Brits remain top foreign buyers in Spain, despite (or because of) Brexit

Fiona Govan
Fiona Govan - [email protected]
Brits remain top foreign buyers in Spain, despite (or because of) Brexit
Photo: AFP

The latest data reveals that Spain’s property market is back to pre-crisis levels and that British buyers are the leading group of foreigners investing in Spanish real estate.


During the first half of 2018, a total of 53,359 house purchases by made non-Spanish nationals, according to the latest data released by the General Council of Notaries this week. 

The figure is 20,000 more than at the peak of the property boom in 2007 before the bubble burst and send Spain reeling into an economic crisis that continued for six long years.

Fuelling the rise in property prices is interest from foreign buyers with 18.7 percent of Spanish property sales or almost two in every ten property sales coming from abroad.

British buyers continue to make up the largest group of foreign nationals buying property in Spain with 7,613 purchases between January and June, an 8.8 percent rise on the same period a year earlier, they now represent 14 percent of foreign investors.

Purchases by Brits have gone up 13 percent since the June 2016 referendum which saw the UK vote to leave the European Union. 


The bought almost twice as many properties than the French, who were the second largest group (buying 4,211 properties in all), followed by the Germans, and then Romanians. Moroccans were the sixth largest group and the largest non-Spanish nationality outside the EU purchasing 28 percent more than they did a year ago.

The biggest percentage increase in foreign demand came from Morocco, up 28.8 percent on a year earlier closely followed by Ireland (24.7 percent), and the biggest decrease came from Swiss buyers, which dropped 8 percent.

Buyers are attracted by the coast with house sales on the Canary Islands,  Costa Blanca, Costa del Sol and Catalonia all increasing year on year.

Valencia continues to lead the way in terms of house sales with one in three property sales taking place in the eastern region. Second is Andalusia followed by Catalonia and then Madrid, where foreigners bought 4,911 properties, up 5.4 percent.

Foreigners made up 39.4 percent of buyers in the Canary Islands, 35.6 percent in Valencia, 34 percent in the Balearic Islands, 27.4 percent in Murcia, 17 percent in Catalonia and 11.6 percent in Madrid. 

These maps show the biggest groups of foreign buyers by region, with the first showing resident foreigners and the second non-resident foreigners.

"Foreign buyers play an important role in the Spanish property market. Right now, we're seeing both local demand and foreign buyer demand increase, which is excellent news for the health of the overall market. In terms of foreign buyers, new build homes in sunny, well-established coastal areas are some of the most sought after properties." said Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of Taylor Wimpey España

The latest figures from real estate valuation agency TINSA show a 5.3 percent increase in property prices in the year to October 2018.

Both major city locations and the Mediterranean coastline are faring well, according to TINSA, with rises of 8.5 percent and 6.0 percent respectively.

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