Foreigners Bought 12.5% Of All Homes Sold In H1 2015

2 October 2015 – Expansión

Investment / In some autonomous regions, foreign citizens are purchasing up to one third of the houses being sold.

Foreign investors are buying one out of every eight homes sold in Spain. And in some autonomous regions, that figure increases to one in every three. That is the main finding from data released by the Association of Registrars, which published a guide – in English – yesterday aimed at foreign citizens interested in purchasing a home in Spain…”.

Foreign purchasers accounted for 12.5% of all residential property sales registered during the first half of 2015, “and even represented between one third and one quarter of purchases in certain autonomous regions, such as the Balearic Islands, where they accounted for 33.5% of all purchases made during the second quarter”, said the registrars.

The Balearic Islands were followed by the Canary Islands (27.5%) and Valencia, where overseas buyers were responsible for 25.7% of all home purchases. Murcia, Andalucía and Cataluña recorded percentages of between 12% and 15%, whilst in Madrid, 4.7% of all home purchases were made by foreigners.

Those were the headlines presented by Beatriz Corredor, the Director of Institutional Relations at the Association of Registrars. The former Housing Minister said that “the trend is rising”. In other words, foreigners are expected to continue their activity over the next few quarters. “The level of interest is not waning”, at least for the time being, added Corredor.

The guide, entitled “Guide to buying a property in Spain” has been prepared in collaboration with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the International Association of Property Professionals (‘Asociación Internacional de Profesionales de la Propiedad’ or AIPP). The intention is for registrars to accompany foreigners seeking to buy a home in Spain through each stage of the process. “The booklet guides potential buyers through the different stages, in chronological order, from the search for a property through to the registration of the purchase in the Property Register, with detailed explanations about the procedures that need to be followed during each phase, along with useful advice and warnings about the precautions that should be taken and the differences compared with other legal systems”. In fact, the guide contains a list of information and considerations that would be of interest to any purchaser thinking of buying a home: information that can be obtained from the Commercial Register, location and physical characteristics of the home, energy efficiency certificate, licences and insurances.

The intention is to “make the way in which homes are sold in Spain more professional”, says Afredo Millás, the Chairman of RICS. Millás confirmed that the guide is aimed primarily at buyers from the UK, which is hardly surprisingly, given that British citizens are responsible for one in every five foreign buyer purchase (19.85%), well above the purchases made by the French (8.1%), Germans (7.65%) and Belgians (6.5%).

Original story: Expansión (by J.M.L.)

Translation: Carmel Drake