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Here you will find news, views, events and information relating to real-estate in Spain.

Foreigners Buy a Third of Homes on the Islands

40% of property in Tenerife was sold to foreigners
40% of property in Tenerife was sold to foreign buyers

Foreign buyers flock to the Spanish islands

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.

Surface Area

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.


Rental Costs Increased In Q1

Average rent costs up 8.8% in Q1
Average rental costs up 8.8% in Q1

Average rent costs up 8.8% in Q1

The price of rental property in Spain increased by 8.8% during the first quarter of 2017. The average price of rental property now stands at 8.9€ per square metre, per month.

According to research from idealista, the increase in rental costs is being driven by increased demand. The demand is being led by two distinct groups. On one hand, there are all the people who have no choice but to rent. Many could afford a mortgage payment but do not have the necessary savings to pay the deposit (usually around 30% of the property value). While on the other hand, there is a large number of people who choose to rent even though they have other options, many of them aware of the sacrifices and risks involved in signing a mortgage.

Meanwhile, the supply of rental properties has not experienced strong growth, leading to a significant increase in prices that have been “hibernating” for the last 10 years. The prediction for the next few months, based on current idealista data, does not look good for tenants. As the economy improves and job creation increases, the cost of rent could continue to rise. However, signs in Barcelona and Madrid, the largest cities as far as the rental market is concerned, are that growth has slowed in the last quarter.

Autonomous Communities

All the communities recorded higher prices at the close of the first quarter, when compared to the previous quarter. The highest increase was recorded in the Balearic Islands, where costs increased by 15.9% in Q1. Madrid followed with an increase of 5.1%, followed by the Canary Islands (+5%), and Catalonia (+4.9%). Andalucía saw rental costs increase by 3.1% in the first quarter of 2017, while the annual increase was 5.1%.

The lowest increases are seen in Aragon (0.4%), Extremadura (0.4%), Castilla La Mancha (0.6%) and Asturias (0.9%).

Catalonia is currently the most expensive community to rent with an average cost per square metre of 13.9€ per month. Madrid is next with an average monthly cost of 13.5€ per square metre. In Andalucía the average cost is 6.6€ per square metre, per month.


40 provinces saw an increase in rental costs during Q1. The largest increase was in the Balearic Islands, where prices have increased by 15.9%. Significant increases were also seen in Palencia (8.8%), Las Palmas (7.6%), Girona (7%) and Zamora (6.7%). The largest falls occurred in Teruel (-4.9%), followed by Cáceres (-2.3%) and Zaragoza (-1.7%).

In Málaga, the increase was 2.6% in Q1, while the annual increase (compared to Q1 2016) was 8.9%. The current average cost of a square metre, per month, in the province of Málaga is 8.3€.

Property Sales Increased in February

Property sales increased 9.9% in February
Property sales increased 9.9% in February

Property sales increased 9.9% in February

February saw a total of 38,176 property sales/purchases, representing a year-on-year increase of 9.9%.

By type of housing, the sale of flats showed an annual increase of 12.9%. The increase was lead mainly by the increase in sales of resale properties (+14.5%). In contrast, the number of new properties sold decreased by 1.7%, year-on-year. Single family property sales showed an annual increase of 5.1%.

In terms of the average price, a square metre of property purchased in February had an average cost of 1,305€, representing an increase of 2.5%, when compared to February 2016. This increase was due to the increase in prices for both resale property (+2.6%) and also for new property (+1.9%).

The average price of a square metre of resale property stood at 1,426€, while the average price of new property stood at 1,809€ per square metre.

Finally, the number of sales of non-residential property reached 9,074, according to the data from the Notary General Council. Of those transactions, 37.3% related to land sales. The average price for land stood at 200€ per square metre, a 2.2% increase year-on-year.


The number of new mortgage loans taken in February was 24,625, representing an annual decrease of 5.8%. The average amount of those new loans was 159,927€, representing a year-on-year increase of 5%.

Puerto de la Bajadilla Expansion Will Proceed


Mayor assures the project will go ahead

Marbella’s Mayor, José Bernal, and the Minister of Development, Felipe López, visited the Puerto de la Bajadilla, in Marbella, over the weekend and made assurances that there will be “full cooperation” between the two administrations to ensure that the port expansion project becomes a reality.

The visit follows the failed project involving Sheikh Al-Thani which was plagued by delays and failures from the start.

The councillor explained that the City Council and the Andalusian Government have held a meeting to address the future of the port. He said that “our interest is that, once the legal situation is resolved, the work will be executed immediately”.

The Minister of Public Works is hoping that the High Court of Justice of Andalusia (TSJA) will dismiss the request for precautionary measures that the previous concessionaire had so that they “will have the freedom to act with the highest speed possible” and to “tender a new and transparent public tender”.

Repeated Failures

The mayor stated that they understood a lot of time has been wasted. However, the delays are not attributable to the administration. “We have unfortunately reached this point because of repeated failures by the previous tenderer, which led us to rescind the concession”.

The city council say that their main objective is to open a window of business and employment opportunities for Marbella. They also stress that the board, given the recent failures, has assumed control to “guarantee public services”.

Lastly, Bernal pointed out that the existing enlargement project could still be used as a starting point. “[the plan] has the relevant costs and environmental authorisation and, if there is a substantial change, it would have to be started from scratch, which will not help the project to move forward at the speed we desire”.

The original plan for Puerto de la Bajadilla tendered by Abdullah Bin Nasser Al-Thani included enlarging the marina to house 1,220 sport crafts of between 6 and 125 meters in length, as well as being able to handle cruise liners of up to 170 meters. A large commercial centre and hotel were also included in the plans. The project stalled due to late or failed payments as well as missed deadlines.

Q1 Saw Resale Property Prices Fall

Q1 closed with a 2.2% drop in prices
Q1 closed with a 2.2% drop in property prices

Q1 closed with a 2.2% drop in prices

Somehow, we are already into the second quarter of 2017 and resale property prices in Spain marked the end of Q1 with a decline of 2.2%. This leaves the average price of a square metre of property at 1,513 Euros. The annual variation is -2.5%, according to the latest data from idealista.

Fernando Encinar, head of idealista studies, says that “despite the fact that most studies and statistics are already talking about rising house prices in Spain, the idealista report still registers declines at the national level.”

Encinar further explains that the data shows that “market normalization is occurring at different speeds, and these differences can be seen even within large cities.” Additionally, he points out that “while it is true that there are real estate products that are rising in prices in certain areas where there has been more job creation and in which there is more interest from investors, much of the country sees the prices of both purchase and rental continue to fall”.

He also added that the process we’ve been through in the last decade has been “to change in some way the mentality of the Spanish and to break out of the three great mantras that for decades governed the real estate market: “The cost housing never goes down”, “I will never sell for below what I paid” and “To rent is to throw money away”.

Autonomous Communities

Three communities saw resale property prices increase during the first quarter. The biggest rise was seen in the Balearic Islands where prices increased by 4.4%. Aragon followed with a price increase of 0.5%, while on the Canary Islands prices increased by 0.1%. Cantabria saw prices remain stable while all other communities saw prices fall.

The largest fall in resale property prices was seen in Navarra (-3.4%). They were followed by Asturias (-2.9%), Castilla La Mancha (-2.5%), and Madrid and Catalonia (-1.8% in both).

The most expensive community is unchanged with Euskadi at the top with an average price of 2,478 euros/m². The Community of Madrid follows with an average per square metre of 2,332 euros. Following are the Balearic Islands and Catalonia with an average price per square metre of 2,060 euros and 1,867 euros, respectively.

In Andalucía, the average price per square metre is 1,394 euros, which represents a 1.3% increase when compared to February 2017.

The cheapest community for used property is Castilla La Mancha with an average price of 896 euros/m², followed by Extremadura with an average of 932 euros/m².

Provincial Capitals

Barcelona leads the increases of the big cities, with an increase in resale property prices of 6.3%. They are followed by Valencia where prices increased by 2.3%, and Malaga (1.8%). Seville also saw an increase in prices (+0.4%). Madrid, Bilbao and Zaragoza saw prices fall by 0.1%, 0.2% and 0.4%, respectively.