UK buyers purchase a fifth of Spanish property sold to foreigners

on Oct 13, 2015
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Data from the Colegio de Registradores, Spain’s land registry, revealed last week that UK citizens have accounted for 19.8 percent of property sales to foreigners in the southern European nation for the first half of 2015.

British buyers have been helped by a stronger pound, which has gained more than six percent versus the euro over the past twelve months. Surging UK home prices have also played a role in nurturing a growing group of potential buyers looking for property overseas, analysts note.
Meanwhile, German and other European buyers have been impeded by a slower economic recovery, while emerging demand from Russians has been impacted by Western sanctions imposed on Moscow, and by lower oil prices, which hurt the entirety of Russia’s economy.

Marc Pritchard, the Majorca-based sales and marketing director of Taylor Wimpey España, which develops homes in popular Spanish coastal areas, said that “the British market is by far the most important”.
“There are several factors at play, but people are starting to realise that after years of the Spanish housing market being depressed, it is beginning to pick up,” Pritchard said, as quoted by the Independent. “Prices, while rising, are still low. Even in prime locations, properties are still at 2002 levels.”
As many as 750,000 Britons live in Spain for at least part of the year. The most popular destinations are the coastal areas, particularly in Alicante and Marbella, where some communities are dominated by English-speaking residents, the Independent noted in a report over the weekend.
Online real estate agent Rightmove argues that it is the grey pound that is driving the market, with Britons aged between 55 and 64 accounting for half of enquiries about holiday homes in Spain, while the 45-54 group makes up a third.

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