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British Still Most Numerous Foreign Buyers

Brits still dominate sales to foreign buyers
British buyers still dominate sales to foreign buyers

Brits still dominate sales to foreign buyers

The sale of property to foreign buyers fell by 3.2% in the first half of 2019. Non-resident foreign buyers accounted for 41% of those transactions, a fall of 9.7%. Resident foreign buyers accounted for 59%, representing an increase of 1.9%, according to data from the General Council of Notaries.

Purchases by foreign buyers varied greatly across autonomous communities. The most pronounced fall occurred in the Canary Islands with a 20.1% fall, and the Balearic Islands where sales to foreign buyers fell 13.7%. Falls were also seen in Aragon (-5.8%), and Madrid (-8.1%)

The most notable increases were seen in Cantabria (+47.6%), Asturias (+41.1%), and Galicia (+17.1%). However, most of the inland communities showed very high growth, reaching double digits in Castilla y León (31.0%), Extremadura (22.9%) and Castilla-La Mancha (20.4%).

Sales to foreigners in the Mediterranean coasts was uneven, registering increases in Murcia (9.6%) and Catalonia (7.8%) and falls in the Valencian Community (-4.6%) and Andalusia (-5.7%).

Sales to foreign buyers accounted for 18.6% of the total sales nationwide. This was exceeded in the Valencian Community (36%), the Canary Islands (35.3%), the Balearic Islands (34.3%), and Murcia (28.5 %).

Nationalities and Prices

The British remained as the foreign buyers with the greater proportion of sales accounting for 12.9%. The increase in the number of buyers from Morocco (21.4%), Argentina (12.7%) and the USA (11.3%) stands out. The most notable falls were buyers from Portugal (-8.6%), Ireland (-7.3%) and Italy (-1.3%).

Despite obvious Brexit worries, Brits still made up a large proportion in many communities. In Andalucia, British buyers accounted for 25% of sales to non-resident foreign buyers. In Murica, they accounted for over half (53%), while in Valencia Brits accounted for 19%.  On the Balearic Islands, British buyers made up 16% of non-resident foreign buyers. They even got noticed in Northern Spain accounting for 10% in Asturias, 9% in Cantabria and 13% in Navarra.

The average price per square meter of operations carried out by foreigners grew 2.5% year-on-year. This growth was higher for non-residents (5.8%) than for residents (1.3%) and a higher price is maintained for the former (€2,099 versus €1,428 p/m²). The price evolution was triggered by Autonomous Communities: prices soared in Cantabria (17.2%) and decreased in Extremadura (-22.8%), Asturias (-14.7%), La Rioja (-13. 0%) and Aragon (-12.0%).

The majority of foreigners who buy a property go to a notary for the legal control they perform and the legal security provided by the public deed.