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Foreigners lead the way in Spain's property market

Source: El Pais - Wed 4th Sep 2013
Foreigners lead the way in Spain's property market

Home purchases by foreigners in Spain continued to surge in Q2 of the year on a back of an ongoing decline in prices in what has become the only bright spot in a market in the doldrums since a massive bubble burst around the start of 2008.

According to figures released Wednesday by the Ministry of Public Works, the number of homes changing hands in the period April to June fell 4.2% from a year earlier to 80,722. However, over the past 12 months, sales were up 2.3% at 345,471 units.

Purchases by foreign residents climbed a record 16.9% to 12,546 in the April-June period.

Purchases by the foreign community have now risen for the past eight quarters. Sales to non-resident foreigners amounted to 1,086 meaning that Foreigners accounted for 1 in 6 of every transactions in the quarter.

Sharp falls in prices House prices have now fallen by an average of around 40% from their peaks at the end of 2007, but the declines in tourist areas on the Mediterranean coast have been of an even greater magnitude.

Purchases by foreigners were concentrated in Alicante, Málaga, Barcelona, Girona and Tenerife in the Canary Islands. A government scheme to approve the granting of resident permits to foreigners who purchase homes valued at over €500,000 is currently before parliament.

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