Servihabitat: 9 out of 10 Non-Resident Buyers Prefer the Beach

18 December 2017 – Eje Prime

17% of the homes purchased in Spain today have a foreign accent. During the first half of 2017, 83,675 homes were acquired by foreign buyers, which represents an increase of 10% with respect to the same period last year. Nevertheless, that increase weakened slightly if we look at the previous quarter, according to the Servihabitat Trends report published by the national servicer.

The reason for this annual increase is found in the climate: 83.7% of non-resident buyers in Spain during the first six months of this year focused their attention on just seven provinces, all of which offer sun and sand. Málaga leads the ranking, exceeding even Alicante according to the latest figures. According to data from the Ministry of Development, 30% of all house purchases by foreigners were recorded in Málaga, compared to 23% in Alicante (…).

The data is clear. Almost nine out of every ten foreign buyers in the Spanish market values the quality of life offered by the Mediterranean climate. Another factor to take into account is the reason for the purchase. In this sense, the Government reports that 95.8% of new foreign house buyers in Spain are resident in the country, which accounts for 80,191 properties in total (…). ,

Besides Málaga and Alicante, the other most sought-after provinces by these investors are: Almería (9.6%), the Balearic Islands (9.2%), Las Palmas (5.2%), Tenerife (4.7%) and Murcia (3.5%). Beyond these coastal areas, the remaining 12.7% is spread over the rest of the country, with large cities such as Madrid and Barcelona accounting for a large share.

Influence in the regional market  

As well as the growing number of international investors, their influence in the regional markets where they are interested in buying homes is noteworthy. In regions such as Alicante and Tenerife, overseas investors account for almost half of all residential property purchases in the regions. Similarly, in the Balearic Islands, Málaga, Las Palmas and Girona, the figure exceeds 30%.

In Cataluña and the Community of Madrid, house purchases by foreigners account for 15.9% and 8.8% of the total number of operations, respectively.

At the other end of the spectrum, the regions where fewest foreign investors are active are Extremadura (2.2%), followed by Galicia (2.5%) and País Vasco (3.3%).

Brits lead the investor ranking

In terms of the country of origin of overseas investors in Spain, British buyers continue to constitute the largest community of house buyers in the country, although their market share decreased during the third quarter of this year, from 19% to 15.13%, according to data from the College of Registrars.

The collateral damage from Brexit may have led to that decrease, although the loss in the purchasing power of UK households will have also played its part, due to the depreciation of the pound against the euro, according to the servicer’s report.

After Brits in the ranking of foreign investors in Spain, come the French and Germans, although neither group manages to account for 10% of the total market. The Swedes, Belgians, Italians and Romanians, all with a percentage market share of around 5%, buy similar numbers of homes in the Spanish residential market, which is speaking more languages every day.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Jabier Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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