Foreign interest for Spanish property on the coast: Map showing which nationalities are number one in each coastal area

map of foreign property search interest for Spanish property

The Spanish property portal idealista has published data and a map showing foreign investor interest by province on the Spanish coast. Despite the uncertainty of Brexit, the British still dominate the Spanish coastal property market.

Idealista have revealed that 19% of searches conducted at the portal were carried out by people based outside of Spain. That’s more or less consistent with data from the Association of Spanish Notaries showing that foreign buyers represent around 20% of the Spanish housing market (pre-Covid), though data from the Registrars’ Association has it more like 12%.

Based outside of Spain doesn’t necessarily mean foreign, as the numbers can include Spaniards living abroad, but it doesn’t change the overall picture. Most people abroad searching for property in Spain will be foreign.

As is the case with official figures for the number of foreign buyers, the British are the biggest group by quite a wide margin. According to Idealista, they are number one in 193 coastal municipalities, followed by the Germans in first place in 127 areas, and the French in 54 municipalities. Curiously, people based in the USA are now showing up as number one in a significant number of coastal municipalities, and the Swiss have a penchant for the wild north west coast of Galicia.

As you would expect, the British lead foreign search in the Malaga province, home to the Costa del Sol, in particular in the provinces of Marbella, Estepona, Torremolinos, and Malaga city, which is growing in popularity with foreign buyers.

In the Balearics, the Germans dominate Mallorca in every single municipality with a coastline, with the sole exception of Pollença, which is a British beach-head on the island. But in Menorca (Minorca), the British hold five municipalities to the German’s one, and unless I’m reading the map wrong, people based in the US are number one in Es Migjorn Gran. Down in Ibiza, it’s a fight between the British on the west of the island, and the Italians in the east and Formentera. In the Canaries there’s more variety of interest, but the British and Germans are the two dominant groups, with Germans in first place in terms of the number of municipalities they dominate searches.

Although the French are the second biggest nationality of foreign buyers of property in Spain, they pretty much stick to municipalities just over the Spanish border in Catalonia and the Basque Country, so they are only number one in 54 locations, well behind the British and the Germans.

Note that Spanish property searches conducted from the USA will include the large diaspora of South Americans like Mexicans and Venezuelans living in north America. So maybe not a sign that lots of WASPy Americans are getting interested in Spanish property, though I have no doubt that their numbers are growing, which might explain the US dominance of search for one province in Menorca, or maybe that was just a freak.

Also note that Idealista’s data will only reflect their group of searchers, not necessarily the wider foreign market. Other international portals might have more foreign users searching for property in Spain, and a different pattern of interest.

Anyway, you can play with the map all you like at Idealista on this page.

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