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.