Real estate purchases in Spain in 2018 by foreigners

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May 25, 2019

The demand for Spanish real estate continues its growth among foreign buyers. In 2018, 12.6% of the total real estate in Spain was purchased by foreigners. In numbers, it translates into 65 400 properties sold. For comparison, in 2017 a total of 61 000 properties were purchased by non-Spanish buyers in Spain.

Who are the foreign buyers?

Most properties in Spain are purchased by the British (15.5% of all foreign-made purchases, which translates into 10 200 properties sold in 2018). When compared to 2017 almost 1000 more houses were purchased by the British in 2018, who continue buying more and more properties in Spain every year despite the unclear situation around Brexit.

Second largest buyer is Germany with  4900 Spanish properties, then France with 4800 properties. Followed by Belgium and Sweden. A clear tendency can be seen: the largest buyers are the countries with high average income and Spanish property is a buy-to-let investment for those buyers. After Sweden, we have buyers from Romania, Italy, Morocco, China and Russia. Most of these buyers are purchasing a home for themselves.

Where in Spain do the foreigners buy?

The largest amount of properties purchased by foreigners in 2018 was registered on the Balearic islands (30.54%), followed by the Canary Islands (28.32%). The Autonomous Community of Valencia is the third best (26.01%) with 40% of those purchased made in the province of Alicante. It is evident that the property bought is coastal property meant for holiday letting.

After Valencia we find Murcia (19.55%), then Andalusia (13.84%) and Catalonia (11.74%).

The British clients prefer to purchase real estate on the coast in Andalusia, the Autonomous Community of Valencia and Murcia. The German customers prefer to buy property on the Balearic islands. Finally, we have the Swedish customers who also prefer to buy coastal properties.

On the Canary Islands, the largest property buyers are the Italians, while the French customers prefer to buy in Catalonia.

The Romanians prefer to buy inland properties in various autonomous communities as well as in the Northern parts of Spain such as Aragon, Asturia, Cantabria, Castilla Leon, Castilla La Mancha, the Autonomous Community of Madrid, the Basque Country and in the Rioja region.

The buyers from Marocco prefer Navarra and Extremadura. The Portuguese clients prefer to purchase in Galicia.


Of the 65 400 properties purchased by foreigners in Spain in 2018, only 35% required financing.  The most amount of mortgage loans was received by Romanian home buyers (8.5%), followed by Chinese (7.8%), Italians (5.47%), French customers (5.33%) and finally Moroccans (4.29%).


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