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Rising Foreign Interest in Spain's Housing Market in 2023

Rising Foreign Interest in Spain's Housing Market in 2023

Spain's housing market is experiencing a significant uptick in interest from foreign buyers, with Belgians and Italians emerging as prominent new investors. In 2023, foreign buyers set a new record, making up nearly 15% of all home purchases in Spain. This shift indicates changing dynamics, as traditionally dominant nationalities like the British, Germans, and French see their influence decrease, allowing new buyers to gain prominence.

Key Highlights

Record-Breaking Numbers: Foreign buyers acquired over 88,000 properties out of approximately 646,000 total sales in 2023, marking a 45% increase from 2021. This surge raised the foreign share of the market to 13.8%, the highest level since 2007.

Popular Regions: Alicante's Costa Blanca remains the top destination for foreign buyers, with nearly 44% of all purchases. The Balearic Islands also continue to be highly attractive, accounting for over 31% of foreign transactions, despite a slight decline compared to previous years.

Emerging Nationalities: In addition to Belgians and Italians, Moroccans are rapidly increasing their presence in the Spanish property market. This diversification shows a broader appeal of Spain's real estate beyond traditional European investors.

La Cala resort

La Cala Resort Source: TW 

High-End Market Trends: The high-end market is particularly appealing to foreign buyers. In Barcelona, demand for luxury properties has soared, with some developments selling more than half of their units to international investors. This trend highlights the allure of Spain's premium real estate.

Overall Market Growth: Total property transactions in 2023 reached nearly 650,000, a 14.5% increase from 2021. This growth is driven not only by foreign buyers but also by a general market recovery, with the average home price rising by around 4.5% to €188,000.

malaga city

 Malaga City Source:TW

Tinsa Insights: According to Tinsa, Spain's leading property valuation firm, the housing market's recovery is evident in the steady price increases and high demand from foreign buyers, particularly in tourist-heavy regions like the Costa Blanca and Balearic Islands. The first quarter of 2024 showed a 0.1% price increase from the previous quarter, with strong growth in areas popular with tourists. 

At the provincial level, Alicante leads the way with nearly 44% of property purchases made by foreigners, followed by Tenerife at 35.7%, and Málaga. After a five-year decline, foreign buyer activity has surged over the past two years, reaffirming their importance in the Spanish property market. Although there has been a decline in the purchase of properties valued over half a million euros, which is significant for non-EU citizens, the overall number of foreign purchases continues to rise. This growth persists despite a nearly six percent increase in Spanish house prices compared to the previous year.

Conclusion

The resurgence of foreign interest in Spain’s property market underscores the country's lasting appeal as a prime destination for real estate investment. Regions like Alicante and the Balearic Islands remain top choices, while new nationalities continue to make their mark. This diversification and growth in the foreign buyer segment are crucial for maintaining momentum in Spain's real estate market amidst rising property prices and economic challenges.

Source:  The Olive Press, The English Emigre, Spanish Property Insight, and Tinsa.

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