According to the latest statistics of General Council of Notaries, (Consejo General del Notariado) 2017 was a record year for foreign purchases of real estate in Spain. Out of 513.814 purchases recorded, foreigners were responsible for just over 100.000 of sales. It is the first time in Spanish real estate history that this number has been reached
Sale of homes recorded by foreign citizens grew by 14.2% year-on-year in 2017, exceeding for the first time historical barrier of 100,000 transactions, even if only for 95 sales. This figure makes 19.5% of the total sales, hugely influencing the state of the market.
This number is evenly split between resident-foreigners and non-resident foreigners. It is also a sign of better times since during the crisis, most of the purchases were done by non-resident foreigners.
The preferences of foreigners are still the regions on the coast. Valencia Province has recorded more than 27,500 sales (more than 25% of the total), Andalusia around 17,000 and Catalonia about 15,000. Foreigners were also interested in both archipelagos, with more than 10,000 sales in the Canary Islands and 7,000 in the Balearic Islands.
The highest average price of the property that foreigners paid, per square meter was recorded in the Balearic Islands, where they have paid 2.888 euros / m2, followed by 2.123 euros / m2 in the Basque Country and 2.021 euros / m2 in Madrid.
The British are still the main buyers despite the decline experienced over previous years by the consequences of Brexit. They purchased more than 14,000 homes in 2017, less than recorded in 2016. The Brexit effect has taken a toll on their interest and the number of purchases has decreased for the second year in a row.
What made those record figures is the huge interest from buyers from other European countries. French are leading the pack with more than 8,500 purchases, closely followed by Germans (more than 8,200), Italians (more than 6,800) and Belgians (more than 6,000).
However, there are also acquisitions for work purposes. Romanians (with more than 6,800 purchases), Moroccans (with more than 5,500) and Chinese (with almost 5,000) are the main immigrant nationalities who come to work in Spain and this is reflected in the purchases.