Home » Foreign interest in Spanish property still strong, but requirements and budgets change

Foreign interest in Spanish property still strong, but requirements and budgets change

Market data from Taylor Woodrow de España provides an insight into how demand for holiday homes in Spain is changing, and how the Spanish property market is being affected by the economic crisis.

The data is based on more than 5,500 enquiries at the developer’s Spanish property website during 2008. UK house builder Taylor Woodrow have been building quality homes in Spain for 50 years.

Taylor Woodrow de España press release explaining market data:


According to figures recently released by Taylor Woodrow de España, 2008 saw a shift in the pattern of needs and wants of house hunters in search of a home in Spain. The leading developer released its enquiry profile figures that showed a shifting pattern in budgets, along with changes in the number of bedrooms required, the type of properties sought and in the reasons for purchasing a home in Spain.

Analysing the budgets available to potential purchasers reveals a marked shift in 2008 towards properties at the lower end of the market. There were large increases in the share of enquires received for properties in Taylor Woodrow’s lowest price bands, with over two thirds of all enquiries now coming from properties below €250,000. In particular the share of enquiries relating to properties in the €150-250 price bands has risen from a 35% share in 2007 to 67% in 2008. Although the price bands are changing, the overall volume of enquiries still remains strong with over five and half thousand people seeking detailed information about a Taylor Woodrow de Espana home.

Victor Sague, Marketing Director of Taylor Woodrow de España comments: “During 2008, consumers were forced to look at their budgets and unsurprisingly the lower priced houses in our selection became more popular as house hunters looked to bag a bargain overseas. We believe that whilst the credit crunch has dealt a heavy blow to house hunters, rather than delaying their home owning dreams in the sun they are merely reassessing their budgets and looking for cheaper alternatives. As a company we have always offered quality homes in desirable locations with an attractive price tag, so satisfying these budgets has come easy!”

Budget (euros) % of Total (2007) % of Total (2008)
Up to 150.000 1.96 5.47
From 150.001 to 250.000 35.29 66.98
From 250.001 to 350.000 47.06 32.67
From 350.001 to 450.000 11.76 5.35
From 450.001 to 600.000 2.61 2.21
More than 600.000 1.31 0.58

Figure 1 – Average percentage of enquiries according to budgets

Reasons to Buy

Owning a ‘holiday home or 2nd residence’ is still the primary reason for consumers looking to buy in Spain with 55% of enquirers citing this as their core motivation. However those seeking a permanent move to Spain, i.e. seeking ‘a primary home’, rose sharply as a percentage of enquirers, taking a 23% share in 2008 as opposed to 12% in 2007. Victor explains: “The English weather throughout 2008 was pretty poor, especially in terms of the ‘blink and you miss it’ English Summer, we believe this to be one of the major contributing factors to the significant rise in enquiries for both first homes and holiday homes. Additionally, with the fast accent of technology, more individuals are able to dictate where they work making location less of a major factor and increasing the practically of living in Spain. Also, fast communication links to the UK help to ease travel worries. This has definitely increased the interest in purchasing a home in Spain for the purpose of a first residence as buyers can experience the best of both worlds.”

Figure 2 – Average percentage of enquiries according to property purpose
Figure 2 – Average percentage of enquiries according to property purpose

Size of property

2 bedroom homes still dominate the market with 57% of all 2008 enquirers looking for homes of this size. This is a 7.5% rise from 2007 when 53% was recorded. Individuals looking for a ‘3 bedroom home’ decreased during 2008 with 40% recorded in 2008, ‘more than 3 bedrooms’ also took a drop with only 1% of enquiries during 2008 in search of additional room. Victor comments: “Two and three bedroom properties have always been the most popular request from our prospective customers due to the flexibility they provide for individuals, couples and families. However, the gap between requests for 2 and 3 bedroom homes during 2008 increased by 17%. Again this may be attributed towards the current climate because, whereas individuals may have normally strived for a 3 bedroom home, they are now willing to compromise and lose a little bit of space in order to still achieve the dream of owning a home in Spain.”

Figure 3 – Average percentage of enquiries according to number of bedrooms required
Figure 3 – Average percentage of enquiries according to number of bedrooms required

Property types

When looking at the types of properties preferred, apartments had a clear majority with 66% of enquirers looking for a simple apartment. Penthouses came second with 18% and semi-detached homes third with 7%. Surprisingly, detached houses/villas only had 2% interest, which clearly demonstrates the current desire for no-fuss properties in Spain. Victor explains: “With the majority of our purchasers looking for a holiday home or second residence the desire for a secure, no hassle property that can allow people to ‘lock up and leave’ is usually high up on the wish-list. An apartment, penthouse or duplex can provide this lifestyle and give purchasers the space and facilities they require.”

Type of property % of Total (2008)
Commercial Premises 0.95
Apartment 66.13
Detached House / Villa 1.80
Duplex 4.17
Penthouse 17.84
Semi-detached house 7.59
Other 1.52

Figure 4 – Average percentage of enquiries according to types of properties desired

Age of enquirers

Breaking down the enquiries according to age groups, the highest rise was seen in the ‘30-45 years’ category with 44% of enquiries in 2008 belonging to this age group, compared with 35% in 2007. ‘46-55 years’ took the biggest hit with the group being responsible for 27% of enquiries in 2008 as opposed to 33% in 2007. ’56-65 years’ also experienced a drop moving from 22% to 20%. ‘Under 30 years’ and ‘over 65 years’ remained stable.

Victor continues: “People aged 30 to 45 years once again held onto the majority share with continued optimism when it comes down to purchasing a home in Spain. Whilst Spain appeals to a broad range of people, this age group may particularly be drawn to the country due to its close proximity to the UK, good investment opportunity and its family orientated focus, making it an ideal vacation destination for the school holidays. The older age groups reduced their share, one of the major forces for this may be the continuing pressure of external forces causing people to ’tighten their belts’ in the current environment.”

Figure 5 – Average percentage of enquiries by age groups
Figure 5 – Average percentage of enquiries by age groups


In many instances, people’s hobbies dictate the choice of location for their property abroad. Whilst golfing is still the most popular pastime of prospective purchasers of Taylor Woodrow de España properties, other hobbies are starting to gather momentum. Hillwalking made the biggest jump going from 6% in 2007 to 17% in 2008, a rise of 145%. Tennis also experienced an increase from 4% to 7%. Whilst, golf dropped its share by 12%, with 67% reported in 2007 going down to 59% in 2008. Nautical hobbies also lost share going from 20% in 2007 to 15% in 2008. Victor comments: “Many of our developments are located close to or on the site of a golf course to satisfy the demand for this past time. However, we have been finding that more family friendly activities such as tennis and hill walking have been growing in popularity. Consequently, we continue to ensure that we build our developments in appropriate locations so couples and families can easily take advantage of the local scenery and facilities on offer.”

Figure 6 – Average percentage of enquiries according to hobbies.
Figure 6 – Average percentage of enquiries according to hobbies.


Victor Sague concludes: “Despite the doom and gloom throughout 2008, Taylor Woodrow de España can report that legal completions in 2008 were up 16% compared to 2007. In the past – and I’m confident that it will continue to do so in the future – Spain has been voted one of the ‘top 5 best tourist destinations’ and as such remains a firm favourite for both holidays and purchasing property. Indeed, the continuing popularity of this country helps ensure that property purchased in Spain will always hold its long term value. Especially with the current climate, purchasers looking to invest abroad can take advantage of good prices including the many fantastic incentives that Taylor Woodrow de España is currently offering on its developments built in enviable locations throughout Spain. Finally, combine this with the fact that interest rates are currently at their lowest ever, now is surely a prime time to invest.”

Additionally, consumers looking to gain extra assurance when purchasing a home in Spain need to look no further as Taylor Woodrow de España has partnered with accreditation scheme Safe Buying Experience (SBE), to help ensure purchasers in the country are able to buy a home as part of a safe and secure process. This partnership provides a double reassurance to buyers of a Taylor Woodrow de España home as they are now guaranteed a quality home complete with independent endorsement as to its ‘integrity, legality and safety’.

With a reputation for trust, Taylor Woodrow de España provides a specialised service and dedicated team within the UK and Spain who can help and advise homebuyers through the entire process of choosing, buying and settling into a new Spanish home.

The developer currently has a range of Safe Buying Experience endorsed quality homes available in Mallorca, the Costa del Sol, Costa Blanca and Costa Azahar, starting from £110,000. For further information on Taylor Woodrow de España and the developments available please call 08000 121 020 or visit www.taylorwoodrow.es

If you would like to find out further information regarding the Safe Buying Experience accreditation Scheme please visit www.safebuyingexperience.com

One thought on “Foreign interest in Spanish property still strong, but requirements and budgets change

  • Lionel Westell says:

    Interesting notes from Taylor Woodrow but regretably out of date in this fast changing market. I am only seeing movement at the very top end of the market and very little in the 150.000 to 350.000 end. Prices have yet to drop even more and the U.K. to come out of recession before we see anything like a movement in the middle sector of the market. Interest rates may be lower but mortgages are not really available at lower rates, and then only granted after the completion of strict terms on 60% to 70% of the Banks valuation. Indeed we have an increasing amount of enquiries for properties to sell coming from English clients wishing to return to the U.K. due to falling income or ill health, many bargains are available due to this factor.

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