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Brits remain top overseas buyers of Spanish property

Property prices in Spain are rising faster than values in the UK, with Britons remaining the top foreign buyers of Spanish homes, according to a report by house-builder Taylor Wimpey España.

The famous holiday resorts of the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca remain particularly popular among overseas buyers, with figures from the Association of Spanish Land Registrars revealing that foreign purchasers now account for nearly 13% of Spanish property purchases.

The Spanish property market continues to perform strongly overall, according to the findings, with local demand and foreign demand nearly neck and neck.

“Foreign buyers play an important role in the Spanish property market,” Marc Pritchard, sales and marketing director of Taylor Wimpey España, said.

“Right now, we're seeing both local demand and foreign buyer demand increase, which is excellent news for the health of the overall market. In terms of foreign buyers, new build homes in sunny, well-established coastal areas are some of the most sought after properties.”

Overall, foreign buyers purchased 17,338 properties in Spain in the second quarter of 2018, with 2,590 of these purchases made by British buyers. The next biggest group of overseas buyers were the French, who bought 1,315 Spanish homes.

These figures illustrate the importance of British buyers to the Spanish market, which is something that Spain is now considering carefully ahead of the UK’s impending departure from the EU. Brexit could have an impact from both a tourism and property point of view.

Typically, tourism numbers and overseas buyers purchasing Spanish property tend to be interlinked, with people holidaying in the country first before later deciding to buy a home there. Data from the Spanish National Institute of Statistics (INE) recently revealed that in the first nine months of 2018, 66.2 million foreign tourists visited Spain, spending 2.5% more than in the same period of 2017.

Reyes Maroto, Spain’s Minister for Trade, Industry and Tourism, recently met with a number of leading travel companies in order to ensure that Britons can continue visiting Spain in the future, regardless of the final terms of the Brexit deal.

For their part, British holidaymakers seem unperturbed by the prospect of Brexit disrupting their travel plans, with Toni Mayor - president of the Hosbec Costa Blanca hoteliers association - reporting stable bookings from British tourists for 2019. That’s despite the current lack of clarity surrounding travel arrangements after 29 March, the day when Britain is officially set to withdraw from the European Union.

“For both tourists and property buyers, Spain has much to offer,” Pritchard added. “House prices here have risen faster than in the UK according to the latest TINSA data, meaning that Brits buying in Spain can enjoy superior potential for capital growth at present when compared to those buying in the UK.”

Figures from TINSA suggest a 5.3% rise in property prices in the 12 months to October 2018, with both major city locations and the Mediterranean coastline faring well, experiencing growth of 8.5% and 6.0% respectively.

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