Foreign demand for Spanish real estate remains strong, especially from the Brits who are continuing to buy Spanish property despite Brexit uncertainties.
A total of 15,266 property sales made to non-Spaniards were registered in the last quarter (Q4) of 2017, according to the Spanish Land Registrars Association. This represents the highest number of foreign property purchases for several years and a healthy 20.4% rise on Q4 2016 figures.
In Q4, British buyers dominated the foreign market, accounting for 2,384 property purchases, followed by French (1,242) and German (1,198) nationals. British buying activity also increased on a quarter-to-quarter basis, rising by 0.9% from Q3.
While the UK government negotiates Brexit terms, UK nationals are still flocking to the Spanish property market despite the uncertainties surrounding the country’s future once it leaves the European Union. Some prospective buyers may be feeling a sense of urgency to buy a Spanish property before the UK leaves, while others may feel reassured by the positive statements made by the Spanish and UK government in regards to pensions, healthcare and residency status.
“From the very beginning of the UK’s negotiations to leave the European Union I have been consistently clear that protecting the rights of both EU citizens living in the UK and UK nationals living in the EU was my first priority. I know that the referendum result has caused considerable anxiety for many of you and your families” British Prime Minister, Theresa May, said in December.
“From speaking to my counterparts across Europe, I know that they hugely value the UK nationals living in their communities. We have worked hard to address the very complex and technical issues that needed working through before a formal agreement could be reached.”
“This agreement guarantees that your rights as residents in the EU will be protected in the Withdrawal Agreement, so you can have certainty that you will be able to receive healthcare rights, pension and other benefits provisions as you do today. You can also benefit from existing rules for past and future social security contributions.”
In 2017, British buyers took a 16% share of the foreign property purchase market, 8% more than the second highest nationality of foreign buyers, the French.
Further evidence that British nationals are still upbeat about buying property in Spain comes from data gathered by A Place in the Sun, which saw a 55% increase in Spanish property searches by the Brits in 2017, along with a 28% increase in inquiries about Spanish property.
Although we cannot be certain on what will happen after the UK officially leaves the EU in March 2019, we can be reassured by the latest foreign property market data; rising demand from other nationalities should counteract any declines in British buying power, but like with everything Brexit we will just have to wait and see.