British expats waving adios to Spain

The dire economic situation in Spain is causing thousands of Brits to return home, new figures show.

British expat 2Data released yesterday by the country’s National Institute of Statistics show that the number of British expats registered in the country fell from 385,179 on 1st January last year to 297,229 by December 2013. Large numbers of German and French people also returned home from Spain in 2013, the figures show.

Falling values in house prices, high unemployment and exhausting legal challenges over who owns the title deeds of property between expat owners and developers have been given as main reasons behind the exodus.

However, it would appear that overseas interest in purchasing a second property in Spain remains high – mainly because of the significant fall in value of properties in the country. According to overseas mortgage specialists Conti, the company received a 90 per cent increase in enquiries for mortgages in the first three months of this year compared to the same period in 2013, with more than half of all enquiries related to Spanish property.

This, the company says, is the first time a single country had generated such interest from potential buyers.