Where do foreigners search for property on the Spanish coast?

The main nationalities searching on the Spanish coasts
5 August 2020, Redaction

The traditional slogan of sun and beach in Spain continues to attract foreigners to the country, both to buy and rent property, as well as for holidays. So much so, that of the total number of visits to properties located on the Spanish coast, 19% correspond to foreigners, compared to 81% of nationals. Germans are the most active foreigners in search of properties by the beach in Spain and mainly look in the Balearic Islands, while the Portuguese focus more on municipalities in Huelva. With idealista/data, let's have a look at how foreigners are distributed by where they search for properties on the Spanish coast.

The British, Germans, French and Americans are the foreigners who made the most online visits to properties on the coast for sale or rent during June, according to idealista/data. In particular, the British are the foreigners most interested in buying a house on the Spanish coast, being the predominant nationality in 193 coastal municipalities. They are followed by the Germans, the predominant nationality in 127 towns, and the French, who are in 54 coastal towns. The Americans, Dutch, Swiss, Italians and Swedes are also among the nationalities most interested in investing in property by the beach in Spain.

Where foreigners want to buy or rent a house in Spain

According to idealista/data, the British have taken over the foreign demand for housing in Muxia (La Coruña) and Rubite (Granada). However, the areas that interest the British most are on the Costa del Sol, in the province of Malaga, with the most demanded municipalities being Estepona, Torremolinos, Marbella or Malaga city. Property for sale in Ibiza is also of interest to the British, in municipalities such as Santa Eulalia del Río. See the full interactive map of where expats are searching.

The Costa del Sol is most popular with Brits

The Germans look mainly at the island of Mallorca and in particular in municipalities such as Deya, Canyamel, Cala d'Or, Santanyi or Cala Ratjada. In these areas, Germans even demand more housing than the Spanish, and more than 60% of the visits to the properties advertised on idealista and located in Cala d'Or, Cala Ratjada and Santanyi correspond to German residents.

The Balearic Islands are popular with both Germans and Brits

However, German buyers are also looking at other beach areas in Spain, such as the island of La Palma, where the most attractive municipality to buy a house is Puntagorda, or Gran Canaria.

The Canary Islands are another popular location for foreign buyers

As for Americans, they are looking to purchase property in several Spanish municipalities in Barcelona on the Costa Brava, such as El Masnou or Sant Andreu de Llavaneres; in several towns in Biscay (Barrika or Bermeo); in several towns in Cadiz (Rota, El Puerto de Santa María or Chipiona) or in A Coruña (Rianxo, Boiro or Arteixo). However, the most outstanding fact is that more than 50% of the visits to homes located in Los Silos (Santa Cruz de Tenerife) correspond to those who are from the United States, compared to 43% nationally.

The French have a preference for Roses, Tossa de Mar, L'Escala or Sant Feliu de Guíxols, in other words, municipalities located in Girona. They also look for housing in the province of Valencia (in Meliana, Miramar or Cullera), in the province of Alicante (Peñíscola, Benicarló or Almenara) or in Pontevedra (Vilagarcía de Arosa, for example).

The Costa Brava

Italians continue to show their interest in the Balearic Islands. In particular, they focus their searches on buying houses in Formentera and Ibiza, but they also look to Fuerteventura, in towns like La Oliva, San Bartolomé or Puerto del Rosario.

As for the Dutch, they have a preference for Alicante and are the predominant foreigners in municipalities such as Benissa or Jávea. 

The Costa Blanca

For their part, the Swiss are looking for housing mainly in A Coruña. In particular, the most demanded villages are Cabaña de Bergantiño, Camariñas and Fisterra. The municipality of Gualchos (Granada) stands out, as there is more demand from the Swiss than from the rest of Spain.


Finally, the Swedes are the main demanders of housing in the Malaga municipality of Nerja, by monopolizing 63% of visits to properties in this area in June, compared to 37% of nationals. Torrevieja is also a favourite area for the Swedes, as 50% of visits to homes in this area during June corresponded to the nationality.

The most expensive and cheapest coastal towns to buy property in Spain

Formentera is the municipality with the most expensive property for sale, at an average of 7,736 euros per square metre, the area where Italians are the main foreign buyers. It is followed by Cadaqués (Girona), with an average sale price of 6,145 euros per square metre. Here the French are the main foreign buyers. The properties for sale in Sant Joan de Labritja (in Ibiza) are in third position, with an average price of 5,992 euros per square metre.  

On the other hand, in the municipality of Xove (in Lugo), houses cost an average of 476 euros per m2 and here the most interested foreigners in buying a house are the British, as well as in Sanlúcar de Guadiana (in Huelva), which is the second cheapest municipality to buy a house with an average price of 527 euros per m2. Ponteceso (A Coruña) completes the list of three towns where houses cost an average of 583 euros per square metre and, curiously, the profile of the foreigner most interested in buying a house in this area is Russian.

The curiosities of where foreigners choose to buy property in Spain

After reviewing the main nationalities interested in buying property in Spain, some stand out as being in a minority. In addition, among the Russians who are looking for housing in Ponteceso, India's interest in buying a house in Outes, a municipality in La Coruña, stands out. People from Hong Kong have also visited coastal houses in Spain during the month of June, specifically villages located in Cantabria.

The Portuguese are mainly demanding housing in Huelva, in municipalities such as Ayamonte, Islantilla or La Antilla, while Uruguayans show interest mainly in Biscay. And finally, it is also worth noting the interest of the inhabitants of Singapore in buying a house in Isla Cristina, in Huelva.


To complete this study, we have taken the IP location from where the visits to idealista listings for sale or rent have been made as a reference. Therefore, it is not exclusively the nationality of the users but the country where the visitor is located. For example, there may be searches made by foreigners from Spain, or there may be Colombians or Venezuelans living in the U.S. and looking for a house to buy or rent on the Spanish coast.

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