Americans are hunting for property in Spain
Data from Spain’s leading property search engine Idealista reveals that from June to September the highest foreign demand for Spanish properties on the coast came from the United States.
This bucks the usual trend of British and German buyers topping the foreign property tables, although in this case the stats refer to online searches for properties in Spain rather than actual purchases.
As Idealista’s map shows, there is a keen interest by Americans for properties along practically all of Spain’s coastline, with the only exceptions being the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands, where German (and to a lesser extent British) house hunters made up most of the foreign demand.
US house hunters also represented the largest portion of foreign nationals looking for properties in Italy and Portugal during the summer period.
Could it have been that many feared that Donald Trump would be re-elected and preferred instead to move to Europe? Q4 should hopefully shed some light on that.
Spain’s popular spots haven’t lost their allure among foreigners
According to figures from Spain’s College of Property Registrars, the Balearic Islands (27.1 percent), the Canary Islands (26.3 percent) and the Valencia region (24.1 percent) were the regions where most foreigners bought properties in Spain during this year’s third quarter.
The average mortgage price for properties during the third quarter was €136,895.
Where are property prices falling the most in Spain?
According to real estate valuation group Tinsa, Spain’s Mediterranean coast has seen the biggest property price drops in the past year, down by 6.7 percent on average since November 2019 after months of fluctuations.
Capitals and big cities across Spain have experienced the second largest price fall – down by 2.6 percent – whereas prices in the Canary and Balearic Islands are at virtually the same levels as they were a year ago.
Spain’s luxury homes remain unscathed
Despite a GDP drop in 2020 of roughly 12 percent according to the IMF and Morgan Stanley, Spain’s property market is yet to reflect the price drops many forecast and hoped for.
Spain’s ‘standard’ real estate market is expected to see falls of around 10 percent in the sale price of second-hand homes and up to 30 percent in the more disadvantaged areas.
But when it comes to luxury properties, prices have so far hardly changed, with sellers reluctant to let Spain’s unstable economic situation affect their decision.
“Faced with the fear that inflation could occur due to the excessive injection of money by the ECB and the Federal Reserve, tangible assets emerge as a good way to have capital in a safe place,” Manuel Romera, Director of the Financial Sector at IE Business School, told El País.
Plenty of property sales in September
After a terrible summer for Spain’s tourism industry, with the resurgence of Covid-19 and ensuing travel restrictions destroying the country’s most important industry, the Spanish property market actually bounced back in September.
New data released by Spain’s National Statistics Institute (INE) reveals how property sales in September 2020 were only 1.1 percent lower than for same month in 2019.
In total, 37,839 properties were bought during September of this year, representing a 20.5 percent increase when compared to August’s figures.
As for the provinces where most properties were sold in September, they were Madrid (5,498), Barcelona (3,395), Alicante (2,638), Málaga (2,346) and Valencia (2,053).
On the other side of the spectrum were the usual suspects – the ‘empty’ provinces of Spain’s interior: Soria (61), Teruel (87), Palencia (101), Ávila (103) and Zamora (104).
Spaniards’ living habits are changing
Spain continues to be the European country with the highest number of apartment and flat-dwellers, but things started to change when a nation which spends plenty of time outdoors was forced to stay at home for months of lockdown at the start of the pandemic.
Whereas previously living in a central location took precedence over having a garden, the desire for space (even if it means living on the outskirts) is growing like never before.
According to figures from Spain’s College of Property Registrars, the sale of single-family homes continues to gain strength.
Third quarter stats show a historically high rate of these bigger properties, representing 20.4 percent of total operations, to the detriment of flats, which sank to a record minimum.