This is what foreign investors are looking for in Spanish properties

Así son las viviendas que demandan los inversores extranjeros en España

This is what foreign investors are looking for in Spanish properties

Spain is a key country for foreigners buying property. The climate, cultural and leisure offerings, heritage, gastronomy, good transportation connections, and overall quality of life make our country a magnet for foreign investors. According to a study by the British platform and NeoMam Studios, Spanish properties are the most sought after in the world, being the focus of 34 countries.

The fact that Spain is also a tourism powerhouse has a direct reflection on the real estate market. In this sense, the millions of visitors it receives each year also represent a great opportunity for international investors within the vacation rental sector.

Foreign investors have gained such prominence in the Spanish real estate sector that they account for more than 15% of property transactions, according to the College of Registrars of Property. Last year, citizens from other countries acquired nearly 87,400 properties. This is the highest figure in the historical series, only behind the third quarter of 2022 (15.92%), when 88,858 operations were carried out. However, this organization highlights that the number of transactions has grown exponentially. Thus, in 2009, the percentage of purchases made by foreigners was 4%; by 2013, it had already reached 12.15%, surpassing the 15% recorded in the latest available records.

On the other hand, according to statistics from the first half of 2023 from the General Council of Notaries, non-resident foreigners are the ones who acquired the most expensive properties. They paid an average of 2,598 euros per square meter, while the national buyer paid 1,574 euros per square meter.

Regarding the purpose of the acquisition, the Union of Real Estate Credits (UCI) estimates that 68% of international buyers purchased properties for use as their primary residence, 21% as a second home, and 11% as an investment for rental.

Importance of the climate

Andalusia, Valencia, Catalonia, and the Community of Madrid account for more than 64% of sales (20.15%, 16.41%, 15.74%, and 12.05%, respectively). However, the Balearic Islands have the highest proportion of foreign buyers, representing more than 35% of purchases. For Lasose Properties & Investments, the good climate is a determining factor in the choice of property. Hence, coastal areas are one of the top destinations for foreign investors.

And although coastal vacation properties are among the preferences of these investors, major cities like Madrid and Barcelona remain highly attractive. In fact, the Spanish capital has positioned itself in the top 3 of the ranking of European cities with the highest potential for investment and real estate development, as indicated in the Trends in the European Real Estate Market 2024 report by PwC and the Urban Land Institute (ULI).

Characteristics of properties

When choosing a property, in the case of coastal locations, Stoneweg notes that foreign investors are primarily looking for properties located as close to the beach as possible, with terraces, solariums, and outdoor spaces. They also prefer homes with all nearby services and urbanizations with large common areas: swimming pool, green areas, gyms, social clubs, etc.

In the same line, Lasose Properties & Investments point out that, for most foreign investors, it is essential that the property is well connected and close to international airports. Likewise, the properties must offer an outdoor space with large terraces and good views, as well as have all kinds of nearby services and extensive common areas.

Where do foreign investors come from?

According to data from the College of Registrars of Property, in 2023 the British were the foreign investors who carried out the most operations in Spain, accounting for 9.8% of purchases. They are followed by the Germans, with 7.3%; the French, with 6.1%; the Belgians, with 5.6%, and the Moroccans, with 5.5%.

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