Notaries: Foreigners Bought 20% Of All Homes Sold In 2015

10 May 2016 – El Economista

Foreigners purchased 76,680 homes in Spain in 2015, which represents an increase of 12.9% compared with 2014 and means that foreigners accounted for 20% of all the homes purchased last year, according to data from the General Council of Notaries, which shows that the weight of house purchases made by foreigners has been increasing since 2007.

Distinguishing between resident and non-resident foreigners, 51.7% of these purchases were made by non-resident foreigners. Even so, the purchase of unsubsidised homes by resident foreigners increased by 18.2%, which exceeded the rate of growth experienced by non-resident foreign buyers (8.4%).

All of the autonomous regions reported increases in the number of purchases of unsubsidised homes by foreigners. Four regions recorded increases below the national average, namely Cataluña (+4.9%), Comunidad Valenciana (+7.2%), Extremadura (+9.8%) and the Canary Islands (+10.3%).

The other regions recorded increases above the national average, driven in particular by La Rioja (+59.1%), Castilla-La Mancha (+57.3%) and Navarra (+41.5%). Aragón (+39.8%), Castilla y León (+34%), País Vasco (+30.7%), Murcia (+25.8%) and Cantabria (+25.5%) reported slightly lower growth rates.

On the next level, with growth rates slightly above the national average, were Galicia (+23.2%), the Balearic Islands (+22.3%), Madrid (+17.3%) and Andalucía (+13.6%).

In 2015, the regions that recorded the most the purchases of unsubsidised homes by foreigners were: the Balearic Islands (44%), the Canary Islands (39%), Comunidad Valenciana (37%), Murcia (25%) and Andalucía (25%).

By contrast, the regions where operations made by foreigners carried the least weight were: País Vasco, Cantabria, Castilla y León, Galicia and Extremadura, where they accounted for around 4%.

Prices increased by almost 3%

The average price per sqm of house purchases made by foreigners in 2015 amounted to €1,598/sqm, which represents a YoY increase of 2.9%. The average price of homes acquired by non-residents rose by 5.6%, to €1,792/sqm, whilst the average price of properties bought by resident foreigners decreased by 0.1% to €1,367/sqm.

The average price of homes acquired by foreigners was higher than the national average in the Balearic Islands (€2,580/sqm), País Vasco (€2,047/sqm), Madrid (€1,867/sqm) and Cataluña (€1,856/sqm). Prices in the other regions fell below the national average, with the lowest prices recorded in Extremadura (€576/sqm), Castilla-La Mancha (€597/sqm), La Rioja (€710/sqm) and Castilla y León (€712/sqm).

In terms of the nationality of the foreigners who bought homes in Spain, the most active buyers were British (which accounted for 20.6% of the total), followed by the French (8.8%), Germans (7.5%), Belgians (5.7%), Italians (5.5%) and Romanian (5.3%). Those nationalities accounted for more than half of the transactions involving purchases of unsubsidised homes made by foreigners in 2015.

The nationality that increased its level of activity by the most in the market for unsubsidised homes during 2015 was Romanian, with a YoY increase of 59%. In addition, Ecuadorian (+43.1%), British (+37.7%), Moroccan (+25.8%), Italian (+18.5%), Irish (+17.8%), Chinese (+16.8%), Swedish (+15%), Argentine (+14.8%) and Swiss (+13.6%) buyers recorded YoY growth rates above the national average.

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake