New figures in the Bank of Spain and the Real Estate Registry’s annual report found that non-Spanish nationals are propping up the country’s ailing property market following a long-standing recession.
It revealed that foreign investment in Spanish property was up by 17 per cent in 2012 compared to the previous year – and British property investors are topping the polls.
UK nationals accounted for more than 16 per cent of the share of the foreign investment market last year, which equates to around 1.35 per cent of the total property market.
France came second with investments totalling ten per cent of the foreign purchase market, and Russia made up the third spot with 9.6 per cent.
However, there has been much talk of interest from China and Germany, with these two countries contributing 4.3 per cent and 7.9 per cent respectively.
According to Spanish Property Insight, foreign investors bought 26,871 residential properties in Spain in 2012, accounting for 8.12 per cent of all home purchases.
This is a dramatic uptick from 2009 when foreign buyers made up just 4.2 per cent of total purchases.
However, split by region, some areas are seeing their property sales significantly propped up by foreign investment.
This is mainly the coastline as northern Europeans migrate there to buy holiday and retirement homes in the sunshine. The news source reported that as a percentage of buyers, foreign nationals accounted of 33 per cent of total sales in Alicante on the Costa Blanca, 27 per cent in Tenerife and 25 per cent in the Balearics.
It is expected that the uptick in foreign investment will accelerate following the passing of the new residential visa regulations.
Coming into effect in July, the rules state that non-EU nationals who buy property in Spain worth more than €500,000 will get the automatic right to residency in the country in a bid to boost investment.