FOREIGN DEMAND: which country has increased the most since the last boom?

The answer juxtaposes the fortunes of the two biggest markets for property in Spain.

Now that I have a Spanish property data hub at my fingertips, I decided to compare the performance of the main international markets for property in Spain from 2007 to the present.

Using data from the notaries I created an index with a base period of H1 2007 when the sun was beginning to set on the Spanish real estate boom of that decade (or the bubble was beginning to burst, if you prefer) plotting demand from all the main markets up until the first half of this year, the latest period for which data is available.

First of all, let’s compare the performance of foreign demand with local (Spanish) demand over that time frame. In the chart below you can see that foreign demand recovered quite quickly and was already above the base period by 2014, ending up 120% higher by the first half of this year.

Spanish demand, in contrast, has never recovered to where it was in 2007, and was still almost 30% below in the first half of this year. Growing foreign demand has played a big part in Spain’s property market recovery, which has been a boon for the Spanish economy. 

Now let’s look at how foreign markets have performed over the same period. As you can see in the next chart, Germany has done the best (+680%) whilst the UK is still almost 30% below where it was in 2007. Perhaps just a coincidence but Spanish and British demand are in almost exactly the same place.

Back in 2007 British demand was stratospheric on the back of a strong economy before the financial crisis hit, whilst the German economy had been through some difficult years. In those years many of the big estate agents in Mallorca that had grown fat on German demand had to swivel to the British market or die.

The UK is still the biggest foreign market for Spanish property, followed by Germany, which has overtaken France as the second-biggest market in recent years. But as you can see from the final chart, the index of British demand has flatlined since 2007, whilst German demand has gone up and up.

Thoughts on “FOREIGN DEMAND: which country has increased the most since the last boom?

  • Amazing data as usual, good that it shows the UK market as having flatlined, which everyone in the market knows, yet has been under reported, but in general the market has still performed so strongly in terms of ‘other’ foreign demand. Twas ever thus however, different national groups get a taste, a buzz and move in like a herd – fascinating really. This highlights it brilliantly, must go back and check some of your other data, because it’s even more amazing that while flatlining the British market is still the largest market of buyers. Will they ever get another taste, buzz and move in again like a herd?

    • Mark Stücklin says:

      Thanks Chris. I should clarify that the UK has only flatlined in the chart above because the base period is 2007, when UK demand was still stratospheric. If you use H1 2013 as the base period (when the market recovery started) the UK is up around 100%, but still lagging most of the other markets. Check out the new datahub for more stats, though for the first time in SPI’s history you have to subscribe to see most of that section because it takes up a lot of my time to source and add value to the data. The subscription is not expensive for what you get, though I say so myself. https://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/datahub/

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