Scandinavians pile into Spanish property

Increasing numbers of Scandinavians are taking advantage of the crisis to buy holiday-homes in Spain.

According to a recent article at the website Investment Europe, “Figures published by Fastighetsbyrån, part of Swedish banking group Swedbank, suggest Swedish and Norwegian property buyers have pushed hard into the Spanish residential property market, as British and German buyers have withdrawn in the past half-decade.”

The article goes onto explain that “over the four year period, the number of UK buyers has dropped by 65% and German buyers by 3%. However, the number of Norwegian buyers is up 108%, and Swedes by 138%. The total market is still down 33% from its 2007 peak, the figures also suggest.”

It’s not hard to see how Scandinavians are tempted by Spanish property: Their economies are relatively strong, as are their currencies (the Norwegian and Swedish Krone/Krona have both risen by around 5pc against the Euro since the Spanish property bubble burst at the end of 2007, whilst the British Pound has fallen almost 20pc); Spanish property prices on the coast are down around 50pc or more from the peak, and the sun doesn’t shine much back at home. So Scandinavian buyers are taking advantage of the market to snap up bargains on the Mediterranean coast, and who can blame them?

So good news of a sorts, but Scandinavian buyers are not a panacea for the glut of holiday-homes on the coast. For a start, with the pick of the best properties, I doubt they will be tempted by all the over-built crap on the coast that also needs to be sold. And unfortunately, there just aren’t enough of them to take the place of the retreating Brits, who dominated the market during the boom.

A final thought: If there is a moral to this story it’s don’t buy property (abroad) in a boiling real estate market; wait until it crashes. But how do you know when a property market is boiling? There are usually plenty of signals, as there were in Spain for anyone prepared to do the research. Crashes, on the other hand, are easy to spot: Just look at Spain today. But how do you know when prices hit rock bottom, as they must one day? Now that I can’t answer.

You can read the full article from Investment Europe here: Swedes, Norwegians lead charge to buy Spanish property



17 thoughts on “Scandinavians pile into Spanish property”

  1. Judith

    We have many sales this year with this market and we are looking to work with a Scandinavian agents to sell our Spanish properties.
    Please contact for more information



  2. Andrew

    First it was the Brits/Germans; then “The Russians” are coming headlines….now Scandanavians….but in truth the crisis in Spain remains…and WILL get worse…so, ‘rock bottom’? No..not yet. The Euro/£ exchange has edged up, but not to the 1.50 rate/£ of a decadae ago.

  3. Herb

    The market is a worse basket case this year than it was in 2011. I bought in 2011 for 50% of the price the vendors paid for the villa in 2003. So was it a steal, well maybe not coz I doubt I could sell it for any more than I paid. In the urbanization I prefered to buy in the vendors were all wanting 750,000+ euros. Now, I see there are 2 villas (both originally for sale in the high 700’s) being offered in the high 500’s and they will get offers in the low to mid 400’s. Buyers like me offering cash are being brutal in their offers. Vendors who dont want to be crucified might as well remove their properties from sale.

  4. Steve A

    To say that coastal properties are down by 50% is I think untrue. Though no doubt some properties hugely overvalued to begin with may have dropped that much. The average is certainly a sale price drop of over 20%, perhaps now up to 30% or more from their 2007/08 peak in some areas. One of the main problems working this out is in establishing the true base line, since so many advertised prices were always (and still are) ludicrously in excess of average sale prices.

  5. steve

    i am / was ? looking to join the sweeds this year in buying a villa in the bedar area. i see lots of great new builds / part finished and would buy today but just dont know who to believe any more. im looking to move full time and take residencia but just getting too worried. what is the true current picture today regarding the 12,000 blighted properties ? why are they still advertised and what of the amnesty ? is it possible to make them legal ? the sweeds seem to think so or is that a myth ?

    steve .

  6. Carol Newbold

    I wish to advertise a property in Valencia to attract Swedish, Norwegian etc. buyers. Can anyone suggest property portals where I can reach these buyers

  7. Chris Nation

    Carol, I suggest you imagine yourself to be a Scandinavian of some stripe and just surf the property sites as any prospective buyer would. You will come up with plenty of options for the Valencia region. I can think of 2 right off the bat – one in the Gandia area and another for Valencia city and surrounding areas – but I’m not sure I’m allowed to state these here, so you could p.m. me for those.

  8. Jo P.

    I wanted to sell my 4-bedroom villa in Marbella, Costa del Sol through the internet but I’m afraid that I will be swarmed with property sales agents instead of direct buyers themselves. Are there still loads of genuine direct sales on line? I appreciate any advice please.

  9. David

    Seems a bit odd Alexis that the previous post on the topic was a year ago, the headline is not today’s news. You mention advertising ‘our properties’ in Scandinavian portals so as an estate agent yourself in Marbella surely you could find these? That’s what Google does, hmm.

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About Mark Stücklin

Mark Stücklin is a Barcelona-based property market analyst and consultant, and author of the 'Spanish Property Doctor' column in the Sunday Times (2005 - 2008). He can be reached by email on