Home purchases by foreigners in Spain recorded a 26.3% reduction in 2020 compared to 2019, down to 46,303, far from the historical series high of 65,416 achieved in 2018. Specifically, the drop compared to the record of two years earlier reaches 30%.

However, and as reflected in the report published by the Real Estate Agents (API) and FIABCI Spain, this figure is close to levels similar to 2014 and is well above the years of the previous crisis.

Despite the double-digit year-on-year fall, in relative terms home purchases formalised by foreigners accounted for 11.32% of the total, a slight reduction of 1.13 percentage points compared to the previous year, maintaining the downward trend of recent years, from the peak of 13.25% in 2016.

«Despite this decline, taking into account the special circumstances, they represent very significant figures for foreign demand,» the study stresses.

The autonomous communities with the highest number of home purchases by foreigners during 2020 were the Valencian Community (13,493), Andalusia (9,443), Catalonia (7,748) and, at a distance, the Canary Islands (3,841), the Balearic Islands (3,146), the Community of Madrid (2,761) and Murcia (2,617), with the rest remaining below 1,000 annual purchases. All the autonomous regions recorded sharp annual decreases, with double-digit rates in all cases.

As already anticipated by the notaries, the foreigners who bought the most homes were the British, who accounted for 13.05% of the total, followed by the French (8.16%), Germans (7.75%), Moroccans (6.74%), Belgians (6.39%), Romanians (5.53%), Italians (5.08%), Swedes (4.63%), Dutch (3.32%) and Chinese (3.08%).

Upward price trend continues

According to the study, the average price of home purchases by foreigners was 1,791 euros per m2, with an annual increase of 3.6%, continuing the upward trend of previous years.

The average price per nationality was led by Swedes (5,322 euros per m2), Germans (4,668 euros) and Norwegians (4,662 euros). In terms of the surface area of the flats, 35.9% were larger than 100 metres, 20.26% were between 80 and 100 metres, 24.7% were between 60 and 80 metres, 14.83% were between 40 and 60 metres and 4.32% were less than 40 m2.

Fall of 17.8% in the number of mortgages

In addition, the number of mortgages on housing formalised by foreigners was 19,177, with a decrease with respect to 2019 of 17.8%, the year in which the maximum of the historical series was reached (23,342 mortgages).

This number of mortgages accounts for 5.63% of the total, giving rise to a much lower representation than that achieved in total home purchases (11.32%), which makes clear the lower need for financing by foreigners for the acquisition of residences.

The highest average mortgage amounts by nationality corresponded to Germans (245,775 euros), Swedes (229,907 euros), Dutch (191,015 euros), British (190,644 euros), French (181,107 euros) and Norwegians (174,815 euros).