12 Dec, 2022 @ 13:30
1 min read

Spanish housing market booming off the back of foreign demand while Spaniards stop buying

Houses G17203158a 1920
Spain’s Malaga province is one of the most popular in the country among foreign property buyers. Credit: Pixabay

FOREIGN demand has been propping up the Spanish housing market even as demand from the biggest buyer – the British – has dried up, Spanish Property Insight report.

Back in the glory days of 2007, domestic demand from within Spain outweighed foreign demand for property – until the bubble burst. 

Since then, while foreign demand quickly recovered and was above 2007 levels by 2014, domestic demand has never recovered. 

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Since 2007, domestic demand for Spanish property has languished and never recovered, while foreign demand recovered by 2014 and has gone stratospheric since 2020. Credit: Spanish Property Insight

By the first half of this year, foreign demand was 120% higher than in 2007. 

In contrast, Spanish demand has not recovered to its 2007 levels and was still 30% lower in the first half of this year. 

And it is a reliance on the growth in foreign demand that has contributed to the recovery of Spain’s property market, propping up much of the economy.

When comparing the performance of foreign markets over the period from 2007, it appears that Germany has performed the best, with its demand up 680%, while the UK is still 30% below its 2007 levels. 

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This graph shows the level of demand from a variety of foreign countries, with 2007 being the base 100 measurement – clearly German demand is through the rough while British demand is actually below where it was in 2007. Credit: Spanish Property Insight

Interestingly, Spanish and British demand are in almost the same place. 

In 2007, British demand was high due to a strong economy, while Germany’s economy had been struggling. 

Many estate agents in Mallorca who relied on German demand had to shift their focus to the British market in order to survive. Then the shoes changed feet. 

Screenshot 2022 12 12 At 11.40.47
From its dizzying peak in 2007, British demand dropped and never recovered, while German demand has only got stronger and has been turbocharged since 2020. Credit: Spanish Property Insight

Currently, the UK is the largest foreign market for Spanish property, followed by Germany. 

In recent years, Germany has overtaken France as the second-largest market. 

However, as shown in the final chart, the index of British demand has remained flat since 2007, while German demand has continued to increase.

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Walter Finch

Walter - or Walt to most people - is a former and sometimes still photographer and filmmaker who likes to dig under the surface.
A NCTJ-trained journalist, he came to the Costa del Sol - Gibraltar hotspot from the Daily Mail in 2022 to report on organised crime, corruption, financial fraud and a little bit of whatever is going on.
Got a story? [email protected]

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