Spanish property sales have risen to a three-year high, according to new figures, as foreign demand continues to soar, driven by attractive prices and exchange rates.
The latest figures from the INE show that 26,455 homes sold in May 2015, up 5 per cent year-on-year and 11 per cent higher than May 2013. The resale market fuelled activity, with sales rising 34 per cent annually, enough to offset a decline of 42 per cent in new home sales.
The imbalance between new property and existing homes is echoed by Spanish notaries too, whose latest report says that sales rose 8.4 per cent year-on-year in May, with resales rising 14.5 per cent and new home sales falling 21.5 per cent.
Sales are primarily occurring in markets popular with foreign buyers, such as Barcelona (sales up 17 per cent), Catalonia (13 per cent) and Malaga (10 per cent). Indeed, the market’s recovery is increasingly dependant on overseas demand, as extremely affordable conditions attract more investors aiming for holiday home bargains, even as unemployment and a high level of supply hinder domestic buying activity.
Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of leading homebuilder Taylor Wimpey España, comments: “Spain offers British buyers everything they are looking for from a holiday home location – it’s a short flight from the UK, the weather is fantastic, there are more Blue Flag beaches here than anywhere else in the world and the cost of living is low compared to the UK. It’s a winning combination, particularly with pounds stretching even further thanks the exchange rate at present.”
But it is not just the Brits who are buoying up the Spanish property market. Figures from the Ministry of Development show that non-Spaniards accounted for 16.93 per cent of all properties bought in Spain during Q1 2015, a rise of 17.2 per cent over the Q1 2014 figure. Areas like the Costa Blanca, in Alicante, top the list of popular destinations, while Mallorca also attracts a large share of overseas buyers each year.
“Many buyers are seeing this as the ideal time to purchase Spanish property,” continues Marc Pritchard.”Our Mallorca developments have been incredibly popular. Over 50 per cent of our apartments at Cala Anguila with direct access to the beach were sold off plan in just six months. It’s excellent news for the Spanish economy, as is the promising summer that looks to be in store in terms of visitor numbers and spending. There are a lot of signs around right now – economic indicators, unemployment figures and so forth – that the Spanish economy is undergoing a serious recovery, so buyers want to pick up properties now in order to enjoy capital gains in the coming years. And with properties in places like Mallorca, they can sit back and relax in the sunshine while they watch their capital grow.”