Europeans boost property sales in Spain, while Chinese and Moroccans retreat

5 December 2019, Redaction

A change in direction in the purchase and sale of properties by foreigners. Although at the beginning of the year extra-EU nationalities began to gain ground, with Moroccans, Romanians and Chinese at the forefront, it is now the Europeans who are once again gaining weight in the Spanish property market.

According to data from Registrars, in the third quarter of 2019 the main foreign buyers of properties in Spain were the British, French, Germans and Belgians. In contrast, at the start of the year, Moroccans were the fourth most prominent nationality, while the Belgians were in sixth position (behind Romanians).

With the exception of the Germans, who continue to lose ground, the British and French are gaining momentum. In the case of UK buyers, the most noteworthy is that they have left behind the historic low of the second quarter, when they accounted for 13.3% of sales made by foreigners. Their current weight has risen to 14.27%, a record of the year, although still far from the almost 38% they managed to represent in 2008.

On the other hand, the French account for 8.38% of transactions carried out by foreigners, reaching highs since 2017. The Belgians, on the other hand, once again account for 6% of all transactions, as has become customary since the economic crisis hit bottom. Meanwhile, in the case of the Italians, their market share remains stable at around 5% (in the third quarter it stood at 5.03%), in line with the last three financial years.

Germany, on the other hand, is in a different situation. The European locomotive accounted for 6.6% of operations in the summer, the lowest figure since 2008. Even so, it is the third most prominent nationality in the purchase and sale of properties by foreigners in Spain.

Romania is the other European country that is losing ground and is doing so after reaching historic highs: at the beginning of the year it accounted for 6.12% of operations, however, at the end of September it was falling back to 5.83%. If the year ended at this level, Romanians would sign their second best year in terms of buying and selling properties since 2006, when they represented 5.98% of the market.

China is another of the nationalities that is moving away from its record. Whereas in the first quarter they accounted for 4.49% of purchases, now they have fallen to 3.57%. This is the lowest figure since 2013, at the worst time of the Spanish economic and real estate crisis.

Moroccans follow a similar evolution. At the start of the year they were close to the pre-crisis peaks (they exceeded 7% in 2006), whereas in summer they lost ground to stay at 6.05%. As a consequence, they have fallen one place in the ranking in just half a year.

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