France is normally the second biggest foreign market for property in Spain, though in Q2 it was beaten into 3rd place by Germany. How did French demand fare in Q2, against the backdrop of the coronavirus epidemic? These key charts help answer the question.
Given that France shares a border with Spain, and most French investors buy across that border in Catalonia, the French were better placed than any others to continue investing in Spain once the lockdown ended. They didn’t really take advantage of it.
For a start, the French fell into third place behind Germany in terms of acquisitions, with 543 Spanish home sales involving a French buyer in the quarter, according to data from the Association of Spanish Land Registrars (chart above). French buyers were almost half as numerous as British buyers in the period, despite having easier access to Spain.
That left France with almost 7% of foreign market share, on a par with Germany.
That was the lowest market share for France in the last seven years since the Spanish property market started to recover on the back of stronger foreign demand.
As was the case with all markets, Covid-19 was the overwhelming factor that cut French demand in two between the first and second quarter.
French demand suffered the biggest decline of all the big markets, down 56%, more than the UK (-54%) and Germany (-50%). So proximity to Spain did not prove to be any help to French demand for Spanish property in Q2 2020.
It will be interesting to see how far French demand revived in Q3, if at all. With France now back in lockdown in response to the inevitable second wave of Covid-19, it’s safe to say that French demand will not be staging a recovery in the last quarter.