Foreigners are paying more than ever for property in Spain

Foreigners are splashing out more on property in Spain than ever before with an average of €2,062 for each m2, new data reveals. Brits are still buying the most homes, but there are many other nationalities that are spending much more on acquiring a Spanish home.

cadaques catalonia
The upmarket town of Cadaqués in Catalonia. Danish buyers are the foreign nationals who are paying the most for property in Spain. Photo: cvzzn/Unssplash

Foreigners paid an average of €2,062 for each m2 during the first half of 2022, according to the latest data from Spain’s General Council of Notaries (Consejo General de Notariado). 

The amount they’re paying for each m2 has grown by 10.6 percent year-on-year, compared to the second half of 2021. It is even more than the previous record high, seen in 2007 during the real estate boom in Spain.

The increase in money spent is mainly down to non-resident second-home owners, who are spending an average of €2,522/m2.  

This is far more than resident foreigners in Spain who are only paying an average of €1,622/m2, which increased by 8.2 percent compared to the first half of 2021.  

Spaniards meanwhile are only paying an average of €1,560/m2 on average, an increase of 5.2 percent year-on-year.

Danish buyers are the foreign nationals who are paying the most for property in Spain at €2,870/m2, followed by Americans at 2,837/m2 and then Norwegian and Swedish buyers at €2,701/m2.

Germans property hunters are in fifth position, paying €2,657/m2, followed by the Swiss at €2,567/m2. Those from the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Italy and Ireland are also splashing out above the average for property in Spain.

British buyers

Surprisingly the British are not even in the top 10, despite still being the foreigners who buy the most properties in Spain.

Brits were responsible for 10.7 percent of the total number of properties purchased by foreigners. They are spending an average of €2,003/m2 on acquiring a Spanish home. 

Germans, however, are buying almost as many properties as Britons, accounting for 10.2 percent of the purchases, followed by the French at 7.7 percent.

In fact, the purchases made by foreigners of all nationalities increased, but those made by the Dutch (121.5 percent), Norwegians (119.5 percent) and the Irish (106 percent) increased the most. 

On the other end of the scale, Moroccans are paying the least amount at only €694/m2, followed by the Romanians paying €1,097/m2 and then the Ecuadorians at €1,298/m2.

Foreigners bought 72,987 homes in Spain in the first half of the year, which represented 20.3 percent of the total number of properties bought in the country.  

This exceeded the average number of properties foreigners bought between 2012 and 2019 (18.7 percent) equalling the record of 2015.

Prices by region

According to officla Spanish notarial statistics, the prices paid by foreign buyers in Spain have grown year-on-year across all regions.

Extremadura is at the top of the list, with an increase of 34.3 percent; followed by Asturias (27.5 percent), Murcia (19 percent), Madrid (16.6 percent), Aragón (16.1 percent), Valencia (13.6 percent), the Canary Islands (13.1 percent), Cantabria (11 percent) and Catalonia (10.4 percent).

In Andalusia, prices grew by 9.7 percent, Galicia (9.5 percent), the Balearic Islands (8.2 percent) and Castilla-La Mancha (7.3 percent).

The increase in La Rioja, the Basque Country, Navarra and Castilla y León was less than 5 percent.

Ukrainian buyers

Despite the fact that Ukrainian buyers don’t represent a big percentage of foreign purchases overall, the number of Ukrainian citizens who bought property in Spain during the first half of 2022 soared by more than 73 percent to 1,237 sales, the highest figure recorded since 2007. 

Russian nationals also bought more homes in Spain during this period. Property purchases by Russians increased by 27.5 percent to a total of 1,418. Despite this increase, Russians are far from the maximum they reached in 2014 with 2,573 homes purchased. Russian citizens account for just under 2 percent of all foreign buyers. 

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Barcelona’s most expensive apartment sells for more than €40 million

The most expensive apartment in Barcelona now has a new owner and has been sold for a whopping +€40 million.

Barcelona's most expensive apartment sells for more than €40 million

According to reports in the Spanish press, a “foreign individual” has bought the penthouse apartment located on the city’s elegant Passeig de Gràcia. 

Passeig de Gràcia is one of Barcelona’s most famous streets, home to Gaudí buildings such as Casa Batlló and La Pedrera. 

READ ALSO: How much does it really cost to live in Barcelona?

The penthouse is a 650m2 duplex in the exclusive Mandarin Oriental Residences Building, a luxury apartment complex in Deutsche Bank’s former Barcelona headquarters.

The penthouse has views of Gaudí’s Sagrada Família too. Source: Mandarin Oriental Residences

The complex, which has 20 floors of 500m2 each, is made up of 34 apartments designed by the architect Carles Ferrater, which range between one and four rooms and with areas of between 120m2 and 580m2.

The penthouse had been on sale for around six months, since June 2022, and the developer had indicated beforehand that it would only consider offers “above €40 million”. 

In 2014 investment fund KKH Property Investors bought the former bank headquarters for €90 million with the intention of opening a luxury hotel, but the moratorium on tourist accommodation licences by Barcelona City Council prevented the project from going ahead.

The residences even have access to an outdoor pool. Source: Mandarin Oriental Residences

KKH chose instead to convert it into an exclusive apartment building with community services including a gym, spa, swimming pool, garden and library, just like a hotel. 

On the lower levels of the building, the average price is around €30,000 per square metre, while on the higher floors, the prices are around €40,000 to €45,000. The duplex located in the attic, which is the largest of them all, has a price of €61,538 per square metre.