SPAIN’S property market is booming and in contradiction to tabloid reports that Brits are leaving in droves, British buyers are in fact back in full force.
Sean Woolley from Cloud Nine Spain reports that although it was a slow start to the year, with Covd-19 rules making it impossible for Brits to come over to look for properties, that changed once border restrictions were lifted.
Woolley, whose estate agency has for 20 years focused on selling properties to British clients, said the first half of the year saw a massive shift in clientele.
“From January to May, we had no UK buyers at all in the market and a massive variety in where our buyers have been coming from. In the first quarter, 22 sales transactions were attributed to buyers from 18 different countries – mainly northern Europe, except no Brits.”
But since restrictions were lifted and quarantine no longer necessary for the fully vaccinated on their return home, British buyers have been flocking to the Costa del Sol to look at houses.
“As soon as they could travel without too many restrictions, the UK buyers have blown us away and the pent-up demand has been reflected in high sales and very serious buyers,” explained Woolley.
“This August, 59% of our buyers were British, and all of the buyers in September came from the UK.”
He said: “We’re going to have a record year, without a shadow of a doubt, with July being the busiest month in 20 years in terms of sales values, and selling more in terms of transactional value in July and August, than we did in the whole of last year. Signs are good for the rest of the year, with average sales values in September being double what it was in August, at €1.4 million.”
But rather than people looking for property to move to permanently, the vast majority of British buyers are those looking for a holiday home.
“We’ve noticed a different mindset from buyers, who are looking at life very differently since the pandemic and want to get out from the UK into the sunshine.”
But many are concerned with how Brexit might affect potential plans to move to Spain permanently.
“With the UK leaving the EU and residency becoming more challenging this is a topic which is being discussed by all UK buyers, even if they’re just buying a holiday home to enjoy and generate rental income,” admitted Woolley.
“They are looking to the future and the possibility of retiring to their home in Spain and therefore they need to understand their options and residency requirements when they buy the property and in many cases are weighing up between Spain and Portugal for this reason,” he said.
Sean Woolley is the director of leading real estate agency Cloud Nine Spain and the author of From the Ground Up – The Insider’s Guide to Buying Spanish Property.