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UK still largest proportion of foreign buyers in the Spanish property market!

I frequently read on expat forums and social media pages that the Spanish property market is very dependent on UK property buyers in Spain. This is not exactly true. The total proportion of foreign property buyers in Spain (and this includes China, Russia and every other nationality) comprises of around 13% annually. Therefore 87% of all properties sold in Spain are between Spanish nationals.

Of the 13% foreign buyer segment, British buyers comprise 15% of that, meaning other nationalities comprise 85% of the foreign buyer’s market.

Roughly 500,000 properties will be sold in Spain in 2018 and British buyers will account for around 10,000 of those transactions. Yes, we are the biggest segment of the foreign buyer market in Spain, (our nearest rivals are France on 8% and Germany on 7%), but we are not, as these forums and Facebook pages suggest, as significant as they would have us believe.

The Brexit Impact on British Buyers in 2018

Throughout the past year, it has been difficult to detect any real impact of Brexit among UK house hunters in Spain. The exchange rate of 1 UK pound to 1.12€ as I write this column, has remained the same as it was when we began the year, but as we enter the final stages of the government’s ‘Withdrawal Agreement’ – things are about to change.

Theresa May’s Chequers Deal is extremely unpopular on both sides of the debate. Essentially it keeps the UK locked into EU rules, Justice System and Trade Regulations for an indeterminate amount of time. The agreement specifies until 20xx – yes it really does say that!! That could mean until 2099, or any date in between.  Even then, it would take all 27-member states of the EU to agree to the UK leaving. This is certainly not the clarity that British businesses, or Spanish property buyers would have hoped for. Of course, this deal will need to pass before parliament and be agreed before it takes effect and is most likely to be rejected, according to many experts.

If the deal is rejected, then several scenarios could happen, ranging from a leadership challenge for the Tories, to another General Election or a 2nd referendum (People’s Vote), so it looks like we’re entering the New Year with just the same amount of uncertainty as we entered this one.

On the bright side, the Spanish Property Market is still growing.  Property values are still increasing and is projected to continue well into 2020 according to most analysts.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all readers of this column, for their emails over the past year and wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Kenneth Whettall

Commercial Director

Fuente Alamo Real Estate/Murcia Coast & Country


Tel 0034 968 598 173