The Resilient Rise of Spain's Real Estate Market: A 2022-2023 Analysis
Spain's real estate market has been a focal point for both domestic and international investors, especially post-COVID-19. The market has shown resilience and dynamism, characterised by changing demand, a surge in foreign investment, and regional disparities. This comprehensive analysis delves into the trends and data that shaped the Spanish property market in 2022 and in 2023.
Post-Pandemic Demand Shift
Single-Family Homes and Apartments
The pandemic brought a significant shift in property preferences. There was a 34% increase in demand for single-family homes compared to 2019, while apartments saw a 10% rise. This change, driven by a desire for more space and better living conditions, favoured suburban and coastal areas.
Sales and Price Trends
Market Recovery and Growth
The market witnessed a positive trajectory after a minor decline of 0.4% in 2020. In 2021, the Spanish property market experienced substantial growth. The sale of homes for living increased by 38.1%, reaching 676,775 units. This increase was reflected in both apartment sales (up 38.2% year-over-year to 507,209 units) and single-family home sales (up 37.8% to 169,566 units).
Consequently, the average price per square metre also rose by 5.3% to €1,507. This growth in sales and prices indicated a strong recovery in the market, with mortgage loans for housing acquisition also increasing by 35.7% during the same period.
By the start of 2023, the market had seemingly completely recovered to pre-COVID levels. In January 2023 alone, there were 52,684 property transactions in Spain, the highest figure for that month in recent years.
This recovery was driven by a heightened demand for larger homes, especially those with outdoor areas, following the societal restrictions of the pandemic. Many city residents like those from Madrid moved to greener, more spacious areas outside the city centre.
Foreign Demand Driving Sales
Foreign demand for housing in Spain also experienced exceptional growth in 2022. Foreigners purchased around 90,000 homes in Spain, surpassing pre-pandemic levels and accounting for 13.75% of the total sales in the year.
The breakdown of purchases by nationality reveals that British citizens were at the forefront, accounting for some 9,800 purchases. This was followed closely by buyers from Germany, with approximately 8,400 purchases, and France, with around 6,200 purchases. These figures indicate a strong and diverse international interest in the Spanish property market.
This trend of foreign investment in Spanish real estate indicates the market's attractiveness to international buyers, driven by factors such as the country's climate, lifestyle, and the perceived value of properties in Spain.
The sustained interest from various nationalities also underscores the market's resilience and appeal beyond domestic buyers, contributing to its overall growth and dynamism.
Nationalities with Significant Transaction Increases:
Additionally, there has been a significant increase in purchases from the Netherlands, Norway, and Ireland. The Dutch, in particular, have become the seventh most crucial nationality in terms of volume of transactions, with 3,641 homes bought in the first half of the year. Irish buyers were involved in 1,395 transactions, while Norwegians finalised 979 home sales and purchases.
Growth of Teleworking
This diversification in the Spanish property market is influenced by several factors, including the rise of teleworking, Spain's favourable climate, good communications, lower housing prices compared to other European countries, and the energy crisis. The trend is also driven by the lifestyle appeal of Spain, especially for professionals who can work remotely, particularly from Northern Europe.
Moreover, the statistics for the third quarter of the year highlight the growing number of purchases by Ukrainians and Polish, likely influenced by the ongoing war in Ukraine.
These trends reflect a dynamic and evolving Spanish real estate market, increasingly attractive to a diverse range of international buyers.
Golden Visa Influence
Attracting Non-EU Investors
The Golden Visa program, offering residency to non-EU nationals who invest in Spanish real estate, has been particularly popular among Chinese, Russian, and Middle Eastern investors. This program significantly contributed to the increased interest from these countries.
Price Paid by Nationality
The average price paid by foreign buyers in Spain varied significantly by nationality. Swiss, Swedish, Danish, American, German, and Norwegian buyers paid the highest prices for homes. For instance, buyers from the USA paid an average of €2,809 m2.
Variations Across Regions
Different regions in Spain experienced varied impacts on real estate values. Some areas, like the Balearic Islands, continued to record the highest house prices, while others, like Castile-La Mancha, saw a decline.
Future Outlook and Market Adjustments
Forecast for House Prices and Sales in 2024
The market is expected to see fewer transactions in 2024, with a forecast of around 10% fewer sales, which is still considered a healthy number for a balanced market. Property prices are predicted to experience a slight increase of about 3%.
Factors Influencing the Market
High inflation and more expensive mortgages due to a higher Euribor act as brakes on demand. The pace of new developments is lagging behind demand, and buyers face higher prices due to increased construction costs. However, inflation in Spain is expected to halve, which may influence the property market dynamics.
The Spanish real estate market in 2022-2023 demonstrated robustness, driven by diverse demands, foreign investment, and the increasing appeal to various nationalities. Despite expected stabilisation, the market remains an attractive destination for international buyers.
- Olive Press News Spain - The reasons behind Spain's property boom and what to expect next
- Spanish Property Insight - Spanish house price trends in 2022 and what to expect in 2023
- CaixaBank Research - Spanish real estate sector: 2022 recap and 2023 outlook
- Mordor Intelligence - Spain Residential Real Estate Market
- Idealista - Foreign buying trends in Spain 2022: Dutch, Norwegian and Irish buyers on the rise
- Idealista - Home purchases by foreigners in Spain broke records in 2022
- ING Think - Why Spain's housing market is set to cool this year
- Idealista - Foreigners buying more homes than ever before in Spain and are paying record prices in 2023
- AssetFolio - Spain's real estate market in 2023
- Listglobally - Foreign buyers in Spain
- Bric Group - Outlook for the Spanish property market in 2024
About the Owner/Author
Mac McCarthy has been involved in the overseas property market since 2001, successfully selling properties across the mediterranean countries including Spain, Portugal, Turkey and Cyprus.
Experienced in Real Estate marketing and administration, he is a registered and qualified "Agente Inmobiliaria" under the A.N.P.I.F.F. (the Asociacion de Profesionales Inmobiliarios Finaceros y Fiscales. Asociado 1.999)