For­eign buy­ers boom

Of­fi­cial fig­ure break-down shows which for­eign na­tion­al­ity buys more houses and where

Costa Blanca News (South Edition) - - Spain News - [email protected]­

By James Parkes RE­CENT fig­ures show there are more houses sold in Spain to for­eign buy­ers that ever be­fore, even sur­pass­ing fig­ures re­ported be­fore the con­struc­tion bub­ble burst in 2008.

The lat­est fig­ures re­ported by govern­ment of­fi­cials are for the first quar­ter of 2018, which shows 53,359 prop­er­ties were sold to non-Span­ish na­tion­als. In the sec­ond half of 2007, when the bub­ble was still grow­ing, the fig­ure was of 33,000 which plum­meted the fol­low­ing year.

The mar­ket has been re­cov­er­ing slowly since 2014, and since 2015, the an­nual in­crease of sales to for­eign buy­ers has al­ways been two-digit per­cent­age points more than the pre­vi­ous re­ports.

One rea­son for the new boost is the price per square me­tre. For­eign buy­ers pur­chased at an av­er­age €1,687 per square me­tre tag – but this is only a 0.9% in­crease on the pre­vi­ous year.

British are best buy­ers One thing that doesn’t change is which na­tion­al­ity buys more prop­er­ties in Spain. For decades the top spot has been British and it stays that way.

In the first half of 2018, Bri­tons pur­chased 7,613 prop­er­ties through­out the coun­try – an 8.8% in­crease on the fig­ure for the first se­mes­ter of 2017. French (4,211 prop­er­ties pur­chased) and Ger­mans (4,138) fol­low way be­hind, and in both cases fig­ure dropped (4.6% and 2.1% less re­spec­tively).

Ro­ma­nian na­tion­als and Moroc­cans are rapidly catch­ing-up, with 3,872 and 3,662 prop­er­ties pur­chased re­spec­tively in the first half of 2018. Where do for­eign na­tion­als

buy? The Va­len­cia re­gion is still way ahead of the rest in terms of prop­er­ties pur­chased by for­eign na­tion­als. 15,613 prop­erty trans­ac­tions in­volv­ing non-Span­ish res­i­dents (of the grand to­tal of 53,359 na­tion­wide) were re­ported in the re­gion, which has seen this type of trans­ac­tion in­creased by 16.7% in the past year.

Way below is An­dalu­cia, the Costa del Sol, with 9,737 prop­er­ties sold to for­eign­ers (8.2% rise) fol­lowed by Cataluña (7,570), although in this re­gion the in­de­pen­dency cri­sis has seen the fig­ure drop by 5.3%.

The Ca­nary Is­lands ac­count for 5,312 trans­ac­tions with for­eign na­tion­als in­volved and Madrid lies in fifth place with 4,911.

Who buys where? No­tary re­ports make a clear dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion be­tween for­eign na­tion­als liv­ing in Spain (ex­pats) and those who sim­ply pur­chase hol­i­day homes. The first group ac­count for the ma­jor­ity of trans­ac­tions (56%).

British ex­pats and hol­i­day home seek­ers pre­fer the Va­len­cia and An­dalucía re­gions, more specif­i­cally the Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol.

British ex­pats rep­re­sent 12% of all trans­ac­tions car­ried out in the Va­len­cia re­gion, on a par with the num­ber of Ro­ma­nian ex­pats in this case, but as for hol­i­day homes, British buy­ers pur­chased 21% of the to­tal fig­ure, way ahead of sec­ond-placed Swedish buy­ers (14%). The same ap­plies to An­dalucía with sub­tle dif­fer­ences. There, British ex­pats and Mo­roc­can ex­pats ac­count for 16% of pur­chases, while the dif­fer­ence be­tween British hol­i­day home buy­ers and sec­ond-placed (again) Swedish na­tion­als is far wider (28% against 13%).

In Cataluña the ma­jor­ity of ex­pat buy­ers are Mo­roc­can na­tion­als (13% of the to­tal) fol­lowed by the neigh­bour­ing French (10%).

In the hol­i­day home mar­ket, the French lead the way ac­count­ing for nearly half the pur­chases (44%) with Ger­mans in sec­ond place (7%).

Madrid is the favourite spot for Ro­ma­nian ex­pats to buy (19% of the to­tal fig­ure), but in this re­gion Chi­nese na­tion­als are the main non-res­i­dent buy­ers ac­count­ing for 18% of the trans­ac­tions, fol­lowed by Ital­ians (7%).

As for other re­gions, Ital­ian ex­pats are the main buy­ers of Ca­nary Is­land prop­er­ties (31%) while the Ger­mans are the main hol­i­day home cus­tomers (20%).

In Balearics, as ex­pected, Ger­man na­tion­als are the main buy­ers in both cat­e­gories, fol­lowed by British and Ital­ians. Bri­tons are also the main for­eign prop­erty buy­ers in Mur­cia, As­turias and winecoun­try La Rioja. French buy­ers are the main cus­tomers in the Basque Coun­try, Aragón, Navarra, Cantabria, the two Castil­las and Ex­tremadura. Gali­cia is the only ex­cep­tion to the rules, where the ma­jor­ity of non-Span­ish buy­ers come from neigh­bour­ing Por­tu­gal. The poor con­di­tion of tracks and trains op­er­at­ing the rail ser­vice in Ex­tremadura re­gion was again proved on the first day of the new year when over 160 pas­sen­gers were left stranded as the train on which they were trav­el­ling from Bada­joz to Madrid broke down at 17.20 - and they were un­able to reach Madrid via al­ter­na­tive trans­port un­til 03.00 on Wed­nes­day morn­ing. Re­gional pres­i­dent Guillermo Fer­nan­dez Vara, tired of com­plain­ing about the ser­vice, has de­manded the govern­ment cease Renfe's op­er­a­tions in the re­gion un­til safe and re­li­able trains are in ser­vice. Ex­treme right-wing party Vox has threat­ened to with­draw its sup­port from the PPCi­u­dadanos pact to rule in An­dalucía re­gion. The far right-wingers have said they will sup­port the new govern­ment un­less all funds are with­drawn from projects against gen­der vi­o­lences in the re­gion. Vox re­gional MPs' votes are es­sen­tial for the new govern­ment as with­out them PP and Ci­u­dadanos to­gether are still short of an over­all ma­jor­ity in the re­gional par­lia­ment. Its na­tional man­i­festo, Vox has openly stated it will scrap all gen­der vi­o­lence leg­is­la­tion in Spain if it were to rule the coun­try.

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