Foreigners have traditionally represented a significant proportion of buyers, but 2022 saw several record shares in the market. For example, transactions among non-Spaniards on the Costa del Sol reached almost 34% of the total, and US interest in Spanish real estate surged by 76%. Analysts believe the reasons for the significant uptick in demand lie in direct flights, the strength of the dollar and the appeal of the Spanish lifestyle.
US buyers at highest levels ever
2022 will go down in the annals as one of the busiest years in the Spanish property market ever. In fact, in terms of sales, it was the busiest since 2007, the height of the last property boom. Most demand comes from Spaniards themselves, but international buyers show increasing enthusiasm and in 2022, US interest in Spanish real estate surged.
According to notary records, sales of Spanish property to US citizens skyrocketed by 76% in the first half of 2022, compared to the same period in 2021. The figure represents a higher level on record.
In Q4 2022, US interest in Spanish real estate continued to rise, with a percentage share of 1.45% of the market. The figure is 0.4% higher than in Q3, confirming the upward trend.
Strong preference for Andalusia
Property analysts quoted in a report published in the Wall Street Journal point to southern Spain as one of the preferred destinations for US buyers of Spanish real estate. Specific hotspots in Marbella and Malaga on the Mediterranean coast, along with Seville, the capital of Andalusia.
The Costa del Sol property market experienced unprecedented foreign interest in 2022. In Q4 alone, sales to international buyers made up 34.05% of the total. The figure is a marked increase on the same period in 2021 when it reached 26.32, and considerably higher than pre-pandemic percentages. For example, in Q3 2019, foreign buyers took a 28.47% share of transactions.
Factors contributing to US interest in Spanish real estate
There are several reasons for the popularity of Spanish property among US buyers. For example, direct flights between Spain and US cities rank as a key factor. Madrid has several, and the Costa del Sol plays host to direct flights to and from New York from early June to late September. Palma de Mallorca also has a direct service to Newark in New Jersey in high season.
More for their buck
However, perhaps the most influential element is the strength of the US dollar. Although it is almost 10% lower than in summer 2022, the greenback remains at one of its highest levels ever in terms of purchasing power.
As a result, US buyers can purchase more property for their money. According to the WSJ, Spain “can seem like a bargain”, even more so since real estate prices in most parts of the country have yet to recover their pre-2008 levels.
Preference for the Spanish way of life
The lifestyle is another reason drawing US buyers to Spanish property. Many Americans purchase with the view to relocating to Spain whose way of life appeals to them. According to the WSJ, they “see it as a respite from political divisions and the threat of gun violence”.