Foreign buyers are going back to Spain in growing numbers, as the market's recovery spreads across all sectors.
Spain is now the most popular country in the world for foreign buyers, according to TheMoveChannel.com, with the destination accouting for 1 in 10 of all enquiries on the portal in November 2014.
The resurgent demand is fuelled by conditions improve across the board. Indeed, mortgage statistics for September show that concessions jumped 49.7 per cent year-on-year and 37.6 per cent in the third quarter as a whole. At the same time, construction is on the up too, with Spain's activity rising 9.1 per cent year-on-year, according to Eurostat - the highest in the eurozone.
With prices showing signs of stabilising and bottoming out, foreigners are flocking to the Costas and other popular hotspots. Spanish Notaries Public saw sales leap 20.7 per cent year-on-year, a rise that is fuelled by foreign interest: according to Spain's property registrars, foreigners now make up 13.10 per cent of all purchased of Spanish property. Brits are the biggest overseas players, making up 2.37 per cent of all purchases in the third quarter of 2014 and 18.06 per cent of foreign purchases - up from 15.77 per cent in the previous quarter.
Sterlingâs recovery against the euro during the year helped drive British buyers back to Spain, as well as other popular European markets. After starting the year at circa Â£1/â¬1.20 and hitting a low of Â£1/â¬1.191 in March, Sterling has climbed to rates upwards of Â£1/â¬1.27 in December. The end of September saw it hit a high of Â£1/â¬1.28. In real terms, Sterlingâs rebound means a â¬150,000 property is around Â£6,000 cheaper in December than it was in January to a UK buyer.
Now, Spain has cemented its place at the top of the popularity table among overseas property buyers, says the Overseas Guides Company. Their Spain Buying Guide received more downloads than France for the first three quarters of 2014, a trend that is expected to continue in the fourth quarter.
Confidence has also returned to neighbour European property markets Italy and Portugal, where enquiries for the first three quarters of 2014 were up year-on-year by 27 per cent and 38 per cent respectively.
Anocheche, Costa del Sol Photo: Antonio