Foreigners buy more Spanish property than ever

Foreigners buy more Spanish property than ever

Since the first tourists discovered the Spanish costas back in the late 1950s, they have been keen buyers of second and holiday homes. Since the pandemic, however, their numbers have soared. As a result, foreigners bought more Spanish property in 2022 than ever before. British buyers made up the largest percentage, while favourite destinations included the Costa del Sol and the Costa Blanca. 

Highest percentage of foreign buyers 

According to the latest bi-annual report from the Notaries’ Association (Consejo General de Notariado), the second half of 2022 registered the highest level of foreign transactions. Between July and December, non-Spaniards bought 70,163 properties in Spain. 

(Source: Consejo General de Notariado)

The figure represents an increase of 9.7% on the same period in 2021. More significantly, it constitutes 21.1% of total sales, the highest on record. Furthermore, the share is more than 4% higher than the average registered between 2010 and 2021. 

In some parts of the country, foreign buyers represent considerably more. For example, in Marbella, they make up the majority.

Higher prices for Spanish property 

Not only did foreigners buy more Spanish property last year, they also paid more for it. The average square metre price reached €2,089 between July and December, the most since 2008 and the third highest ever. 

Swiss buyers spent the most last year, paying an average of €2,904 per square metre. The Swedes and Danes were not far behind, spending €2,885 and €2,881, respectively. At the other end of the scale, Moroccan buyers paid €717 per square metre. 

British buyers take the largest share 

As has been the case for years, British buyers made up the largest market share in the second half of last year. They accounted for 10.72% of all foreign purchases. The Germans and French took second and third places, with 9.33% and 7.35% of the total, respectively. 

However, the most significant growth came from Ukrainian, US and Argentinan buyers. Purchases of Spanish property by Ukrainian nationals skyrocketed by almost 100%, while US buyers took 36.64% of the market share. This figure confirms the increasing presence of North American buyers in the Spanish market. 

The graphic below shows the highest percentage per nationality in each region in the second half of last year. 

(Source: Consejo General de Notariado)

Most popular destinations 

All regions in Spain except for Cantabria and the Balearic Islands saw an increase in foreign buyers last year. Asturias and Galicia in the north experienced the highest rise, with an uptick of 34.68% and 31.03%, respectively. 

In terms of the most popular places to buy property, two of Spain’s favourite costas saw the most transactions. In the Comunidad Valenciana, home to the Costa Blanca, foreigners bought over 20,700 units between July and December last year. 

In Andalucia, home to the Costa del Sol, Costa de la Luz and Costa de Almería, non-Spaniards bought 13,434 homes, the second highest in the country. In Catalonia, foreigners purchased 10,970 properties. 

(Source: Consejo General de Notariado)