The amount of money invested in Spanish property by foreigners resident in Spain leapt by 27 per cent last year, if figures from the Spanish Government are to be believed.
Foreigners residents in Spain spent a combined total of €8.6 billion on Spanish homes in 2014, data from the Spanish Ministry of Development (Fomento) would have us believe.
That represents a leap of 26.6 per cent compared to 2013 when it reached €6.8 billion, implying that expats in Spain are the most bullish segment of all.
Expats went largely for resale properties, spending 31 per cent more on these type of homes (€7.7 billion), compared to a fall of 2.5 per cent spent on new homes (€934 million).
Why the big preference for resales? Probably because the stock of new homes that anyone actually wants to buy has been largely sold. What is left might be unsaleable.
As far as geographical distribution goes, the region that saw the highest value of purchases by foreign residents was the Valencian Community with €2 billion, of which €1.7 billion was spent in the province of Alicante. Then came Andalusia (€1.9 billion) and Catalonia (€1.6 billion).
The problem is these figures can’t be right. It doesn’t make any sense that expats outnumber non-residents thirteen to one.
Looking at the Fomento data for number of home sales by buyer type, you get the following picture, with expats (foreigners resident in Spain) far outnumbering foreign non-residents, who must be buying second homes.
When you consider that the biggest group of foreign buyers in Spain (expat and non-resident) are the British, followed by the French, who are mainly buying holiday-homes, it’s impossible that expats outnumber non-resident foreign buyers. There is something wrong with the Government’s numbers.