The sun starts to shine on the Spanish economy

A raft of recent reports indicate we could have a busy summer ahead as the statistics suggest what we’ve suspected for a while – that confidence and buyer activity is returning to the local Marbella property market.

Domestically Spain’s economy (GDP) grew by 0.9% in the first quarter of this year and although unemployment remains high it is hoped that the increasing competiveness of the euro and falling oil prices will drive an export led recovery.

Looking to the future, mortgage loans earmarked for construction have increased 21.8% year-on-year (General Council of Notaries Jan 2015) and the number of mortgages approved for acquisition rose by 9.9% over the same period.

This has fed through to the domestic property market with sales to Spaniards rising by 29% over the last year – an encouraging sign as this domestic demand will be a vital factor in stabilising the property market over the longer term.

Malaga Province leading the way

In the Malaga province sales of houses to foreign buyers have doubled over the past two years according to figures released by the Ministry of Public Works, to over 9,000 last year. Interestingly the vast majority of people buying in Spain are already residents (8,010 out of 9,100), so the number of non-residents buying has not increased significantly.

Anecdotal evidence and a look at our recent activity would suggest that this could largely be due to canny local expats and previous investors taking advantage of the lower prices and better exchange rates to increase their property portfolios.

So who is buying?

A recent study carried out by TM Grupo Inmobiliario looked at the nationality of buyers in Spain which really shows how the property market has evolved to attract buyers from all over Europe and the world.

British             18.6%

French             9.4%

German           7.0%

Belgian            7.0%

Italian              6.0%

Russian           5.8%

Chinese           4.1%

Norwegian       3.7%

The report also gives us a glimpse of some buyer profiles; the typical British buyer is over 60, married middle-class and with an average annual income of over €36,000; the Belgians meanwhile are typically over 50, university educated, keen on outdoor activities and with a slightly higher average annual income of over €60,000; the Russians represent the youngest typical buyers as the report found them to usually be men aged 35-45, university educated and with annual income averaging €80,000 per year.

But the happiest and wealthiest buyers are from Scandinavia according to the report. They are typically married couples aged between 45-70 with a high standard of living and an annual average income of over €90,000. They are looking for a warm climate, good quality of life and direct air transport connections to home. When in Spain they make the most of the great surroundings and list golf, bike riding and the beach as the things they love best.


Like to know more about buying property in Marbella? Bench & CO provide the complete range of legal and financial services for residents and non-residents alike.

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