19 Feb, 2024 @ 10:15
1 min read

This is where Brits are buying the most property in Spain – as figures show they are STILL the biggest foreign market despite Brexit

Spain Property 2

UNDETERRED by the dark clouds of Brexit, Brits are still leading the pack as the most significant foreign buyers in Spain’s property sector.

In spite of only being able to visit the country for three out of six months at a time, they make up a leading 15.5% of foreign mortgage applications in Spain.

But they are facing stiff competition for the top spot from Germany, whose rapidly growing market comes in second with 14.1%. 

And in the third quarter of 2023, Germans mortgage applications actually outstripped those from Brits, suggesting that 2024 could be their year.

The United Kingdom leads the way in mortgage applications by foreigners in Spain. Credit: Idealista

Swiss (9%), Americans (8.9%) and the French (7.8%) make up the rest of the top five mortgage applications by foreigners in Spain. 

Ireland, meanwhile, with just five and a half million people, manages to buy up more Spanish property (5.5%) than both Belgium (4.5%) and Sweden (2.7%).

The Swiss and Americans get a special mention for their frankly ludicrous average household income (€9,527 and €9,097 per month respectively) which leads them to search out more expensive homes in the €247,000 to €258,000 region. 

This is according to a new report by idealista/hipotecas for Spain’s 2023 mortgage market. 

READ MORE: What will happen to Spain’s property market in 2024? Expert Mark Stucklin gives his verdict – and the reason..

They note that Costa Blanca and the wider Valencian Community region is by far the most popular location for property purchases at 27%.

Remarkably, Catalonia and Andalucia are both neck and neck with exactly 16.4% of property purchases each.

The study delves into the profiles of non-resident mortgage applicants in Spain, uncovering that on average, these individuals are 41 years old with a household income soaring over €5,900 monthly. 

The most popular regions for foreigners to buy are along the Mediterranean coast, from the Costa del Sol through the Costa Blanca up to the Costa Bravo. Credit: Idealista

Their target? Properties priced around €213,000, notably 20% higher than Spain’s national average.

The report further highlights the disparity in financial firepower between foreign and local buyers. 

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: British couple’s Catalan retirement dream is ruined by a shock €11,200 tax bill on their Marbella property sale…

Foreign applicants boast incomes nearly 85% above the Spanish average, aiming for properties that far exceed the financial reach of their Spanish counterparts. 

This trend is mirrored in the purchase prices, with foreign buyers opting for homes that are 27% more expensive than those bought by Spaniards last year.

Interestingly, the financial commitment of these international buyers to their Spanish homes is relatively modest. 

On average, they finance 61% of their property purchase, demonstrating a lower economic strain compared to local buyers. 

This prudent approach is reflected in their overwhelming preference for fixed-rate mortgages, which accounted for nearly 70% of the transactions facilitated by idealista/hipotecas in 2023.

READ MORE: Spain’s housing market review is in: Which Spanish region is bucking the property trend towards a ‘seller’s market’?

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]
@waltfinc

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