Foreigners are again buying more houses in Spain than before the pandemic

by Lorraine Williamson
home purchases by foreigners

Foreigners are again buying more homes in Spain than before the pandemic. Moreover, this percentage has increased considerably in 4 regions in Spain. The figures show that an uncertain economy and even war have hardly any influence on house sales to foreigners. 

In 2019, 84,263 homes were sold to foreigners. This number represents 16.9% of the total 502,085 transactions from that year. In 2021, no fewer than 86,524 homes were sold to foreign buyers. This number represents 15.3% of the 565,523 homes sold in 2021. These figures were recently published by INE. 

Not only figures from the INE show that foreigners bought more houses in Spain in 2021 than in the year before the pandemic. Valuation firm Euroval, which has been tracking home sales trends since 2007, also reports that foreign demand for homes in Spain has increased significantly over the past 10 years. 

Four Spanish regions exceed percentages of homes sold to foreigners in 2019 

Although in absolute numbers, four Spanish regions in 2021 exceeded the percentages of 2019. For example, last year in Aragon, 9.9% of houses were sold to foreigners instead of 9.6% in 2019; in Asturias 5.5% compared to 5.2% in 2019; in the Balearics 39.5% compared to 35.5% in 2019 and in the Canary Islands 30.8% compared to 30.4% in the year before the pandemic. 

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Three Spanish regions remain popular with foreign home buyers 

In Valencia, Cantabria, Catalonia, Madrid and Murcia, a lot fewer homes were sold to foreigners last year than in 2019. The percentages remained virtually the same in all other regions of Spain. Despite the declines in some of the regions mentioned, the percentages of homes sold in Valencia, Andalucia and Catalonia are still the highest relative to Spain’s national average. These three regions account for 63% of home sales by foreigners in Spain. 

In these provinces foreigners buy their houses in Spain 

Alicante appears to be the most popular province of Spain when it comes to home sales. One in five homes (19.4%) sold to foreigners is located in this province. In second place is Málaga with 12.6%, followed by Barcelona (8%), Madrid (7.1%), the Balearic Islands (6.8%) and Valencia (5.9%). 

In 2021 there will again be an obvious preference for houses along the Mediterranean coast. As many as 80% of the homes sold to foreigners in Spain last year were located in areas bordering the Mediterranean Sea. 

Russia-Ukraine war only limited influence on the purchase of homes in Spain 

Research by the Spanish banking group BBVA shows, among other things, that the war in Ukraine has only a limited influence on the purchasing behavior of Russian and Ukrainian home seekers. In 2015, 3.8% of foreign transactions were accounted for by Russian home buyers, in 2021 this decreased slightly to more than 2%. For Ukraine, that percentage went from 1.8% in 2015 to 1.2% in 2021. 


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