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April 22, 2016

Foreign investors prefer Barcelona

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Foreigners are absolute protagonists of the luxury real estate market in Barcelona. According to a study conducted by the agency Lucas Fox International, 83% of luxury homes and apartments in Barcelona of worth more than 950,000 euros, which were sold in 2015, were purchased by citizens of other countries, compared to only 17% which represented the buyer of Spanish nationality.

These data contrast with those registered in Madrid, where the proportion of foreign and Spanish buyers of real estate in Spain is distributed equally, and also with what was recorded in the Catalan capital in 2014.

But, despite the fact that local buyers of luxury properties in Spain are a minority, they are slowly gaining momentum and are approaching to non-residents. According to the real estate agency, in 2014 they only accounted for 11% of purchases, six points less than last year. Moreover, most of them have bought their first property in Spain.

"For several years the local property market is dominated by international buyers and, although foreign investors are still responsible for most of the sales of luxury properties in Spain, it is also true that the number of local buyers clearly increased, i.e., there is a market trend, which according to experts, will continue during 2016,"- says the managing partner of Lucas Fox, who also added that "increasing impact on the property market in Spain from local buyers has been a most notable trend in 2015. "

Meanwhile, a local investor increases his presence not only in Barcelona, ​​but also in its nearest area: in Valencia, for example, transactions of Spanish buyers with luxury real estate in Spain grew more than double, while the Costa Maresme represents 37% of the operations and the Costa Brava, 29%.

In addition, last year an increase of Dutch and American buyers was recorded, although the British citizens still play an important role in the luxury property market in Spain and in Barcelona. "Sales to customers from the UK increased by 50% in the Catalan capital, while in Ibiza they accounted for over two thirds of transactions, mainly due to the strong appreciation of the pound against the euro in the past year,"- say the experts of the real estate agency.

Nor can we forget that non-resident buyers are very interested in the domestic market of residential property in Spain. In fact, according to the Association of Registrars, international buyers accounted for 14.38% of the total volume of purchases and sales of luxury homes in Spain during the last three months of 2015, which led to a new high historical index in percentage terms. These figures demonstrate the huge external demand for luxury properties in Spain.

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