Foreigners are buying more houses in Spain than ever

by Lorraine Williamson
foreigners buying houses

MADRID – The number of houses sold in Spain between January and June this year has not been this high seen since 2008. As many as 328,208 transactions were made. Of these, 45,667 were foreigners buying houses. 

The 163,909 sales recorded in the second quarter of this year alone represent the second-best result since early 2008. Furthermore, this is behind only 164,299 in the first quarter of 2022. The data comes from the College of Real Estate Registrars, which collects data quarterly.  

According to experts, the fact that more houses are being traded than ever is due to the expressed interest of foreign buyers to purchase a house in Spain. Moreover, between April and June 2022, a maximum number of home purchases by foreigners was recorded. 

The record number of more than 24,000 transactions represented 14.66% of total transactions between April and June 2022. The registrars report that this figure represents a remarkable increase in foreign demand in a particularly intense market since the end of the pandemic. 

Since the third quarter of 2021, home purchases by foreigners have again reached pre-pandemic figures. As of July 2021, transactions did not fall below 16,000 in the following four quarters. 

Numbers that have never been registered before 

In the two quarters of 2022, more than 20,000 transactions per quarter were made by foreigners, numbers that have never been recorded before. Between January and March, foreigners bought 21,638 houses. Between April and June, there were 24,029 home sales. The registrars speak of a “segment with no doubt a significant upward trend”. 

The average of these last four quarters is 20,106 purchases by foreigners, while in the previous four quarters (Q3 2020-Q2 2021) the average was 12,516 operations. In 2018, the record year for home sales by foreigners in Spain with more than 65,500 transactions, the average was almost 16,380 transactions per quarter. 

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Where do foreign home buyers come from? 

The nationalities who bought the most houses in Spain between April and June were British (9.8%, 2,310). However, this is the second lowest figure since data are available. This was followed by;

  • Germans (9.1%, 2,140)
  • French ( 6.6%, 1,560)
  • Moroccans (4.9%, 1,160)
  • Belgians (4.9%, 1,155)
  • Romanians (4.8%, 1,150)
  • Dutch (4.8%, 1,130)
  • Italians ( 4.6%, 1,080)

According to the report, all nationalities except the British have been at the maximum level of purchases in recent years. 

Related post: Spain property market forecast 2022 – 2023 

“If we look at the graphs of the evolution of the annual results in the number of purchases for these nationalities, we can see how practically all purchases, except the British, have reached the maximum level in recent years,” the registrars say in their report. 

Real estate experts see that more and more buyers in Spain are trying to take advantage of longer seasons or stays and choose the country to telecommute. They also think that the energy effect plays a role. This is because energy in Spain is cheaper than in most countries where home buyers come from. 

Where do they buy? 

Alicante, Málaga, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands are the areas where foreigners have a greater weight in the total housing market. The Costa Blanca in Alicante remains at the forefront (42.2%), joined by the Canary Province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife (38.3%), the Balearic Islands (34.6%), Malaga (32.8%) and the other island province of Las Palmas (26.6%). Girona (26.3%) and Almería (20.2%) are other provinces where the weight of foreigners in the purchase of houses is remarkable. 

Related post: Madness on the housing market in the province of Málaga and Costa del Sol 


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