27 February 2017 – Expansión
Luxury homes enjoyed a buoyant 2016. Sales soared by 31% thanks to the boost from foreign investors, above all in cities such as Barcelona, where the purchase of high-end residences increased by 69%, according to the latest report from the real estate company Lucas Fox, which specialises in high-end homes. In Madrid, the increase amounted to 12%.
The study attributes this mini-boom to the declining demand for properties in London following the Brexit referendum. That “has caused citizens from outside the EU to be more interested in Madrid and Barcelona, and the trend is set to continue in 2017”.
Foreign investors will continue to be the main driver behind Spain’s luxury residential sector. They now account for 65% of the market, according to the real estate company. The remaining 35% are Spaniards.
Buyers from the UK and Ireland accounted for 11% of overseas purchasers in 2016, whilst French buyers accounted for 5%. Purchasers from the Middle East were the cohort that grew by the most, to account for 8% of all luxury residential property purchases. Scandinavian buyers accounted for 6%.
In terms of buyer motivation, 30% acquired a property as a primary residence and 43% as a second home. It is worth remembering that 75 million tourists visited Spain last year, a historical record. There was also a considerable increase in the number of buyers who purchased properties for investment purposes (22% of all purchases by overseas buyers). Finally, 3% bought because they were looking to obtain a Golden Visa, in other words, the permit to reside in Spain that is granted to real estate investors from outside the EU.
In fact, Lucas Fox estimates that demand for Spanish properties from buyers outside the EU, including from the USA and the Middle East, “will cause the current bullish trend to continue throughout 2017, thanks to the Golden Visa program”.
During the first three quarters of 2016, foreigner buyers spent just over €47 million on new build and recently renovated properties, which represents a YoY increase of 9%. The apartments that are most in demand are those located in classic buildings in prime areas, measuring between 150 m2 and 200 m2 and worth between €1 million and €1.5 million.
Original story: Expansión (by Juanma Lamet)
Translation: Carmel Drake