Home Investment

News and Articls

This is how foreigners bought their homes in 2017 in Spain: large, more homeless than ever on the coast!

The number of houses purchased by non-Spanish people in Spain exceeded 60,800 in 2017 and, according to official statistics, the record was set 10 years ago. Due to the Brexit effect, the decrease in the number of British purchases was compensated by Germans, French and Belgium. Holiday homes remain the main attraction for foreigners, with the highest relative weight in terms of sales figures in Alicante and Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Ex-pat buyers prefer houses of over 100 m2 and are increasingly mortgaged.

Spain continues to attract foreign investment in property mainly due to its sun- and beach-based tourism. Since 2009, when the country reached its lowest level, home purchases by foreigners have not stopped growing. According to the Real Estate Registry Statistics Yearbook of the Association of Property Registros, levels were then passed from just 16,000 property transactions to over 60,000 last year, the first time in history. villa

Despite this new record, foreigners' purchases of homes in Spain have lost relative importance to the total number of transactions from 13.25% in 2016 to 13.11% in 2017, while consolidating the relevance of transactions carried out by citizens of other nationalities. "Foreign demand has been one of the main factors contributing to the recovery of the Spanish immobilization market," say the registrars.

The British, the only ones who have fallen.

By nationality, we British lose relative weight, but the difference from other nationalities is still significant. The effect of Brexit led to the British buying fewer houses than in 2016, with less than 9,200 transactions, and a 10 percent drop in their record-setting figures in comparison with last year.

This decline in British transactions was offset by the growth of all other nationalities. The French registered almost 5,300 purchases and increased their weight to 8.6% of their total foreign purchases. They are followed by the Germans (7.7%), with about 4,750 purchases, the Belgians (6.4%) and 3,900, followed by the Swede (6.3%), the Italians (5.7%) and the Romanians (5.3 percent ).

"These nationalities are exactly the same as the top positions of the last few years, with remarkable consistency in Spanish demand for housing in terms of nationalities," points out the report from the registrar. "There seems to be every indication that a certain degree of restoration can occur or that levels will in any case be maintained in line with British demand which could contribute positively to the favorable housing demand cycle."

Properties by the sea, foreigners' preferred choice

The number of non-Spanish homes purchased in all the autonomous communities on the Mediterranean coast and both archipelagos has risen. The main places they invested in 2017 were the Canary Islands (31.3 percent), the Balearic Islands (31.2 percent) and the Community of Valencia (26 percent). Of these, the Canary Islands were the most popular in terms of relative weight. Following this are Murcia (18.7%), Andalusia (13.8%) and Catalonia (12.9 percent ).

"All of these locations have a high degree of coastal attractiveness that fits perfectly with Spanish nationality structure for the last few years," the registry stated.

The weight of foreign purchases in the provinces of Alicante (40.76%) and Santa Cruz de Tenerife (40.72%) is nearly equal to that of Spanish citizens. The Balearic Islands (31.2%), Girona (30.7%), Málaga (29.6%), Las Palmas (22.3%), Murcia (18.7%), Almeria (16.8%), Tarragona (14.4%) and Castelón followed (14 percent ).

The British, Swedish and Belgian ex-pats bought the most houses in Andalusia and in the Valencian Community. They have been French, Chinese and Italian in Catalonia; German, British and Italian in the Balearic Islands; and Italian, British and German in the Canary Island.

The house type: the bigger the purchasing power, the bigger the house

Although it is true that ex-pats also buy used homes generally, like Spaniards do, there are nationalities that prefer to purchase new homes. The Belgians are numbered first by 26,6%, followed by Norwegians (23,9%), Swedes (19,6%), Russians (19,3%) and Netherlands (18.1 percent ).

When we examine the size of this building, the average property purchased by ex-Pats is around 60-90 m2 (650-950 sq ft), although the higher the purchasing power, the more opportunities there are to purchase a larger house of more than 100 m2 or 1076 sq ft.

The Netherlands (48.2%), the Danes (46%), the Swiss (43.7%), the Germans (36.3%), the British (36.3%) and normals (35.3%) are those who buy most houses of this size, most of them second homes or coastal holiday homes.

Those who buy properties of about 60-80 m2 and about 80-100 m2 (850-1076 m2) tend to do so as a main residence instead of a second residence. More Romanians, Algerians, Moroccans and Bulgarians are at the top here. There are also other smaller types of tourist accommodation, less than 40 m2 or 430 sq ft, where Italians, Poles, French and Irish buy the most.

In recent years, the percentage of purchases of properties of over €500,000 by foreign buyers has increased from 5.32 percent in 2016 to 5.72 percent in last year, with 37.5 percent by non-EU buyers who can take advantage of the Golden Visa, residence permit for foreign buyers in the amount of €500,000 or more, purchased real estate in Spain.

Ex-pats mortgages increased: Work outstrips recreation

In spite of the increasing number of non-Spanish people in the housing market, the mortgage market is still scarce. In fact, while 13% of the total purchases were made by foreign nationals, only 6.8% of the loans signed in that country were made.

Interestingly, the relationship between nationality sales and mortgages is not uniform. For example, while the British make up the highest percentage of property sales, we are not the most mortgages in Spain.

The nationality with 11.5 percent of loans signed in Spain are Romanians, while it is the seventh biggest buyer. Secondly: the British (9.3%), the Chinese (8.4%) and the Italians (5.7 percent ). With the exception of the British, these are mid-level nationalities in terms of transactions.

'The nationalities leading to the purchase of property in Spain are characterized by high incomes per capita which means a lower need for funding, as can be seen by the results of mortgages for housing,' conclude the registrars.

Go Back


Blog Search


There are currently no blog comments.