British buyers in Spain increase despite Brexit looming
Prime property sales in Spain increased by 27per cent in the first half of 2018 with sales to British buyers increasing in popular resort locations despite Brexit.
The latest market report from Spanish firm Lucas Fox shows that key second home destinations such as Marbella, the Costa Brava and Ibiza all saw significant growth compared to the same period last year.
International buyers dominated sales in these coastal regions with 87per cent to foreign buyers compared to 63per cent in the first six months of last year with the majority coming from the UK, France and Scandinavia. The main motivation for purchase was as a secondary residence at 77per cent.
So far it has been a record breaking year for the Costa Brava, according to Lucas Fox partner Tom Maidment. ‘The volume of sales so far in 2018 has already exceeded our forecast for the whole year. Properties above €1.5 million and new homes are selling particularly well,’ he said.
Northern European buyers have been the most active with French and British buyers accounting for over 50per cent of all Lucas Fox sales transactions in the region.
In the cities of Madrid and Valencia sales were up by 20per cent and 10per cent respectively but there was a slight dip in sales in Barcelona, which the firm suggests was due to the political issues in Catalonia. However, offers received for new homes in the first six months of 2018 more than doubled compared to those received in the first six months of 2017.
“The knock-on effect of the political situation in Spain meant we saw a temporary drop in demand for homes from international buyers. The situation has now stabilised and we are now registering as many enquiries,” explained Rod Jamieson, Lucas Fox’s managing director.
He pointed out that sales involving local buyers have remained constant throughout the period. Prices in the city have also readjusted in the last six months or so and buyers are seeing this as an opportunity in which to invest, given the positive forecasts of continued price rises and new homes continue to be in high demand particularly in central districts and along the beachfront.
It has also been a good half year for the Barcelona lettings department with rentals increasing by nearly 17per cent as the Catalan capital becomes increasingly popular among the start-up generation and tech savvy entrepreneurs.
Sales to British buyers increased to 13per cent of all sales, an increase of 23per cent year on year. In resort areas, British buyers represented the biggest buyer group in Marbella at 33per cent, some 27per cent in Sitges 27per cent, 25per cent on the Costa Brava 25per cent and 13per cent in Ibiza.
“The figures suggest that investors with more to spend are shifting money from the UK and acquiring European assets in anticipation of events to come when Brexit takes full effect. Buyer nationality in city locations continues to be more varied,’ the Lucas Fox report says.
At the same time, data from property portal Idealista shows that prices at the end of the second quarter of 2018 rose by 23per cent in Madrid, by 15per cent in Valencia, by 3per cent in Barcelona, by 2per cent in Girona Province, by 12per cent in Málaga and by 2per cent in the Balearics, compared to the price at the end of second quarter of 2017. In Spain as a whole, prices rose by 7per cent.
Meanwhile latest data from the Spanish Association of Notaries shows that the housing market grew by 7.7per cent to May 2018, the fifth year of growth since the start of the real estate recovery midway through 2014. The Notaries data also showed that
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