Foreign demand for Spanish homes surges in Q2 say notaries

foreign demand for Spanish property
Foreign demand, resident (red dotted) non-resident (blue), percentage change purchases (left) and values in €/m2 (right)

Non-resident foreigners bought 43pc more Spanish homes in Q2 than the same time last year, according to the latest figures from the General Council of Notaries.

Foreign buyers break down into residents who mainly buying principal homes (though some will also be buying second homes and investments) and non-residents buying second homes or investments.

Overall, foreigners purchased 14,593 homes in Spain during the second quarter of the year, up 23pc compared to the same time last year, according to figures based on deeds witnessed by notaries.

Non-residents were the real driving force behind the increase in foreign demand. They bought 43pc more homes in Q2 than the same period last year, whilst foreigners resident in Spain only bought 4pc more in the period.

According to the notaries, non-residents were 55pc of foreign demand in Q2 (around 8,030 home purchases), and residents were 45pc of the foreign market (around 6,570 homes).

This flatly contradicts the data from the Department of Housing, part of the Ministry of Public Works (Fomento), which would have us believe that non-residents are just a small part of foreign demand.

The following chart, based on data from Fomento for the same period, shows foreign residents (in red) as many times bigger than non-residents (in green). I go into detail on this discrepancy in a recent article: Flawed Government stats say most foreign buyers are residents of Spain.

Belgian buyers lead the charge into Spain

Returning to the latest figures from the notaries, it seems Belgians are the most excited about Spanish property.

In terms of percentage change compared to last year, Belgian non-residents second-home buyers led the charge, up 78pc, followed by the French (+70pc) and Germans (+35pc) and British (25pc).

Belgians also led the pack when it came to increased demand amongst foreign residents, up 42pc, followed by Moroccans (+40pc), Russians (+21pc), French (+8pc), and Germans (5pc). Purchases by other resident nationalities declined. I’m not sure what’s driving the big increase in Belgian demand for Spanish property – any ideas please do share in the comments section below.

Though British demand increased in Q2, British market share continues to decline, from 39pc in Q4 2007, to 15pc now. That said, the British are still the biggest group of buyers, followed by the French (11pc), Russians (9pc), Germans (8pc), and Belgians (8pc).

foreign demand for property in Spain
Nationalities as percentage of total foreign demand

Foreign sales increased the most in Murcia, up 43pc, followed by Andalucia (+37pc) and the Valencian Community (+32pc).

Looking at property value in Euros per square metre, the average price of property bought by foreigners declined by 5pc to 1,380 €/m2, so foreigners are buying more Spanish property at a better price.

+ Full report and data tables from notaries (pdf in Spanish)

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