Spain property sales up, but Brit purchases down

A new report reveals that overseas buyers are still driving sales of prime property in Spain, although last year’s Brexit vote is starting to impact on transactions from British buyers.

A new market report from estate agency Lucas Fox shows that property sales in Spain rose 31 per cent year-on-year in 2016, the biggest increase since the company was founded in 2005. Foreign investors represented 65 per cent of all the company’s sales.

However, while the UK remains the biggest international market for the company, there has been a decline in British buyers over the past 12 months.

While 11 per cent of all overseas property buyers purchasing a home through Lucas Fox last year were from the UK, this was down from 18 per cent in 2015.

Enquiries from British buyers is also down, the report shows. In 2016, 10 per cent of all website enquiries came from the UK, compared to 12 per cent in 2015. Enquiries from the UK for homes in all desirable second-home destinations have decreased following the Brexit vote, most notably on the Costa del Sol, traditionally popular among British buyers. Barcelona and Ibiza were the most searched for destinations from British buyers.

“Since the referendum, UK buyers have dropped off due to the weakening of the pound,” said Lucas Fox Marbella Partner Stephen Lahiri. “There is still movement at the lower end of the market and towards the latter half of the year there has been an increase in the numbers of sellers of re-sale properties discounting prices, particularly British sellers who can now afford to reduce the price without affecting what they will make in sterling.”

The Middle East made up the second largest proportion of foreign buyers in Spain (8 per cent compared to 5 per cent in 2015), followed by Scandinavia (7 per cent compared to 4 per cent in 2015), France (6 per cent compared to 9 per cent in 2015) and the United States (5 per cent compared to 4.5 per cent in 2015). Asian and South American buyers are also on the increase.

Article published 28th February 2017