.   Purchases made by foreigners were greater in coastal regions, mainly due to the high demand for holiday homes among non-resident foreigners.

In autonomous communities, there has been an increase in properties purchased by foreign investors in coastal parts of the Basque Country (43.3%), Catalonia (41.1%), the Balearic Islands (36.4%), Asturias (34.8%), Andalucia (32.5%) and the Canary Islands (23.8%).  When it comes to inland regions, the Community of Madrid stands out as it saw a 42.5% increase in purchases made by foreigners. On the other hand, purchases made by foreigners in Castilla-La Mancha fell by 24.6%, in Castilla and Leon they fell by 20.1% and in Galicia they fell by 20.2%.

A gradual rise in prices

‘The rise in price per square metre seems to point to a stabilisation of the trend’

In the first three months of the year, the price per square metre for properties purchased by foreigners was 1,588 Euros, showing an inter-annual increase of 1.3%.  Notaries explain that, “in principle, the rise in price per square meter seems to point to a stabilisation of the trend.”

When it comes to residential property bought by foreign residents, the price per square meter fell by 6.4%, while properties bought by non-resident foreigners saw an increase of 7% in price per square metre.

The regional disparity in the prices of open market dwellings bought by foreign investors is high.  The following regions saw a growth exceeding the national average of 1.3%: Cantabria (33.9%), Asturias (27.7%), the Balearic Islands (27.4%), La Rioja (22.5%), Madrid (15.3%) and the Valencia Community (9.8%) while other autonomous communities saw a drop in the prices of houses bought by foreigners.


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