The sale of homes in Spain continues to grow, although it shows signs of stagnation. If in general terms, in January of this year the number of operations increased by 0.3%, while the price increased by 2.6%, according to the data of the General Council of Notaries. However, the sale of free housing by foreigners is at a good moment. In particular, according to notaries, the sale of free housing by foreigners is increased in the first half of 2018 by 5.6%, until reaching 53,359 operations.
Differentiating by residence, 44% of foreign sales transactions were made by non-resident foreigners. For the first time since 2010, the sales of this segment of foreigners were reduced year-on-year (-0.8%). Foreign residents therefore accounted for 56% of sales, which increased 11.1% year-on-year, assuming a deceleration in year-on-year growth, which in the first half of last year stood at 20.2%.
Analyzing by autonomous communities, not all recorded increases in this statistic. Nine autonomies registered higher increases to the national average (5.6%), standing out for its strength Aragón (30.9%), Extremadura (27.4%), Murcia (21.3%) and Castilla La Mancha (20.2%), all above 20%. However, four communities registered falls: Balearic (-11.2%), Canary (-10.6%), Catalonia (-5.35) and Cantabria (-4.6%).
In terms of absolute terms, the foreigner continues to feel more attracted by the Mediterranean coast and the islands. Thus, the Valencian Community concentrated most of the operations (15,613), followed by Andalucía (9,737), Cataluña (7,560) and Canarias (5,312). Meanwhile, 4,911 operations were carried out in Madrid and 3,173 in the Balearic Islands.
By nationality, the British are still the ones who make the most purchases. In particular, the weight of British over total foreigners was 14.3% followed by other foreigners from outside the EU (11.2%), French (7.9%) Germans (7.8%) and Romanians (7.3%). On the downside, Switzerland stands out above all (-13.2%) followed by China (-6.4%) and Norway (-5.1%). The largest increases by nationality in the sale of free housing were Morocco (28.8%), Ireland (24.7%), Denmark (18.2%) and Russia (13.8%).
The average price per square meter of operations carried out by foreign buyers in the first half of 2018, referring to free housing, stood at € 1,687. This supposed a timid increase in prices up to 0.9% year-on-year, well below those registered in the second half of 2017 (5.7% year-on-year). Non-resident foreigners paid higher prices than residents (€ 1984 / m2 versus € 1426 / m2, respectively). The average price paid by non-resident foreigners grew faster (2.0% year-on-year) than by residents (1.4%), although this difference is much less significant than in previous semesters.
At regional level, the evolution of prices was also mixed, falling in five autonomies, having produced the largest of all in Galicia (-11.8%), followed by Navarra (-6.4%), Castilla y León (- 3.2%), Catalonia (-2.2%) and La Rioja (-1.1%). Meanwhile, the price increased in the remaining twelve. Among them, as in the previous semester, the increase in Extremadura (30.0%) stands out again remarkably. More moderately but registering double-digit increases were Madrid (12.8%) and País Vasco (11.4%).