Spain


Expats in Spain buying more property, official figures show

by Ray Clancy on January 23, 2015

Expats in Spain are buying more property, but they could find themselves competing with an influx of buyers from abroad, according to real estate firms.

Figures from the Spanish Ministry of Public Works shows that foreigners resident in Spain bought property worth €6,077.4 million between January and September 2014, a rise of 28.4% compared to the same period in 2013.

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Housing prices are not expected to change much in 2015 but more foreign buyers could be in store

Resale property accounted for the highest volume of sales with a total of €5,404.4 million during the first nine months of the year, some 33.4% more than the previous year while sales of new homes were slightly lower than the year before.

Foreign residents spent the highest amount on property in Valencia with €1,284 million spent in Alicante province, €1,429 million in Andalusia and €1,175 million in Catalonia.

According to Tom Maidment, director of real estate firm Lucas Fox’s office on the Costa Brava, prices are not expected to change much in 2015 but more foreign buyers could be seen due to the currency rates against the euro.

Given the worsening economic situation in Russia the number of Russian buyers is expected to fall further but on the other hand, the strength of the British Pound and the likelihood that it will strengthen further against the Euro should attract an ever greater number of British buyers to the market in 2015 as they continue to take advantage of reduced priced Spanish property and favourable exchange rates.

“Buyers will inevitably be looking for good deals in 2015, with a focus on reduced priced properties in prime locations,” he predicted.

He expects sales volume to increase in the coastal areas around Begur, including Aiguablava, Tamariu, Calella and Llafranc, traditionally a very popular area for mid to high end British and northern European buyers.

The absence of Russian buyers may also result in a drop in prices in the southern areas of the Costa Brava, such as Blanes, Lloret de Mar and Tossa de Mar.

“The market in this area of the coast has been almost entirely driven by Russian investment over the past two to three years so the lack of Russian buyers in 2015 should have an impact on property prices in the prime coastal areas,” said Maidment.

“We may also begin to see an increase in activity from national buyers although we don’t anticipate the domestic market to pick up in any kind of volume for at least another year,” he added.

This year UK and other overseas buyers will buy their dream properties in Spain, according to Daniel Talevera of The Spanish Brick Agency.

“The market is settling down since property prices fell by 3% in 2014, whereas in 2013 they dropped 9.2%,” he said.

Alejandra Vanoli, managing director of Mallorca Sotheby’s International Realty, said that in Mallorca house price falls have come to an end.

“This year will bring stability and yet more confidence to buyers. In 2014 our Mallorca sales were up around 20% on the previous year and we’re headed for record sales figures in 2015,” he explained.

The vast majority of enquiries to the form’s Palma office are British at 36%, with Germans in second place at 18%, Swiss and Spanish nationals make up third and fourth place.

In Port Andrat, Germans top the list with 28% of enquiries, followed by British with 22% and Spanish and Swiss buyers. Ibiza, like Palma, is topped by British enquiries at 25% with Germans lagging behind at 10% and a myriad of nationalities following behind Dutch and Spanish in third and fourth place respectively.

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