It is no secret that Spain is the most popular overseas destination for Brits looking for a relaxed lifestyle and a more clement climate, and the continuing low prices for properties in the country are increasingly appealing to those looking to make an overseas investment.
New figures in the Bank of Spain and the Real Estate Registry’s annual report reveal the extent to which non-Spanish nationals are buying into the country’s ailing property market and in so doing helping to sow the seeds of recovery.
The report revealed that foreign investment in Spanish property increased by 17% year on year in 2012, and that investors from Britain were the most active in the market.
In fact UK nationals made up more than 16% of the foreign investment during 2012, and that market share equates to 1.35% of the total value of property transactions.
More research from Spanish Property Insight found that in total foreign investors bought some 26,871 residential properties in Spain in 2012, and this figure represented more than 8% of all home sales. This is a significant increase compared with 2009 when the figure was just half of that.
The new residential visa regulations which come into effect in July will only serve to increase the number of foreign nationals buying into the country’s property market, as non-EU nationals who buy property in Spain worth more than €500,000 will get the automatic right to residency in the country.
The French are the second biggest group of foreign buyers, accounting for 10% of the foreign purchase market, with Russia in a close third place with 9.6% and Germany in fourth with 7.9%.
The effect is most prominent in the coastal areas, with foreign nationals accounting for 33% of total sales in Alicante, 27% in Tenerife and 25% in the Balearics.
If you want to send money abroad to Spain, make sure to compare the exchange rates offered by specialist currency firms as they will often be far better than those available from the banks.