During the second half of 2018 there were 50,249 property sales to foreign buyers, an interannual increase of 1.4%. Furthermore, the figure represents 18.2% of the total purchases and sales made during those six months, according to the General Council of Notaries.
Between July and December transactions carried out by foreign buyers were concentrated in areas around the Mediterranean coast and both the archipelagos. The autonomies with the greatest weight of foreign purchases were the Balearic Islands (38.5% of sales to foreign buyers), Valencia (35.4%), the Canary Islands (33,9%), and Murcia (29.6%), all exceeding the national average (18.2%).
However, in most regions of the country purchases by foreigners accounted for 10% or less: Navarra (10.0%), Aragón (10.0%), Castilla-La Mancha (9.4%), Asturias (6.3%), Castilla y León (5.3%), País Vasco (5.0%), Cantabria (4.9%), Galicia (4.5%) and Extremadura (3.3%).
Significant yet slightly lower than the national average were Andalusia (17.8%) and Catalonia (17.4%). Meanwhile, La Rioja (11.0%) and Madrid (11.2%) were several points below the national average.
British and French Buy Most
By nationality, British buyers took the top spot accounting for 15.3% of sales to foreign buyers. French buyers, along with Germans and Romanians took the next places with 8%, 7.5% and 7.1%, respectively. “The recovery of activity from the British is consolidated, shown already in the second half of 2017, when the rebound from the Brexit fallout began,” said a notary spokesperson.
Looking at the prices involved in foreign purchases, the average cost per square metre of Spanish property was 1,748 euros, 1.8% more year-on-year. Non-resident foreigners paid more (2,080 euros p/m²) than residents (1,459 euros p/m²). This was due in part to their higher purchasing power and the type of housing they usually acquire.
The most expensive regions of Spain for foreign buyers are the Balearic Islands (average of 2,987 euros p/m²), Madrid (2,254 euros), the Basque Country (2,130 euros) and Catalonia (2,008 euros). “Price evolution indicates that, in the second half of 2018, the average price in which the buyer was Spanish grew more (+4.6%) than prices for resident foreigners (+2.7%) and non-resident foreigners (+2.7%),” said the notaries.
The nationalities that spend the most money on a house in Spain are the Americans (average of 2,426 euros p/m²). The Swedes followed (2,426 euros), and the Swiss (2,304 euros). It should be noted that those prices are the average between resident foreigners and non-resident foreigners.