Why Did Foreigners Buy 72,000 Homes In Spain In 2014?

8 May 2015 – Expansión

When it comes to buying homes in Spain, foreigners are primarily motivated by the quality of life, the sun and good flight connections to their home countries.

The volume of house sales increased by 21.6% in 2014. In total, 365,594 transactions were closed, according to the Ministry of Development. It is clear that the real estate market has begun its recovery and, to a large extent, that is due to the interest that the real estate market is sparking amongst investors from overseas. Purchases by foreign residents in Spain have grown in recent months, partly due to the incentives that the Government has introduced – mainly the residence visa – but above all due to the opportunities offered by the real estate market here. Foreigners purchased more than 72,000 homes in Spain last year and the average transaction value was €152,000.

But, who are these foreigners that are purchasing homes in Spain and what is it that draws them to our country? “Many of these overseas investors are tourists who come to Spain on holiday and after spending time here, decide to invest in a second home”, says a study performed by TM Grupo Inmobiliario, which has a stand at the SIMA (Salón Inmobiliario de Madrid or Madrid Real Estate Fair) being held until 10 May. “They are primarily motivated by the quality of life, the sun and good flight connections to their home countries”, says the report, which concludes that the profile of the average purchaser is a man, aged 53 years-old, with children. On average, these purchasers have an annual income of €66,000. There is also a significant percentage of resident buyers in our country who are making Spain their new home given the improvement in the economic environment.

Britons are the nationality most interested in purchasing homes in our country; they accounted for 18.62% of all transactions closed by foreigners (in 2014). They are followed by the French (9.39%), Germans (7.25%), Belgians (6.90%), Italians (6.13%), Russians (5.83%), Swiss (5.83%), Chinese (4.14%) and Norwegians (3.74%). In recent years, interest from Russian nationals in Spain had increased significantly, but the decline in the Ruble and in the price of petrol (last year) reduced their desire to purchase. There is also a great deal of interest from Mexicans and Colombians in buying a home in our country, but in absolute terms the numbers are not yet significant. The vast majority of them have a high purchasing power and are buying second homes here.

The decrease in house prices has not affected all areas equally, but overseas investors are primarily interested in three main areas: the Mediterranean Coast (Barcelona, Alicante, Girona and Málaga), the Islands (above all Mallorca, Ibiza and Tenerife) and Madrid.

Original story: Expansión (by E.V.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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