Foreigners are again buying as many houses in Spain as before the pandemic

by Lorraine Williamson

PROPERTY – At the end of 2021, as many houses were sold to non-Spaniards in Spain as before the start of the corona pandemic in 2019. The most interest in owning a home in Spain was from the British, who thereby displaced the Germans in the first place. 

Just like before the pandemic, more than 10% of all real estate purchase contracts are concluded with buyers from abroad. In the fourth quarter of 2021 this was even 12.6%. This is almost the same as the 12.7% in the fourth quarter of 2019. This is according to recent data from the Statistics Office for Real Estate Registrations (ERI). 

Full recovery 

The increased number of homes sold to foreigners in Spain confirms the recovery of this segment of the housing market; for three quarters in a row, the percentage of homes sold to the hands of foreigners has been rising. During the pandemic, this segment’s share of the real estate market had fallen below 10%. This increase is partly attributed by analysts to the fact that people have more savings. And also to the prolonged historically low interest rates. Moreover, real estate is currently seen as a relatively safe investment. 

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Balearic Islands incredibly popular 

In particular, in regions where many homes are traditionally sold to foreigners, demand rose above average in 2021 as well. The percentage of this segment in the real estate market rose to 39% of the total number of homes sold in the Balearics, 24.3% in the Valencia region, and 25.9% in the Canary Islands. In fact, significantly more homes were sold in the Balearics in 2021 than before the pandemic, to both Spaniards and non-Spaniards. This is not yet the case for the regions of Valencia and the Canary Islands, for example. 

Mainly British, German and French home buyers 

Most of the houses that came into foreign hands were bought by the British. They bought a total of 2,219 homes in Spain between October 1 and December 31 last year, which is 12.4% of all homes sold to foreigners during this period. The Germans, who bought the most houses in Spain in the previous quarter, are in second place after the British. In the fourth quarter, they bought 10.9% of the number of homes sold to foreigners. This was followed by the French at 7.5%. 

The Germans generally prefer the archipelagos, while the British prefer their own home in the Valencia region, especially in the province of Alicante and in the Andalucia region. Alicante is number one when it comes to the provinces with the most foreign homeowners. No less than 39.3% of all homes sold here were owned by a non-Spanish owner. The French generally prefer the Catalonia region and also the Valencia region. 

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