Most foreign buyers in Spain go for second-homes, but some nationalities more than others.
If you look at the data for Spanish home purchases by foreign buyers, and break the numbers down between residents and non-residents, and assume that residents are buying main homes (which most of them are, though some will be buying a second-home or investment), and assume that non-residents are buying holiday-homes (which most of them are, though some will be buying with a view to future relocation) you get a reasonable idea of how each foreign market breaks down between first and second home buyers.
So which nationalities go more for second-homes / investments, and how have the preferences changed over time? The chart above answers the question. Using data from the notaries going back to 2007 it looks at non-resident buyers from the main foreign markets for property in Spain (excluding markets like Morocco, which are in a completely different segment).
In 2022 the Swedes had the biggest proportion of second-home buyers, with almost 90pc of Swedish buyers being non-resident, followed by the Danes at 83%, and the Belgians at 80pc. At the other end of the scale were the French at 60% (meaning 40pc of the French who buy a property in Spain are already resident), and the British at 61pc. The Germans and the Dutch were at 72pc, both having increased significantly since 2020.
The interesting thing about the British (in this context) is they have gone from the highest proportion of all nationalities in 2007 buying second-homes / investments abroad (77pc at the time) to the second-lowest last year, a hair’s breadth ahead of the French. Why? I suppose that many British buyers back in 2007 were ‘investors’ who got inveigled into flipping and other such folly, and they disappeared from the market when the bubble burst between 2008 and 2010 (Swedish and Danish second-home buyers remained constant through that period). British second-home buyers recovered somewhat between 2013 and 2016 (Brexit referendum time), and have been declining ever since, a small uptick in 2022 notwithstanding.