Spanish Notaries Record Surge In Property Purchases By Non-Residents

By Editorial 21 October, 2013

Data released by Spain's General Council of Notaries show increasing foreign demand for properties in Spain, but that much of the increase is due to sales to non-residents, rather than to purchases by resident foreigners.

Notaries formally witnessed the sale of 14,593 homes to foreigners during the second quarter of 2013, amounting to an increase of 23 percent over the same time last year. However, purchases by resident foreigners were up by only 4 percent, while non-resident purchases saw a 43 percent rise.

Mark Stücklin, of Spanish Property Insight, has pointed out that the General Council figures contradict claims by Spain's Department of Housing that non-residents are just a small part of foreign demand. Stücklin previously described Ministry figures as "flawed" and as known to be "plainly untrue" by property business professionals. He explained that non-residents may be seeking a second home or an investment, but that residents of other EU countries may make a purchase and subsequently become resident in Spain.

Many Spanish house purchases are made through Gibraltar companies, for tax reasons, and this is one of the reasons for the reluctance of Spanish officials to accept the reality of the situation.

The British remain the largest single group of purchasers, and the number of British non-resident second-home buyers has increased by 25 percent. However, Britain's overall share in the market has declined to 15 percent, down from 39 percent at the end of 2007.

Meanwhile, the greatest rise in sales to non-residents relates to Belgium, with 78 percent more non-residents making purchases. France follows at 70 percent, and then Germany at 35 percent. Belgians also account for the largest rise in purchases among residents in Spain, at 42 percent. Purhcases by Moroccan residents in Spain are up 40 percent, by Russians up 21 percent, by the French up 8 percent, and by Germans up 5 percent.

Tags: Tax | Spain | Expats | Investment | Property Investment | Invest | Investment |


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