The Spanish property market continues to shrink as domestic demand contracts, and foreign buyers become more important than ever.
There were 70,196 homes sold in the third quarter of the year, a decline of 6.8pc compared to the same period last year, according to data from the Department of Housing, in the Ministry of Public Works (Fomento). So the Spanish property market continues to shrink after five years of crisis.
Home sales to foreigners, on the other hand, exploded 24.7pc in Q3, to 12,070, the ninth consecutive quarter of growth. Foreign buyers are now 17.2pc of the market, the highest level since the Government started publishing this data. Foreign buyers were concentrated in Alicante (3,158), Malaga (1,552), Barcelona (889), Girona (758), and Tenerife (705).
Sales to both foreign and Spanish buyers alike increased the most in the Canaries (+10.5pc), Murcia (+8.8pc) and Catalonia (+8.2pc)m and fell the most in Cantabria (-33pc), the Basque Country (-30pc) and Extremadura (-28.3pc).
By province, sales surged 25.5pc in Malaga, home to the Costa del Sol, 20pc in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, in the Canaries, 18.4pc in Almeria, home to the Costa Cálida, and 16.4pc in Alicante, home to the Costa Blanca. Unsurprisingly, these are all provinces that attract foreign buyers.
At the other end of the scale were the provinces of Alava (-71pc), Toledo (-40.4pc), Castellón (-37.2pc) and Cantabria (-33pc). The odd one out in this group is Castellón, home to the Costa Azahar, an attractive coastal region of Spain between Valencia and Barcelona that should attract foreign buyers in larger numbers, but doesn’t because nobody really knows about it outside of Spain.