Foreign Buyers in Catalonia: Figures Keep Growing

When looking at 2019 figures, 12.46% of all properties sold in Catalonia in 2019 were purchased by foreigners, higher than in 2018 when the proportion was 11.74%

 

The latest data from the Spanish Land Registry shows that just over 500,000 properties were sold throughout Spain during 2019, with foreign buyers accounting for 12.45% of all sales. The proportion of foreign buyers has remained fairly steady over recent years and although it is down slightly from last year (12.64%) it is significantly more than in 2009 when international buyers accounted for just 4.24% of total buyers.

80,904 sales were registered in the autonomous region of Catalonia (which includes Barcelona) in 2019, with Andalucía being the only region where more sales were registered (99,804 sales).

When looking at annual figures, 12.46% of all properties sold in Catalonia in 2019 were purchased by foreigners, higher than in 2018 when the proportion was 11.74% but lower than in 2014 when it was 14.17%. It is also higher than in 2012 when foreign buyers accounted for 9.34% of all buyers.

Compared to the other autonomous regions, those leading the way in terms of the proportion of foreign buyers are predominantly coastal areas, with international buyers accounting for 29.41% of all buyers in the Balearic Islands, 26.19% in the Valencian Community, 25.77% in the Canary Islands and 19.97% in the region of Murcia.

 

Increased foreign presence

When looking at the last quarter of 2019, 18,346 properties exchanged hands in Catalonia, accounting for 15.63% of all sales throughout Spain. Of these sales, 12.70% were made by buyers from outside Spain. This is a larger proportion than in the last quarter of 2018 when 12.05% of all sales in Catalonia were made by international buyers.

Compared to the other autonomous regions, proportionally Andalucía again led the way in terms of number of sales, with 24,030 sales being registered in the last quarter of 2019, accounting for 20.47% of all sales throughout Spain. The number of foreigners buying in Andalucía accounted for 12.40% of all sales in the last quarter of 2019.

The figures have not been published yet detailing the specific nationalities buying in Catalonia but in 2018 the highest proportion of buyers came from France (20.61%), China (7.66%), Morocco (6.92%) and Italy (5.46%), with 3.27% coming from the United Kingdom.

 

Buyers and tourists’ interest

When looking at Barcelona Province, international buyers in 2019 accounted for 9.45% of all buyers, a higher proportion than in 2018 when 8.70% of all buyers came from outside Spain. When compared to other provinces, the largest proportion of foreign buyers was in Alicante (41.43%), followed by Tenerife (31,42%), the Balearic Islands (29.41%), Málaga (28.02%), Girona (26.76%), Las Palmas (20.66%), Murcia (19.97%), Almería (16.45%) and Tarragona (13.89%).

The region of Catalonia continues to attract increasing number of international tourists with 19.4 million people visiting the region in 2019, the area with the most tourists in Spain, according to Spain’s National Institute of Statistics. This is an increase of 0.8% over the number in 2018.

According to Aena, the number of passengers arriving at Barcelona airport in 2019 was almost 52.7 million, an increase of 5% over passenger arrivals in 2018. This number was second only to Madrid airport, where just over 61.7 million passengers arrived in 2019.

 

Excellent value

In a global context, Barcelona property offers excellent value for money. According to property portal Idealista, prices in the city of Barcelona currently stand at €4,114 per square metre, significantly lower than prices in London, Paris and Berlin.

Barcelona’s lasting appeal to both international tourists and property buyers alike will no doubt continue, due to the city’s unrivalled quality of life, unbeatable climate, perfect location and cultural significance.