At the end of 2015, reports showed that foreign buyers accounted for 17% of all home transactions completed in the Spanish property market during that year. Further details have now been provided that elaborate on the exact geographical areas that these purchases were made in.
Over 69,000 properties were purchased by foreign buyers and the region of Valencia was the most popular with a record 20,269 homes bought by foreigners either looking to relocate to Spain, or as a second home. Coming in second place, was the region of Andalucia which is where the beautiful Costa del Sol and Marbella are located. A total of 14,398 properties were sold on the Costa del Sol in 2015. In third place was Catalonia, followed by the Canaries who saw 7,286 purchases by foreigners.
The demand for property in Spain amongst foreign buyers has risen by a substantial amount during the course of 2015 and the demand is set to continue to increase steadily. Whilst figures of purchases are not as high as they were in the pre crisis days of 2006, it is looking as though popular tourist and expat destinations such as the Costa del Sol once again make for a sound financial investment.
Why Do Foreign Buyers Flock To Spain?
Buying property in Spain as a holiday home, or even a permanent residence has become very popular amongst foreigners- in particular the British and Scandinavian buyers. The country has a pleasant, healthy climate and in recent years the local authorities have made great efforts to increase the number foreign tourists and residents. Spain now derives more of its foreign income from tourists than any other country in Europe. Due to low European interest rates, now is a good time to buy property in Spain. There is a very wide selection of standards, from farmhouses (fincas) and plots through to villas, townhouses and new apartment developments, which are thriving on the Costa del Sol, particularly in areas such as The New Golden Mile which sits between Guadalmina and Estepona. The Costa del Sol also benefits from having a plethora of multinational schools, societies and excellent healthcare facilities, which is another reason why foreign buyers prefer to purchase a property here than elsewhere in Europe, or further afield. There are also no restrictions on buying property in Spain, whether it’s commercial, residential or land. In fact, Spain encourages investment by foreigners, both resident and non-resident. You will require an NIE number, which can be obtained by visiting a police station with your passport. This is typically done within one day for Spanish or EU citizens but may take a few weeks for others.
The Golden Visa Program
Spain currently offers a ‘golden visa’ program for property owners. This is a form of investor’s visa. If you invest more than EUR 500,000 in Spanish property, buying one or more properties, you will normally then be automatically eligible for a residency visa. This is not a work permit, but it will allow you to live in the country. It’s primarily aimed at retired people and holiday home buyers, especially foreign buyers outside the European Union.
How to find a property to buy in Spain
As it is easy for foreigners to buy property in Spain, there are websites and estate agents catering to almost every language and nationality. Many British real estate websites such as Fab Property also list Spanish properties, with some online portals listing thousands of options.
As you don’t need to be resident to purchase a property, it is possible to buy a home before you arrive and move in directly. However, this naturally comes with certain risks and we strongly recommend that you view the property you are considering to purchase, to ensure that it is the best fit for your requirements. For more information on how we can help you find your ideal property, please contact us here!