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Foreign Buyers in Spain Hit Record High

Property prices in Spain are on the rise again after many years in the doldrums, according to a recent report just released by Spain´s Association of Registrars, the national body that monitors the domestic housing market. With real estate values across the country estimated to have grown by 1%, whilst the ratio of overseas buyers has hit a new record high of 13.03%.

Property prices in Spain have risen for the first time in six years over the last quarter, whilst foreign confidence in Spanish property stands at a record high, according to the Association of Registrars.

This foreign buyer fuelled recovery reflects the fact that key markets such as the UK have been enjoying something of an economic upturn over the last couple of years. Whilst other traditional investment vehicles, such as savings, continue to offer little in way of returns, thanks to continuing low interest rates.

A whopping 13% of all properties sold in Spain over the last quarter were purchased by foreign buyers, with the British leading the way, with 15% of all overseas transactions. This is little surprise though as the UK economy has recovered ahead of other key markets, whilst the British have a long running love affair with Spain which shows little signs of waning.

The French have also been prominent, accounting for 10% of all foreign purchases, which is again no great surprise given their geographical proximity to Spain. Whist Russian buyers are the third largest demographic group by nationality, with 8% of all completions, the bulk of which were made along the Costas. The Russians also tended to buy more expensive properties, making their contribution by value rather than volume even more significant.

So which parts of Spain are overseas buyers currently targeting? Andalusia recorded the highest number of transactions (15,583), followed by the Costa Brava and Catalonia regions and of course the capital city of Madrid. Whilst Tenerife and the other Canary Islands such as Lanzarote also outperformed expectations.

According to Beatriz Toribio, spokesperson for the prominent Spanish property portal fotocasa.es, says, ”The home purchases by foreigners has become one of the main drivers of the Spanish property market. They are attracted by our good living conditions and the great opportunities offered by the sector, as housing has devalued by 41% from the highs reached in 2008.”

Other sources however suggest that property prices in Spain are in fact still falling and that a full recovery in the market is still some way off, possibly not until 2016. Certainly all evidence suggests that on Lanzarote vendors are still being forced to accept offers below their original asking prices in order to achieve sales.