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Sales to Foreign Buyers Increasing

Spanish property attracts foreign buyers
Spanish property attracts foreign buyers

Spanish property attracts foreign buyers

In the first half of this year, the purchase of free housing by foreign buyers increased by 13.4% year-on-year.

The number of British buyers fell slightly as expected in the wake of the Brexit referendum and an uncertain future. However, the number of Chinese and continental Europeans buying in Spain increased, according to a report from the General Council of Notaries.

There were 50,087 purchases by foreign buyers, 19.4% of the total property purchases in the first six months of 2017. Of those transactions, 46.6% were made by non-resident foreigners, an increase of 5.1% year-on-year, 4.9 points more than in the second half of the previous year. The remaining 53.4% of operations were by resident foreigners, the highest proportion since 2011. Transactions by foreign residents increased by 21.8% year-on-year, 8.3 points more than in the second half of 2016.

The purchase of free housing by foreign buyers increased in all autonomous communities. The most significant increases occurred in Castilla y León (39%), Navarra (43.8%) and La Rioja (74.8%). The smallest increases were recorded in the Balearic Islands (5.3%), Andalusia (5.4%) and Murcia (5.7%).

Fewer British Buyers

By nationality, it is British buyers making the most purchases (13.9%), followed by French (8.8%), German (8.2%), Italian (7.7%) and Romanian (6.9%). Buyers from all nationalities increased except for the Danes (-1,7%), Swedes (-3,2%) and especially Brits with 16.4% fewer buying property in the first half of 2017.

The proportion of purchases by foreign buyers from outside of the EU was also high (10.6%). Those from other countries with significant presence in the Spanish property market include Morocco (5.7%), China (4.7%) and Russia (3.0%).

Resident versus Non-resident

When looking at purchases by foreign buyers resident in Spain in the first half of the year the largest increases were among the Americans (49.6%) and Moroccans (36.2%), while only the Danish (-20.3 %) and British (-4.6%) buyers reduced. Among non-resident foreigners, the majority increased their purchases, highlighting those from Morocco (45.1%), Portugal (55.8%) and Romania (90.3%), while fewer sales came from Ireland ( -1.2%), Sweden (-4.1%) and especially the United Kingdom (-21.0%).

The average price per square metre of operations carried out by foreigners increased by 2.9% year-on-year. The increase in prices was recorded both among non-residents (4.5%) and residents (2.9%). Non-residents appeared to pay more than residents (€1,941 /m² versus €1,405 /m²).

The price foreign buyers paid for their property fell in seven communities highlighting Murcia (-7.2%), Castilla-La Mancha (-7.3%) and Extremadura (-25.4%).