The French Want to Buy Property in Spain

25/09/2014 – El Mundo 

Spain starts to see in France a leverage that may help it to raise from the real estate ashes. With a 500.000-unit housing surplus and nearby economic recovery, Madrid decided to rush to Paris with its trade show. Target: to attract the French investors.

The French rank second among the most active foregin property buyers in Spain, outrun only by the British. In 2012, the French were the third nation. The neighbors from the north are tempted by very low prices.

Throughout 2013, about 7.000 French investors purchased apartments in Spain, strenghtening their bet by 43% over the year 2012. Around 4.000 of them acquired second homes and 3.000 decided to stay for longer than for a vacation. ‘It is like France, but more sunny’, an expert says. Holiday housing experiences bonanza times among these investors.

‘Spain is one of the most desired luxury property spots. We have offices in Biarritz and every day more and more buyers come asking about properties on the Spanish coast’, says Benoît Verdet, head of the Biarritz’s branch of Emile Garcin, a company specialized in high-end real estate.

Moreover, the country is very well connected with Paris, Lyon, Marseilles and other main cities of France. Also, property values in Spain are by 35% lower and so are taxes. Finally, existing supply fails to meet huge demand and in Spain just the opposite occurs.

‘Many French people want to sell their second house in France and buy another one in Spain’, Verdet explains. Most popular destinations are the coastal areas of Barcelona, Valencia and Alicante. ‘Great majority of our clients look for a place to retire and enjoy the weather and the cuisine’, he specifies.

Prices are the key factor which convinces the French. They spend from €100.000 to €200.000 on average on the Spanish houses. Similar dwellings in Marseilles or Nice would come out at around €280.000.

France struggles to solve the problem of overpopulation, whereas Spain has got housing in excess.

Spanish developers, lawyers, CIC Iberbanco and the national Office of Tourism have prepared the road show with destination in Paris.

In the opinion of the president of the International Real Estate Federation in Spain (abbreviated to FIABCI by its name in Spanish), Ramon Riera, ‘the best time to buy were the years 2011, 2012 and a part of 2013. He assures that the property market of Spain is presently one of the most secure in Europe, once it shed the bad reputation fuelled by the bubble burst’ and subsequent crisis.


Original article: El Mundo ( by Raquel Villaécija)

Translation: AURA REE