Foreigners Accounted For 10.8% Of Home Purchases In Spain During 2021

20 Jun 2022 | Blog

The College of Property Agents (Agentes de la Propiedad Inmobiliaria, API) in Catalonia has released together with Spain’s FIABCI branch a report on homes purchased nationwide by foreigners during 2021. Throughout the presentation, which took place in the College of Commercial Agents of Barcelona (Colegio Oficial de Agentes Comerciales de Barcelona, COACB) hall, national data offered by the Association of Registrars to API were analysed.

The event was attended by Vicenç Hernández Reche, Tecnotramit’s CEO and chairman for the Catalan Association of Property Agents (Asociación de Agentes Inmobiliarios de Catalunya, AIC); Gerard Duelo Ferrer, chairman for the General Councils of Spain and Barcelona’s Official College of Property Agents (Colegio Oficial de Agentes de la Propiedad Inmobiliaria, COAPI); and Joan Clos, chairman for Spain’s FIABCI branch and former mayor of Barcelona. During the event, an act of mutual recognition took place between Ramón Riera, the current FIABCI world vice-president, and Gerard Duelo Ferrer, Barcelona’s COAPI chairman.

The study indicates a total of 60,973 homes were purchased by foreigners during 2021, a year-on-year increase of 28.3%, approaching all-time highs (65,416 purchases in 2018). 57.4% of homes were purchased by foreign residents and 42.6% by non-residents, a year-on-year increase of 3.36%.  These results clearly show the effects of the recovery of international mobility, with a favourable impact on non-residents.

Thus, in global terms, foreigners accounted for 10.80% of total residential purchases in Spain during 2021, down 0.52% with regards to the previous year and maintaining the downward trend of recent years, from the peak of 13.25% in 2016. Relatively speaking, this decrease occurs at a time of steep increase in the number of sales and purchases, which has meant that, as we have seen in absolute terms, the number of dwellings purchased by foreigners was much higher.

Non-resident foreigners pay much more for homes

On the other hand, the average price of house purchases by foreigners in the first half of 2021 (the latest figures available for this indicator) was €1,863m², with an annual increase of 4%, continuing the upward trend of previous years. Differences between resident and non-resident foreigners are significant, with an average amount of €1,498m² for resident foreigners, well below the €2,452m² for non-residents. The highest price levels per square metre of houses purchased by foreigners were recorded in the Balearic Islands (€3,607m²), Madrid (€2,487m²), La Rioja (€2,138m²), Catalonia (€2,037m²), and the Canary Islands (€1,940m²).