Spain Attracts Foreign Real Estate Interest
The latest research figures emerging from Spain suggest that the number of international buyers who are investing in Spanish properties is on the rise. Spain recorded an increase of 28.4 per cent in overseas buyers in 2012 when compared to the levels recorded in 2011. The increase in foreign buyers suggests that overseas interest in the country’s real estate market has reached pre-recession levels.
In 2012, 38,312 foreign investors purchased real estate assets in Spain – the figures are close to the 2007 pre-recession levels. Britons continue to lead the chase for Spanish properties, but a good section of the Asian market is stepping up interest in apartments and second homes in the sunny nation. According to the figures released by the statistical institute - INE last month, there was a three per cent decline in the overall property transaction volumes in Spain last year. However, the latest data released by the GCN (General Council of Notaries) shows an increase of 28.4 per cent in terms of the number of overseas investors of Spanish property.
Foreign Investment Rising Along With Foreclosures
Real estate prices across the country continue to fall, especially due to the weak Euro/Pound currency pairing. Regional real estate agents and tourism boards are increasing their efforts to improve Spain’s image among investors. Although there were 38,312 foreigners who purchased real estate in Spain last year, the total number of properties bought could actually be a lot higher as the information only reveals the number of individuals who bought properties, and not the total number of real estate assets sold.
The number of domestic buyers of Spanish properties has significantly reduced over the past few years. There have been no signs of improvement either, mainly due to the nation’s unemployment rate of 26 per cent. Foreclosures continue to rise, as local citizens cannot afford re-payment of mortgages. Since 2008, around 400,000 homeowners in the country have received eviction orders from courts. In November last year, Madrid had handed unemployed or poor homeowners a two-year stay after eviction orders were handed out because two individuals awaiting eviction committed suicide outside their homes.
Tourism Industry to Help Attract Interest in Real Estate
Locals can no longer afford to purchase properties in Spain. The ones who have not been able to pay their rents or mortgages are being kicked out of their homes and are literally on to the streets. There are currently over a million repossessed homes on the books of Spanish banks as they await an increase in interest from the foreign market. Real estate agents say that interest will increase in the summer months as that is the time of year when several millions of people visit Spain on holiday.
A small percentage of foreigners who have been vacationing in Spain in recent years have been keenly observing developments and the condition of the country’s real estate market. Spain’s tourism industry is working in collaboration with the property sector to help rid Spain of its financial difficulties. In addition, the fact that investors of Spanish property receive a five-year residency visa has also helped in increasing transaction volumes.