Who’s been buying in Spain?

And are the British still the number one buyers ?

If you’ve been following the Spanish property market a little, wondering if the time is right to get into the market, you’ll have started to notice articles referring to signs of recovery, particularly on the Costas and Islands.

For corporates, the message is clear. Throughout the year the business pages in the Spanish press have reported on investment funds, mostly from the USA but also now from Russia and China, buying up swathes of distressed property stock.

Many Spanish banks have sold on their own Real Estate divisions to foreign funds enabling them to focus back on traditional banking and lending and Spain’s ‘bad bank’ SAREB has successfully packaged thousands of properties in bulk sales to these investment houses.

A clear sign that the ‘smart money’ has been making its moves.

But what about the traditional holiday or second home buyer? Especially when we take into account that one in five of all properties sold in Spain this year have been sold to foreigners. This is the area of the market where Britain always led the way

(63% of foreign buyers in Spain in 2006 were British).

The facts are quite telling…… Britain still leads the pack but now with only 15% of the market, followed by the French (9.8%), Russians (8.6%) Belgians (7.3%), Germans (7%), Swedish (5.6%), Norwegians (5.2%).

Compras de viviendas por extranjeoros.

So what does that really tell us? Well, it gives us a clear indication that

other nations have been taking advantage of the lower prices

and hoovering up the bargains in our absence.

Per capita, the Belgians have purchased 3 times as many properties as the British whilst Scandinavian buyers are purchasing as many properties as Brits but with only a combined population of less than 40% than that of the UK.

It’s fair to say that other nations may have benefited from more favourable economic conditions in their countries of origin, perhaps having weathered the European recession a little better. Some non Euro countries will also have taken advantage of better exchange rates.

But as the market now starts to pick up, and with Sterling stronger than it was during previous recession blighted years, we are starting to see....

the volume of British buyers returning once again to the market.

As general confidence rises in the UK, Brits are starting to look again at its most favoured European holiday home and retirement destination.

The sunny weather has been a constant, drawing tourists back in their droves. Perhaps the heat is coming back into the property market too.


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