Posted on May 12, 2016 in Property

According to the latest data released by Spain’s General Council of Notaries, foreigners bought a total of 76,680 homes in Spain in 2015, which accounted for 20% of the total housing transactions during the year, and represents an increase in transactions year-on-year of 12.9%, confirming that the volume of purchases by foreigners has been increasing since 2007.

Some 51.7% of the housing transactions last year were carried out by non-resident foreigners. However, housing transactions by foreign residents still increased by 18.2%, which is a higher rate than that experienced by the non-resident foreign buyers, which stood at an increase of 8.4%.

All of Spain’s regions registered year-on-year increases in the number of housing transactions carried out by foreign buyers, the greatest being those of La Rioja (+59.1%), Castilla-La Mancha (+57.3%) and Navarra (+41.5%), followed by those of: Aragón (+39.8%); Castilla y León (+34%); the Basque Country (+30.7%); Murcia (+25.8%) and Cantabria (+25.5%), and those of  Galicia (+23.2%), the Balearic Islands (+22.3%), Madrid (+17.3%) and Andalucía (+13.6%). In contrast, the regions which registered the smallest increases were Catalonia (+4.9%), Valencia (+7.2%), Extremadura (+9.8%), and the Canary Islands (+10.3%).

In 2015, the regions which had the greatest volume of housing transactions by foreigners over the total housing transactions were the Balearic Islands (44%), the Canary Islands (39%), Valencia (37%), Murcia (25%) and Andalucía (25%), while in contrast, the regions with the lowest volume of transactions carried out by foreign buyers were the Basque Country, Cantabria, Castilla y León, Galicia and Extremadura, all with around 4%.

El Economista reported that the average price per square metre of the housing transactions carried out by foreign buyers in 2015 stood at 1,598 euros, representing a year-on-year increase of 2.9%. The average price of the homes purchased by non-resident foreigners increased by 5.6%, to 1,792 euros per square metre, while those purchased by foreigners resident in Spain fell by 0.1%, to 1,367 euros.

The average price of per metre of homes bought by foreigners stood above the national average in the Balearic Islands (2,580 euros), the Basque Country (2,047 euros), Madrid (1,867 euros) and Catalonia (1,856 euros), while the regions where prices were furthest below the national average were Extremadura (576 euros), Castilla-La Mancha (597 euros), La Rioja (710 euros) and Castilla y León (712 euros).

With regard to the nationalities of the foreign home buyers in Spain, the Notaries’ data showed that British buyers accounted for 20.6% of the transactions carried out by foreigners, followed by the French (8.8%), Germans (7.5%), the Belgians (5.7%), Italians (5.5%) and Romanians (5.3%). All of these nationalities accounted for over half of the housing transactions made by foreigners in 2015.

The nationality which showed most activity in the housing market during 2015 were the Romanians, with an increase of 59% year-on-year, while other nationalities showing year-on-year growth rates higher than the national average were: the Ecuadorians (+43.1%); British (+37.7%); Moroccans (+25.8%); Italians (+18.5%); Irish (+17.8%); Chinese (+16.8%); Swedish (+15%); Argentinians (+14.8%) and Swiss (+13.6%).

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