By Adrian Bishop
The number of Spanish homes bought by foreigners has hit a decade high.
The 13.4% annual rise in home sales by foreigners to 50,087 in the first half of 2017 is the highest total since Spanish notaries began publishing such data in 2007.
Britons are still the top buyers on 13.9%, although their share fell 16.4% from a year earlier, according to the figures from the Notary Statistical Information Center.
Looking at second homes in Spain, Britons are top or in second place in seven regions, including Andalusia, Murcia, Valencian Country, the Balearics, and the Canary Islands.
Second were French buyers with 8.8%, then German buyers (8.2%), Italian (7.7%) Romanian (6.9%) and Belgian (6.2%) buyers. All nationalities increased their purchases except for Britons, Swedes (-3.2) and Danes (-1.7%).
The French also dominated seven regions - Catalonia, Navarre, and the Basque Country, La Rioja, Castille La Mancha, Castille and Leon, and Extremadura.
One in 10 sales went to foreigners outside the EU, including Morocco (5.7%), China (4.7%) and Russia (3%).
The Notaries say, “Almost all foreigners who decide to buy a property in Spain choose to go to the notary to make the purchase in public deed since, although it is not mandatory unless a mortgage loan is contracted, it provides legal security.”
Just over half (53.4%) of sales - 26,546 properties – were bought by expats living in Spain. The 23,540 homes bought by foreigners living outside Spain was a rise of 22% on the first six months of 2016.
Sales increased in all Autonomous Communities. The highest rises came in La Rioja (74.8%) Navarra (43.8%) and Castilla y León (39%). The smallest was in the Balearic Islands (5.3%), Andalusia (5.4%) and Murcia (5.7%).
Foreign buyers had the greatest market share in the Canaries (42.3%), Balearics (37.7%), Valencian Community (35.5%), Murcia (26.9%), and Andalusia (19.4%).
Foreigners on average paid 2.9% more per square metre than last year. Non-residents paid more on average (€1,941/m2) than residents (€1,405/m2).
The maps show foreign market share by region (left) and expat demand (right)
Source: Spanish Notaries
Find out about purchasing property in Spain as an overseas buyer and how the buying process works in the free Halo Guide to Buying Property in Spain