Foreign demand for housing in Spain has maintained good performance in recent years, reaching a new high in 2016 when 13.5% of homes sold were bought by foreigners. This is similar to the results seen in recent years (13.2% in 2015, 13% in 2014), and almost 10 points clear of the historical low seen in 2009 when only 4.2% were sold to foreign buyers. This consolidates seven consecutive years of growth, according to data released by the Association of Registrars.
By autonomous community, the islands lead the results with more foreign buyers. The Balearic Islands achieved the highest result with 32.9% of property sales being to foreign buyers, while the Canary Islands saw 30.49% sold to foreigners. In Valencia, 2016 saw 26.66% of homes sold to foreign buyers, while in Andalucía the share of sales was 15.06%.
By province, Alicante topped the rankings with 43% of homes sold to foreign buyers. Following was Tenerife (40%), Malaga (34%), the Balearic Islands (32.9%) and Girona (30%). The lowest figures are seen in Lugo, Cáceres, A Coruña, Orense and Salamanca, where foreigners barely make up 1% of home sales.
Eight out of ten mortgages in 2016 were for housing
Of all the new mortgages taken out in 2016 a massive 79.1% were for home buyers. This represents significant growth from the previous year when the amount was 74.6%. The number of mortgages taken for undeveloped urban land increased from 6.6% in 2015, to 7.7% in 2016. The percentage of new mortgages taken for commercial property fell to 7.3%, down from 10.7% in the previous year. A similar situation is seen with industrial buildings falling from 4.4% in 2015, to 3.8% in 2016.
Regarding the surface area of homes bought in 2016, buyers continue to opt in most cases for a medium to large property. Properties with a surface area of 40m² or under accounted for 4% of sales. Those with an area of 40-60m² accounted for 17.6% of sales. Properties with an area between 60 and 80m², accounted for 28.7% of sales. Larger properties, those above 80m², accounted for almost half of home sales reaching 49.7%.
By autonomous community, Castilla-La Mancha, Navarra and Extremadura stand out with two-thirds of properties sold in those communities having an area of more than 80m².