Foreign buyers in Spain — Where do they buy ? And where do they come from ?

Geographical view : where do foreign buyers purchase most properties in Spain ?

Last year, foreign buyers purchased 55,512 Spanish properties. This represented 13,7% of all real estate transactions in Spain. But where did foreign buyers buy ?

Let’s first have a look at the map, realized by a leading Spanish property portal ( This map gives the proportion of foreign buyers per region (autonomous community) in the 2nd trimester of 2017.

This shows that in all southern regions, the percentage is well over 10%.

Foreign buyers per region (CCAA) in Spain in the 2nd trimester of 2017

This figure by region (autonomous community) is even more interesting if we look at a province level. In Spain there are 17 autonomous communities and 2 autonomous cities. Each autonomous community contains 1 to 9 provinces (more details here on Wikipedia).

In number of transactions realized by foreign buyers per province, Alicante led the way, with strong followers. In not less than 19 provinces, foreign buyers represented over 7.8% of transactions, a considerable proportion.

International buyers purchased over 30% of sold properties in the first quarter of 2017 in the following provinces : Alicante, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Balearic Islands, Las Palmas, Malaga, Girona.

In Murcia, Almeria, Castellon, Tarragona, Valencia, Lleida, Barcelona and Granada this percentage was between 10% and 25%.

Finally in Madrid, Zarragoza, Navarra, Toledo and Cadiz, foreign buyers represented nearly 1 in 10 transactions.

Foreign buyers in real estate per Spanish province — first quarter of 2017

Yet if we look not at the percentage, but at the number of transactions made by foreign buyers, then the provinces of Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia rank very high, right after Alicante and Malaga provinces.

Is the market of international buyers in Spain growing or decreasing ?

Foreign buyers closed on €9.054 billion worth of Spanish residential properties in 2016 and this figure has been in constant progression over the last 4 years as you can see below.

Foreign buyers in Spain per quarter — from 2013 to 2017 — constant increase

Now that we know where buyers transact, let’s look at where they come from.

Geographical view : where do foreign buyers come from ?

As I was explaining last month to team members of Fotocasa (leading property portal in Spain), foreign buyers in Spain come from over 50 countries ! This is what really makes its specificity. Looking at the schema below, the biggest nationality of foreign buyers is absolutely not English, French, German or Belgians, nor Swedes, Italians or Chinese, but it is « Rest of the world ». What does that tell us ? It tells that for each British buyer purchasing a property in Spain you have 3 other buyers that come from Romania, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Morrocco, United States, Canada, Australia or just anywhere in the world really.

Nationalities of foreign buyers in Spain — Russians, Chinese, Italians, Swedes, Belgians, Germans, French, British and above all the “Rest of the world” with buyers from all around the globe

In other terms, the top 11 nationalities is here below and what one should really remember is not that British are leading, but that « rest of the world » is leading. Foreign buyers represent not far from 1 in 5 transactions in Spain, and the geographical origin of those buyers is what you can call a long tail. Put in simple words, it just means that the best way to reach out to this market, is by adopting a fully global marketing strategy, as we offer our clients at ListGlobally by publishing Spanish listings on over 130 property portals from over 65 countries (please consult this page to see the full list of portals).

Top 11 nationalities of foreign buyers in Spain — first quarter of 2017

Thanks for reading my latest article on foreign buyers in Spain. For more information about foreign buyers in Spain please consult . For more information about how to build a strong international marketing strategy for your agency or franchise network, please feel free to get in touch with at