House sales in Spain: Foreigners on the hunt on the Spanish coast – sales soar 62%!
House sales in Spain: Foreign clients buying homes in Spain reached a record high in 2022, reaching 88,858 transactions, 46% more than in 2021. According to a study by Sonneil, Costa Blanca (Alicante) and Costa del Sol (Malaga) were the provinces where international clients bought the most properties, increasing the number of sales to foreigners by 62% in one year. This is the highest growth ever recorded. In Alicante alone, this increase was 68% per year and 54% in Malaga. In 2022, Costa Blanca recorded 23.5% of all sales to foreigners, and Costa del Sol 15.7%.
Furthermore, Spain still stands out as a second home destination for foreigners. In 2022, the number of purchases made by foreign citizens who traditionally look for a second home in Spain was 39.8% higher than in 2021. In total, 39,813 transactions were recorded among Brits, French, Russians, Germans, Dutch, Nordic and Belgians – the highest figure since records began. These nationalities accounted for 44.8% of total purchases by foreigners in 2022.
Among foreign buyers, the British continue to lead the ranking with 9,693 transactions, 44.4% more than in 2021. Brits represent more than 11% of all international customer purchases but have not recovered their best levels (38% in 2008). Next are Germans and the French, who account for 9.5% and 7% of international purchases, respectively. The Dutch also stand out, with the most intense growth in 2022. Their property purchases in Spain increased by 84.85% compared to 2021.
Alfredo Millá, CEO of Sonneil Homes, notes that these top-buying nationalities “are looking for second homes in Spain. The figures, therefore, reflect the importance of this type of use for foreigners who choose Spain to buy a home”.
Regarding destinations, the British buy the most homes in six provinces (Murcia, Jaen, Malaga, Cadiz, Granada and Alicante), with Murcia having the largest share of total foreign purchases (28.34%).
Germans tend to purchase properties in the Balearic Islands, Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, confirming their preference for the islands. Their prominence in the Balearic Islands stands out, where Germans represent 44% of international customer purchases.
The same is true of the French, who are behind 44% of these operations in Girona. It goes without saying that international clients prefer coastal destinations for second homes.
New-build purchases increase, although they are losing weight over the total
Foreign buyers bought 27% more new builds in 2022 than in 2021. However, this growth is part of the general increase in foreigners’ home purchases in Spain. The share of new builds in these purchases has fallen by more than two percentage points compared to 2021.
“Foreign investment in new builds in Spain has not regained the pre-2014 levels when the percentage of international clients interested in this type of housing began to fall after a few years with foreign investment in new builds standing at around 50%,” Millá pointed out.
The same applies to the nationalities buying second homes. Only Germans’ preference for new builds slightly increased compared to 2021, just 0.08 percentage points more in 2022.
The British case is particularly noteworthy. The share of new builds purchased by Brits has fallen by more than 53 percentage points since 2008. At that time, almost 66% of the properties they bought in Spain were new builds and was no more than 12.5% in 2022.
Among the nationalities looking for second homes, Belgians and Dutch buy the most new builds (24.46% and 21.96%, respectively). “These nationalities’ high purchasing power means that they can invest more than others in new-build homes, built to higher quality standards with more modern facilities,” highlighted Millá. He also pointed out that Polish buyers were on the rise, as the third nationality that buys the most new-build properties. “Poland’s economy has been one of the fastest growing in Europe in recent years. The increase in purchasing power and the proximity to the war in Ukraine have undoubtedly boosted investment in real estate in Spain”.