Data from the General Council of Notaries shows that in 2015 non-resident foreigners bought 60% more homes in Spain than in pre-crisis 2007—an impressive upsurge particularly when considering that such sales had fallen 50% by 2009.
As a percentage of the total market, foreigners accounted for 12.9% of sales, but looking at the different regions it is evident that they are more important to the real estate sector in coastal hotspots.
For instance, in Andalucía foreigners bought 25% of all homes. Provincial figures are not available but it can be assumed that the vast majority of those would have been in resort towns such as Marbella rather than populous inland cities such as Sevilla, Córdoba and Granada.
The region with the biggest proportion of sales to non-nationals (44%) was the Balearics, followed by the Canaries (39%) and Valencia (37%). The British were the biggest group by nationality, accounting for 21% of sales to foreigners nationally—a figure that rises to 36.1% in Andalucía.
High quality property in Marbella
The second most important nationality to the Andalusian holiday home market in 2015 were Swedes (11%), confirming the trend we have seen in Marbella where the Scandinavian countries in general have been particularly important to the real estate market. Their focus on high quality property—often bought off-plan—has brought them to the resort town as it meets the exacting criteria they demand. In common with British purchasers they are seeking a second home in the sun near the sea and with a high standard of infrastructure, including good restaurants and bars plus tourism facilities of the highest order.
They are willing to pay for it too, with non-resident foreigners spending an average 5.6% more per m2 than in 2014. Even so, their budgets are still 20% below the 2007 peak.
Overall, the French (9%) were the second largest group when it came to buying second homes in Spain—they unsurprisingly dominated the market in regions bordering France—followed by Germans (7.5%), Belgians (6%) and Italians (5.5%).
This level of sales to non-nationals has long since passed the status of being simply a ‘recovery’ and should be viewed as a welcome sustained trend, with steady rises being made each year. Should you wish to join the second home owners on the Costa del Sol and in Marbella, please contact us for a consultation. We have a fine selection of villas and apartments for sale in the region.