“The number of foreigners buying property in Spain reached record numbers last year, with over 94.000 real estate transactions”
The foreign property boom in Spain shows no signs of stopping: according to latest government data (Spanish Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda), the Spanish housing market in the past year has recorded 94.021 overseas transactions, a record since the beginning of the post-recession era in 2008.
But a closer look into the above figure reveals another remarkable data: the 70.784 transactions regarding properties located on the Mediterranean coast and the islands (75,28% of the total, i.e. 3 out of 4 transactions), a figure that confirms yet again – if confirmation were needed – the distinct preference of overseas buyers for the Spanish seaside areas.
MOST POPULAR SPOTS FOR FOREIGN BUYERS
It is therefore not surprising that Alicante, with its Costa Blanca, is the province with the highest number of foreign transactions: here in 2019 almost one operation out of two was carried out by non-Spaniards, who reached the outstanding figure of 20.333 transactions (48,1% of the province’s real estate market).
It follows the Balearic Islands – with its sparkling nightlife and natural wonders, a paradise both for clubbers and buyers looking for a peaceful escape – where one-third of the operations in Ibiza, Formentera, Palma de Mallorca and Minorca were conducted by non-Spanish nationals (market share of 33,1%).
A nearly identical percentage is recorded in the no less celebrated province of Málaga, heart of the enchanting Costa del Sol (32,3%); but the shares are equally notable in the Canary Islands (29,1%, although 33,10% in Santa Cruz de Tenerife) and in other increasingly popular coastal provinces such as Girona (28,4%), Murcia (26,8%) and Almería (25,4%).
TOP 10 MOST ACTIVE COUNTRIES IN THE SPANISH PROPERTY MARKET
Interesting as always is the ranking of the top 10 countries with the highest number of real estate transactions: despite the Brexit, the United Kingdom maintains its traditional lead (13,06%), followed by Morocco, top non-EU country (8,31%), France (8,15%), Romania (7,51%; with 7.685 transactions, an impressive 198,6% growth since 2014), Germany (7,49%), Italy (6,34%), Belgium (5,31%), China (4,32%), Sweden (3,65%), Russia (3,05%) and the Netherlands (2,92%).
2020: COVID-19 EFFECTS
Looking at the current scenario, there is no doubt the amount of overseas transactions will undergo a significative drop in the present year due to the COVID-19 outbreak. But it is pivotal to point out that in the first quarter of 2020 – a period, as is well known, partially affected by the pandemic emergency – foreigners basically maintained the same purchasing level as in last quarter of 2019 (12% of the domestic market compared to 12,7%; statistics from Colegio de Registradores de España, the Spanish Association of Property Registrars).
After all, the Spanish property market enjoys steady success among foreigners and the reasons behind it are easy to identify.
SPAIN’S LASTING APPEAL FOR FOREIGN BUYERS
With over 4.900 km of coastline, an ideal climate with warm and sunlit days, streets teeming with life, sunny people and a vibrant nightlife, Spain is one of the greatest places to live on the planet and one of the top holiday destinations: definitely the prime reason that makes it so attractive to foreign buyers.
The quality of life and movida factors can certainly explain why Spain is one of the countries that lures the most overseas buyers of luxury property, but there are further features that make this nation a very appealing place for the average foreign buyer. First of all, the plentiful supply of affordable property in seaside resorts, where you can effortlessly come across some excellent bargains.
Consider Costa Blanca, for example, where Alicante is the most popular destination but also one of the least expensive, with an average price of around € 150,000, while € 80,000 is enough for a 70 m² sea view flat in the delightful Torrevieja.
On the charming but more expensive Costa del Sol, some areas like the hidden gem Almeria have an average price of € 115.000, but the property is very reasonably priced even in the renowned Málaga (average price € 2,142/m²) or in the historical city centre of the glamorous Marbella (2,939 €/m²). And in the Canary Islands € 220,000 can get you a villa with private pool.
Moreover, it is no secret foreign buyers choose Spain for the affordable – or at least lower – cost of living (particularly appreciated in the Canary archipelago due to the lower tax burden). Not to mention it is particularly cheap and easy to reach, due to the countless year-round low-cost flights reaching the main cities and the popular holiday spots. Add to this the easy language, the efficient healthcare system and in the case of investment purchases, the steady demand for rental housing.
MEPLAW: OUR ROLE IN THE BUYING PROCESS
Buying a property in Spain is a process that can prove knotty and filled with pitfalls, thus being wasteful in terms of both time and money.
This is why an increasing number of clients decide to purchase a house in Spain with the assistance of our Law Firm, a one-stop, highly specialized and experienced partner that:
- can manage the whole purchasing process by addressing the legal matters (negotiation of the sale price, drafting and revision of the preliminary agreements, post-sale legal counsel in and out of court etc.) and carrying out all the paperwork (check for liens and encumbrances on the property, transcription of the deeds, payment of taxes, choice – also on site – of the property etc.);
- acts exclusively on your behalf without looking after the interests of other parties (sellers, developers etc.);
- helps you overcoming the language barrier, with a network of professionals fluent in multiple languages;
- can save you many trips, by signing all the necessary documentation on your behalf by means of a power of attorney.
MEPLAW International Law Firm has an extensive network of Abogados and professionals throughout Spain that can assist you in every stage of your property purchase in Spain.
- Posted by Fabio Giobbi
- On 11 September 2020