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Spanish Market Update - British buyers on the increase

Expert British panel reports at SIMA Madrid conference on robust British market for 2nd homes in Spain

AIPP CEO, Peter Robinson, Chaired an expert panel at the Iberian Second Home Summit at SIMA Madrid 31st May, Spain’s largest and most influential property conference and exhibition.The topic addressed was ‘The British and Brexit’.

Peter was joined by Andy Bridge, MD of A Place in the Sun (APITS), Mark Stucklin, owner Spanish Property Insight and Peter Esders, Solicitor at Judicare Group and AIPP Deputy Chairman.

Key Market Data

  • A strong recovery in 2017 with sales of 14,242 Spanish properties sold to the British.
  • After a post UK EU Referendum lull in 2016, Brits are back with Q1 2018 sales 14% higher than Q1 2017.
  • Brits are now paying an average €1,628 per square metre in Spain – the highest rate since early 2013.

(Source: Spanish Notaries, as compiled by www.spanishpropertyinsight.com)

Judicare also pointed toward sales of Spanish property to British residents appearing to have come at the expense of other countries, like Turkey and those in North Africa, also indicating that many British people are bringing-forward their purchase before Brexit, 29th March 2019, in order to (perhaps) secure greater property rights in those countries. Peter Esders also said he was also seeing more demand for properties inland and in the Barcelona area.

Overall, AIPP puts at around 30,000 the number of British buyers of a foreign property last year,

with 2018 perhaps going to exceed that.

Importance of Industry support for the market


Introducing the Alliance of International Property Owners (AIPO)

AIPP’ purpose in attending this event was to launch to Spanish & Portuguese property professionals the new organisation, Alliance of International Property Owners, supported by AIPP – to nurture and support British buyers and owners of a foreign property.

As AIPP CEO, Peter Robinson, has now said at various trade events, “this industry must take some responsibility for what it has helped to create; now over 900,000 British owners of a foreign freehold or leasehold property. Members of AIPP are supporting this initiative through their annual membership subscriptions”.

Data from APITS London Olympia property show in May 2018 saw over 8,500 people visit over three days with a representative sample putting at 62% of these visitors interested in buying in Spain. This is part of an upward trend with APITS reporting demand for Spain at:

  • 2016 – 42%
  • 2017 – 50%
  • 88% of people attending APITS Live only started their property search after the 2016 EU Referendum.

British buyer market worth £2.8 billion a year to Spain

Combining data from Spanish Property Insight and APITS, we can determine the approximate mid-market British demand for Spanish property at a value of £2.8 billion per year in 2017 (APITS reporting average buyer budgets of £200,000 for Spain).

Other key data points from APITS in May 2018 include:

Impact of Brexit on British buyers intentions;
60% – no impact at all, not concerned
34% – waiting to see what happens

Effect of Brexit for the majority is to bring purchases forward;

Buying intention in less than one year:

2016 – 60%
2017 – 76%
2018 – 76%

Fall in the value of the pound has had an impact;
72% sticking with a budget irrespective of the exchange rate
18% prepared to increase their budget to get what they want


What does the future hold post-Brexit?

Peter Robinson, AIPP

In summing-up, Peter Robinson pointed to the long-held dream of many British people to own and spend time in a Spanish property enjoying the wonderful lifestyle this enabled. Andy Bridge pointed to nearly 2000 A Place in the Sun TV programmes made and broadcast in the UK over the last 18 years, with over half of these made about Spanish property.

The panel all agreed that the Brits would not be deterred from buying Spanish property post-Brexit, currency issues aside, a period of stabilisation post-Brexit would inevitably bring some uncertainty. The UK is a (cold, wet and damp!) country of over 65 million people and that is likely to bring with it a constant steam of buyers in Spain for years to come.

The revenue from British owners visiting their properties in Spain for local businesses is estimated at £15 billion annually by AIPO. A further £5 billion is spent in the UK on the cost of accessing these properties (travel to airports, flights etc). Peter Robinson said this was a conservative figure based upon the more than 800,000 British-resident owners of a foreign property only visiting their property once a year.

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