More foreigners than ever are buying homes in Spain, fuelling consistent growth in the Spanish housing market. In the first half of 2022, the number of home sales in Spain rose to the highest levels in almost 15 years. Of these total sales, home purchases by foreigners exceeded 20,000 transactions per quarter for the first time on record, signalling an upward trend.
The increasing demand for Spanish property from international investors is welcome news, but who is purchasing these homes, and where are most of the properties being sold?
From the most popular locations for buying luxury homes to the nationalities dominating local property markets, this blog looks at the best places for foreigners to invest in Spanish real estate.
Popular places to buy luxury property in Spain in 2022
Many foreigners use the Spanish Golden Visa to obtain residency in Spain, which requires a minimum investment of 500,000€ in Spanish real estate. This is partially the reason for increasing demand for luxury properties, particularly when it comes to foreign buyers.
Of course, there are thousands of luxury homes on the market across Spain, but there are higher concentrations of these properties in several more popular areas.
These include Málaga, the Balearic Islands, Madrid, and Barcelona – which together make up almost 70% of the luxury properties in Spain. Alicante and Girona also have a slice of the luxury housing pie, but at lower prices than the more exclusive regions.
Which nationalities are investing in Spanish real estate?
After the roadblock of COVID-19, foreign buyers have made a strong comeback in purchasing Spanish homes. Several countries have traditionally maintained the most interest in buying property in Spain, and a study by idealista this summer focused on buyers from these countries.
The study revealed that there are also several Spanish municipalities where foreigners from these countries prefer to buy properties. These are the most popular places in Spain to buy property, according to foreign buyers from certain countries:
Balearic Islands – most popular for German buyers
Buyers from Germany made the highest numbers of visits to the Balearic Islands, with the biggest preference for Mallorca. Almost half of German buyers wanted properties worth 300,000€ or less in Palma, while in the second most popular area of Calvia, almost half wanted homes worth at least 600,000€.
Another part of the island, Llucmajor, was also in the top five property-buying spots for Germans.
Catalonia – most popular for French buyers
Perhaps unsurprisingly, due to its proximity to their country, French buyers prefer to purchase homes in Catalonia. The most popular location for buyers from France was Barcelona, where more than half wanted homes costing less than 300,000€.
In Madrid, almost every buyer wanted a property worth 1,000,000€ in the exclusive area of La Moraleja.
Costa del Sol – most popular for British buyers
It’s become expected to see Brits buying homes along Spain’s famous southern coast, and Marbella and Mijas remain popular choices. Around a third of British buyers want 1,000,000€ properties in Marbella, but most actually seem to have more interest in Madrid and Barcelona, where there is a demand for homes below 300,000€.
Brits also like to property shop in Alicante, further north along the south-eastern coast.
Coastal areas – most popular for Romanian buyers
Buyers from Romania, a mostly landlocked country, have a preference for Spanish properties under 300,000€ in cities near the coast. These include Castellon de la Plana and Oropesa del Mar in Valencia on the south-eastern coast, plus Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Arona in the Canary Islands.
Romanian buyers typically prefer cheaper properties, though there is interest up to 600,000€ in some of these areas.
Tourist cities – most popular for Swedish buyers
When it comes to buyers from Sweden, they tend to prefer Mediterranean tourist hotspots, like Mijas and Marbella on the Costa del Sol. Swedish buyers look for homes valued below 300,000€ in places like Torrevieja and Orihuela in Alicante, while some look for 1,000,000€ homes in Marbella and Palma (Mallorca).
A quarter of million-euro property buyers from Sweden prefer Marbella.
Autonomous cities – most popular for Moroccan buyers
Just across the Strait of Gibraltar from the southern coast of Spain, buyers from Morocco aren’t looking to buy new property too far from home. Most Moroccan buyers want properties under 300,000€ in Algeciras on the Bay of Gibraltar, or homes up to 600,000€ in autonomous Spanish cities that share a border with Morocco.
This includes Ceuta at the northern tip and Melilla on the north-eastern coast.
Where is the most popular place in Spain to buy property?
There are many reasons to move to Spain, or to buy a holiday home here, with different parts of the country offering a variety of cultural and environmental experiences. Of course, the main draw for many foreigners coming from colder climes is the warm beach towns along the coast.
It’s not surprising, then, that the largest markets behind Barcelona and Madrid are in the communities of Valencia and Andalusia, with the leading areas for foreign property investment on the Spanish mainland being Alicante and Malaga.
Amongst the Spanish archipelagos, the Canary Islands (particularly Tenerife) and the Balearic Islands remain the most popular locations, ranking second and third overall behind Alicante.
That said, the first quarter of 2022 saw an increase in foreign buyers investing in landlocked parts of Spain such as Extremadura and La Rioja, with some turning their attention away from the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca to invest in places like Asturias on the northern coast.
This quarter also saw an increase of almost 160% in sales and purchases for non-resident foreign buyers in Valencia compared to the same quarter in 2021, and an 136% increase in Andalusia.
Apply for Spanish residency via real estate investment with a Golden Visa
While the housing markets in these parts of Spain are soaring with increasing demand from foreign buyers after the previous years of pandemic-related slumps, experts predict that these numbers will slow down throughout the current period of global economic uncertainty, returning to pre-COVID levels in 2023.
However, with the 141% increase in Spanish property purchases worth 500,000€ or more – the minimum required for a Golden Visa – it seems that purchasing property in Spain will continue to be an attractive option for foreign buyers hoping to obtain Spanish residency quickly through real estate investment.
If you’re looking to buy property in Spain as a foreign investor, whether to live there or rent it out, you’ll likely need guidance from an English-speaking lawyer in Spain. With offices in Andalusia, one of the most popular places to buy a home in Spain, Manzanares Lawyers is well-placed to help you with both Spanish Golden Visa applications and Spanish property law.
Contact our team with enquiries by calling our Marbella office on +34 952 82 41 12 or our Alhaurin office on +34 952 59 50 42, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in touch as soon as possible.