Despite economic contraction and a three per cent fall in the overall number of real estate transactions, foreign buyers still can’t get enough of Spanish property. Data from the General Council of Notaries revealed a substantial 28.4 per cent increase in the number of foreign and non-resident people investing in homes in the country in 2012.
Over the year, 38,312 overseas buyers completed transactions in Spain, which is almost on par with pre-recession 2007 levels. However, Taylor Wimpey Espana believes this number could have been higher, as the data only reflects the number of people investing – not the number of properties sold. With price drops of up to 50 per cent seen in some areas, the likelihood of people buying more than one property is relatively high.
So why are foreign investors undeterred by what are arguably unfavourable conditions in Spain? Marc Pritchard, sales and marketing manager of Taylor Wimpey Espana, claims this a combinations of attractive prices and efforts to improve the country’s reputation abroad. “The situation on the ground here in Spain over the last 12 months is in many ways different to how it has been portrayed to the rest of the world,” he said. “Far from Spain being ‘in pain’, the second homes market in 2012 experienced a real revival with more buyers from more diverse countries seen since 2007.”
For Taylor Wimpey, this has been welcomed and the firm has experienced an overall rise of 31 per cent in sales to foreign buyers over the last year. Russian investors have proven to be particularly dominant, increasing their market share by 27 per cent. However, Brits continue to be attracted to Spain’s sunny climes and Taylor Wimpey has noted a 24 per cent rise in the number of people from the UK buying second homes or holiday lets.
Mr Pritchard is confident this will continue into the future and states that a poor domestic performance should not be mistaken for a lack of foreign ziel. In Mallorca, sales are already up by 100 per cent year-on-year in February 2013, while the Costa del Sol has enjoyed a massive 183 per cent rise in buyers.