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Spanish property sales increase

Overseas buyers are playing a major role in the continued efforts to kick start the domestic property market in Spain, with international investment having grown by 17% over the past twelve months.

The Bank of Spain has issued new statistics which show that more than €5.4 million flowed into the country from foreign investors taking advantage of historically low property prices. This represents the highest figure for eight years.

Further figures from the Department of Housing recently revealed that overseas buyers are now responsible for 12% of transactions, which is a return to the levels that existed before the financial crisis hit hard.

The figures are slightly more complex than they first appear, with ‘foreign buyers’ falling into two distinct categories, namely non-residents and expats.

It is non-resident sales that have fuelled the rise, with an increase of 42%. This stands in stark contrast to the 2% increase in domestic purchases.

However, the non-residents only account for 1% of the total, as expat sales grew by 25% and now make up 11% of the total number of Spanish property purchases over the last year.

A further breakdown from one of the major contractors operating in perennial favourite region the Costa del Sol suggests that Russian and Scandinavian buyers have accounted for 45% of their sale in 2013.

With prices at historically low levels, some values are 55% less than they were at their peak only a few years ago. This means that international buyers can benefit from all angles, whether looking for sell-on profits at a later date, good return rental yields or for second or holiday home use.

Of course, the situation will not continue indefinitely and many pundits believe that the market has bottomed out and the window of opportunity to get involved is closing fast.

If you want to move funds to Spain it is best to compare travel money exchange rates before making any decisions. Remember that the exchange rates quoted by the banks are often far less favourable than those from a currency exchange specialist.

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