Latest Costa Blanca Property News

Brexit What Now?

Many questions have been thrown up in the days since the UK Referendum voted in favour of Brexit - particularly for looking to buy in Spain and also those expats currently residing in Spain. Please see our page: Brexit What Now which we will add to and update as often as we get new information.

published: 1st Jul, 2016

Previous new article(s) can be viewed by clicking the titles (in red) below:

Notaries Record Year on Year Growth in Home Sales in January

According to recent statistics released by the General Council of Notaries, the number of home sales in Spain in January registered growth of 59.2% year-on-year, while prices increased by 8.9% in that month.

The agency indicated that “this upturn can be explained, in part, by the normalisation of the monthly housing sales figures after the end of the income tax deduction for home purchases at the end of 2012" but that a stabilisation in the monthly sales figures had also been observed in recent months.

Specifically, in January, the number of home sales transactions stood at 23,368, which is 59.2% more than a year earlier, with an increase of 55.9% in the seasonally adjusted series.

As for the type of housing, sales of apartments showed growth of 55%, while the purchase of family homes increased by almost 80%.

Similarly, sales of second-hand housing grew by 48.5%, to 15,085 transactions, while purchases of new properties reached 2,717 transactions, doubling the number acquired in the same month a year earlier (+109% more).

The Notaries also highlighted that the average price per square metre experienced a “strong” growth in January, breaking the downward trend of recent months. Thus, the average price of the all the homes sold in January was 1,294 euros per square metre, representing an 8.9% increase.

For apartments, this increase rose to 12.1%, to stand at 1,421 euros per square metre, while the average price of family homes stood at 1,038 euros per square metre, an increase of 2.7% over the previous January.

Mortgage loans also increased in the first month of 2014. Loans to purchase a home increased by 58.5%, and a total of 8,561 loans were granted in the month, for the purchase of all types of property. For the purchase of a home, the average mortgage loan provided amounted to 113,966 euros, up 6% from a year ago.

published: 18th Mar, 2014

Spanish Economy Grows

Spain's second-biggest bank BBVA and smaller rival Caixabank on Friday posted jumps in 2013 profits, as provisions against soured property loans fell and income from lending began to improve at the end of the year.

BBVA's results echoed Santander's on Thursday which showed encouraging signs that Spanish banks' core lending businesses are on the mend, even though they still face challenges and bad debts continued to rise in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Spain's economy grew for a second straight quarter in the final three months of 2013, data on Thursday showed, and that recovery should start feeding through to the country's banks even though unemployment remains high.

"The outlook for 2014 has improved significantly," BBVA Chairman Francisco Gonzalez said in a statement, adding that the bank saw credit demand rising.

A drop in deposit rates throughout 2013 is also beginning to help banks' net interest income (NII), which tracks earnings from loans minus funding costs.

BBVA, which makes the bulk of its profit abroad, said NII grew nearly 6 percent to 3.7 billion euros in the October-December period from the previous three months, slightly more than analysts had expected.

It made a 849 million euro loss in the fourth quarter, however, after it took charges from the sale of a 5 percent stake in China's CITIC Bank Corp.

For the whole of 2013, BBVA's net profit was 2.2 billion euros, up by a third on 2012 levels. In Mexico, one of its key markets, net profit rose 7 percent to 1.8 billion euros.

Barcelona-based Caixabank also posted improving net interest income in the fourth quarter compared to the third, and its 2013 profit more than doubled to 503 million euros.

published: 31st Jan, 2014
Source: Reuters

Foreigners rush in where Spaniards fear to tread

Foreign buyers are crowding into Spain's residential property market despite sluggish interest from domestic buyers

New data from Spain's Department of Housing shows that the falling prices in Spain have finally proved tempting to overseas buyers. Sales to foreigners rose by 24.7% year-on-year in Q3 2013 as both investors and lifestyle buyers recognise that the long-promised serious price reductions have begun & may even have happened. According to data from, resale prices fell by 7.5% year-on-year to November 2013, to €1,745 per square metre.

Last week Spanish newspaper El Mundo included an interview with Alfonso Galobart, the head of CBRE Spain, who said: “The arrival of big investors like Goldman Sachs and Blackstone buying large portfolios shows that the Spanish property market has touched bottom and now is the moment to invest. Spain, as a country, no longer has the risks it had five years ago, and that makes it much more attractive.” As reported by Spanish Property Insight today (11 December) these investors are being joined by George Soros and Pimco, “the largest bond investor in the world”. CBRE's prediction that Spain will attract €4billion in real estate investment this year & a return to 2004 levels might even seem conservative.

However, overall, the Department of Housing data showed that sales in Q3 fell by 6.8 on the same period in 2012. Elsewhere there were encouraging signs concerning domestic demand however. Household debt has fallen significantly, 5.2% down on the previous year & November saw the first ever recorded fall in unemployment for that month.

published: 18th Dec, 2013
Source: OPP Magazine

Foreign Investment in Spanish Property Highest in Nine Years

According to the latest data from the Bank of Spain, foreign investment in Spanish real estate reached 2,834 million euros in the first half of 2013, the largest amount in nine years, while Spanish spending on property outside of the country registered its lowest level in 10 years, at 199 million euros.

Compared with Spanish citizen's loss of purchasing power and the difficulties of gaining access to credit, foreign appetite for assets located in Spain has been increasing over the last four years. All this in a context marked by the significant price adjustments registered and the real estate surplus.

The Bank of Spain reported that foreign direct investments in properties in Spain increased by 16% in the first half of the year compared with the same period of 2012. However, despite this amount being the highest since the economic crisis began, foreign spending on Spanish property still remains far from the figure reached in 2003, when in the first six months of the year it exceeded 3,500 million euros, 20% more than at present.

In contrast to the level of foreign investment in property in Spain, Spanish investment in property abroad has fallen significantly since the boom years of the real estate sector when, in the first half of 2007, it exceeded 1,800 million euros. In fact, up until June of this year Spanish spending on property abroad is 12% lower than in the first six months of 2012, and 89% less when compared with the maximum reached in the same period of 2007.

According to a recent study by the global property consultancy, Knight Frank, such is the attraction of Spain that international funds are ready to invest 14,000 million euros in the Spanish real estate sector in 2014.

Furthermore, according to statistics compiled by the General Council of Notaries, the number of home purchases made by foreigners in Spain during the first six months of the year grew by 13.6% compared with the same period of 2012, reaching 24,552 transactions.

The Notaries reported that non-resident citizens accounted for the majority of the transactions, with the most being registered by the Belgians, with an increase in transactions of 78.1%, the French, with 70% more, and the Germans, with 35.3% more.

El Mundo reported that, although it is still the non-resident British citizens who buy most homes, with an increase of 24.6% to 1,244 operations in the quarter, the level of acquisitions of this group have continued to register a gradual decline.

published: 29th Oct, 2013

Spain's Construction Activity Rises 7% Year-on-Year

According to the European Commission statistical office, Eurostat, the production of the construction sector in Spain increased by 7% in August compared with the same period of 2012, the third largest increase in the whole of the European Union & a positive percentage which contrasts, on the other hand, with the reduction of 4.7% registered in the eurozone.

In monthly terms, El Mundo reported that the construction output in the eurozone in August registered an increase of 0.5% over the previous month, when it rose by seven tenths. For Spain, the growth in construction activity rose by 1.1%.

In the whole of the European Union, construction activity rose by four tenths in August compared to July, when it increased by 1.3%, while year-on-year it registered a decline of 2.5%. Among the countries for which data is available for August 2013, construction output rose in seven and fell in eight.

The biggest increases in the EU were registered in Portugal (+10.8%), Sweden (+4.8%), Hungary (4%) and Italy (+3.4%), while the steepest declines occurred in the Czech Republic (-3.6%), Slovenia (-2.8%) and Germany (-1.9%).

Compared with August 2012, the largest cumulative declines were recorded for Portugal (-12.8%), Italy (-10.6%), Bulgaria (-9.5%) and Poland (-8.9%), while leading the increases were Hungary (+14.6%), Romania (+8.9%), Spain (+7%) and Sweden (+5%).

published: 29th Oct, 2013

World's richest man buys into Spanish property firm

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has bought a stake in Spanish construction company Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC).

The world's richest man purchased 6% of the company for 113.5 million euros ($156 million) which saw its shares rise 8.3 percent yesterday.

Speaking to Forbes, Madrid-based analyst Francisco Salvador backed Spain ahead of its Southern European neighbours as a destination for investment.

"The positive structural changes in Spain are far more evident than in other countries such as Portugal or Greece. If Spain were a company, it would be a restructuring story similar to that of FCC, and investors usually like those stories".


Although FCC's focus is not residential property, the face that one of the richest and most high-profile investors on the planet is looking at opportunities in Spain suggests the market may be close to bottoming out.

published: 23rd Oct, 2013

Murcia enjoys mini boom for tourism and property sales

Murcia is witnessing a mini-boom, tourist/visitor numbers and property sales are both increasing fast. Foreign visitors to Murcia jumped 8% year-on-year in the first seven months of 2013, way above the national average. Buyer interest is on the up too, with Murcia now accounting for an increasing level of property enquiries on

Murcia is a rising star on the Spanish property market. The upcoming Paramount Theme Park has boosted the area's profile in recent years, sparking an increase in both investment and confidence. In February 2013, Murcia accounted for nearly 12.2% of enquiries on, significantly up on previous years.

With house hunters in Spain come holidaymakers and Murcia is no exception. It welcomed 342,054 foreign tourists in the first seven months of 2013, according to data from the Government's official tourism statistics department, Frontur, up 8% on the same period last year.

The national average tourist growth, on the other hand, is 3.9%, as the region outperforms the rest of the country. Indeed, it comes only second to the neighbouring region of Valencia which experienced an increase of 11.8%.

For July, the UK was Murcia's main source of tourists with a 2.8% increase over 2012 contributing 50.1% of foreign arrivals to the Region. The French took an 11.4% share, a large 15.4% increase over July 2012. Meanwhile the Nordic nations of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden provided Murcia's third largest source market for July at 10.6%, an increase of 15.1% over 2012. The biggest increase came courtesy of German, Dutch and Belgian visitors, accounting for a total of 45.8%. Russian arrivals were up six fold but numbers are minimal in comparison.

Looking at Spain as a whole, July smashed all previous records with the arrival of 7.8 million foreign tourists, 321,000 more than in 2012. Russians again staged the biggest increase, 30% year on year, with the Nordic nations at 18%. Catalonia, capital Barcelona, is Spain's biggest draw receiving 25.8% of all visitors to Spain. Instability in Tunisia, Turkey and Egypt is thought to have contributed to Spain's extraordinary tourism success.

Solmar Estates have experienced similar growth in enquiries with actual Spanish Property sales also significantly higher than in recent years. We are in no doubt that this positivity extends from the real estate industry to the tourist industry. Not only has Murcia enjoyed a bumper year, but Spain as a whole received 34 million foreign visitors - up 2.9% on 2012 and officially a new Spanish record. What's more, they're spending more money - 6% higher than 2012. Very good news for a country that relies heavily on tourism to fuel its economy.

published: 13th Oct, 2013

Decline in Home Resale Prices Slows For First Time Since Crisis

The average price of a second-hand home stood at 1,762 euros per square metre at the end of the third quarter of the year, maintaining the same value as in the previous three months, and slowing for the first time the continued decline recorded since the beginning of the crisis, according to the latest report prepared by in conjunction with the IESE business school.

Specifically, this price stabilisation contrasts with the results of the previous quarter (-3.8%), and breaks the chain of 24 consecutive quarters of declines registered in the price of second-hand housing since the crisis erupted in September 2007.

In monthly terms, Diario Sur reported that the price of used homes fell by 9.4% in September compared with the same month of 2012. However, this data presents a moderation of the year-on-year declines of previous months, when they registered decreases of up to 11%.

The reports house price analysis shows that nine regions registered increases in the price of second-hand housing in the third quarter. Specifically, increases were noted for Valencia (1.3%), the Canary Islands (1.2%), Castilla-La Mancha (1.1%), Cantabria (0.9%), the Balearic Islands (0.6%), Madrid (0.6%), Murcia (0.3%), Aragon (0.3%) and La Rioja (0.3%). In contrast, prices dropped in the other eight regions, with the steepest decline being registered in Extremadura, of 2.5%, and the smallest in Catalonia (-0.2%).

Prices for all types of housing dropped down slightly in the last three months of the year, (by between 0.1% and 0.3%), except for those of the larger properties (of between 150 and 300 square metres) which rose by 0.4%.

published: 8th Oct, 2013

Foreign Investors Looking to Invest in Spanish Property

International investors are willing to invest 14,000 million euros in the purchase of real estate assets in Spain over the next twelve months, according to a survey carried out by consultancy firm Knight Frank, among 184 international investors.

On the list of the European countries most attractive to investors, Spain has now risen from sixth place to third place.

In particular, Spain is currently the preferred country to invest in for 11.6% of the investors surveyed, behind only Germany (23.3%) and the United Kingdom (39.4%).

The stabilisation of the eurozone, “signs of improvement in the economy” and the property price adjustments accumulated in Spain since 2008 are, according to the firms interviewed, the main factors encouraging them to include the Spanish market in their investment plans.

“Spain is the country that has undertaken the largest correction of prices in the EU, with cuts of up to 65%”, said Knight Frank's business director, Humphrey White, in a statement.

The firm also believes that the Spanish market “is benefited by the very high prices per square metre quoted in all major European cities.”

In this sense, more than half of the investors surveyed by Knight Frank indicated that cities like London or Paris have “lost their interest due to the low profitability currently provided, below 4% in many cases”, and are now contemplating operations in other cities such as Madrid or Barcelona to “guarantee the path to higher investment”.

The change in trend is also reflected in the profile of the investor, as stakeholders in the Spanish market and not just “hedge funds”, but also large insurers, institutional investors, family offices and endowments.

As for the type of asset these investors are seeking, El Economista reported that the office sector remains in first place, along with hotel properties located in Madrid and Barcelona, luxury homes in prime areas and housing packages on the coast providing “great discounts.”

published: 8th Oct, 2013

Foreign Investment in Spanish Real Estate Up 32.9% Year-on-Year

According to data from the Bank of Spain, foreign investors injected 1,717 million euros into Spanish real estate assets, from homes to offices and shopping centres, during the second quarter of 2013, representing an increase of 53.7% over the first quarter of 2013. Year-on-year, the increase amounts to 32.9%.

Thus, the number of home sales to non-resident foreigners has made a strong recovery after falling in the previous two quarters. It is a positive sign for the market, especially considering the increase in purchases at the end of last year, in anticipation of the increase in VAT from 1st January, 2013.

Compared with the first half of 2012, when doubts about the solvency of Spain led to a slowdown in foreign investment in real estate, interest in the Spanish real estate sector seems to have recovered and a year later the statistics show positive changes of over 30% year-on-year.

The Ministry of Development assured, in the Plan for Infrastructure, Transport and Housing (Pitvi) 2012-2024, that “the demand from foreigners is critical for the reform and recovery of the sector”. In fact, the Government included in the Entrepreneurs Law the possibility for non-resident foreigners to obtain a permit of residence when buying a home with a value of at least 500,000 euros.

Foreign investment in properties in Spain had declined steadily since 2003, after reaching 7,072 million euros, to 6,650 million euros in 2004, 5,495 million euros in 2005 and finally hitting 4,716 million euros in 2006. The sequence broke in 2007, when foreign investors invested 5,341 million euros.

By the end of 2008, direct foreign investment in Spain amounted to 5,331 million euros, just 1% more than in 2007. However, in 2009, the property crisis discouraged investments, which fell heavily by 31.4% to 3,654 million euros, only to rise again by 4.5%, to 3,820 million euros in 2010.

published: 8th Oct, 2013

International Tourists Spent 8.26 Billion Euros in Spain in August

According to the latest Egatur Tourist Expenditure Survey, published by the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism’s Department of Tourism Information Studies, inbound tourists to Spain spent a total of 8.26 billion euros in August, which is an increase of 12.2% over the same month in 2012.

This figure, which represents a new record for Egatur, is the result of both an increased number of tourists and higher average spending. In fact, year-on-year the variations in the average spending figures rose significantly: by 4.7% for the average spend per tourist (to 997 euros); and by 2.8% for the average spend per day (to 101 euros).

The French, German and United Kingdom markets had the greatest influence on the overall growth in spending, and the main regions to benefit from this growth were Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Andalusia.

Between January and August this year, tourist spending amounted to 40.47 billion euros, with year-on-year growth of 7.2%. This figure, for the first eight months of the year, also represents a new record. The figures for average spending in this period also reflect growth over those recorded in the previous year, with the average spend per person rising by 2.5%, while the average spend per day rose by 2.2%.

Once again, the United Kingdom maintained its position as the top source market for tourist spending in Spain; both for August, with 23% of the total tourist expenditure, and for the first eight months of the year, with 20.4% of the total. In August, spending by British tourists amounted to 1.9 billion euros, with year-on-year growth of 7.5%, while between January and August British tourists’ spending amounted to 8.26 billion euros, an increase of 6.1%. The Balearic Islands were the main beneficiary of this spending.

France was the second emitting market, posting strong year-on-year growth in August (27.4%) to 1.22 billion euros, and accounted for 14.8% of total tourist spending due to an increase in their average spend. For the period January to August, France held third place (behind Germany) with 10.6% of the total. Spending by French tourists in the first eight months of the year amounted to 4.28 billion euros, an increase of 19.3% over the same period last year.

The German market dropped from second to third place, spending a total of 1.14 billion euros (up 15.9%), and accounting for 13.8% of total spending by inbound tourists in August. The strong growth in spending was due more to the increased average spend than to the number of tourists. The Balearic Islands were the beneficiary of almost the entire total of this growth. Since January, German tourists have spent 6.29 billion euros in Spain, with an increase of 4.4% and accounting for 15.6% of the total.

The largest increase in the month (36.6% year-on-year) was posted by the Scandinavian countries, which spent 464 million euros; i.e. 5.6% of the total amount spent by inbound tourists. This market posted increases of 14.7% in the average spend per tourist and 14.2% in the average spend per day.

Between January and August, the Scandinavian countries posted an increase of 20.4% – the highest year-on-year increase among the top emitting markets. Spending by this market in this period amounted to 3.88 billion euros, accounting for 9.6% of the total.

Main destinations

The region to benefit most from spending by inbound tourists in August was the Balearic Islands: which received 2.27 billion euros (up 14.8%), putting this region at the top of the list with 27.5% of the total. The average daily spend rose by 8.6% and the average spend per tourist rose by 3.8%. The top emitting markets were the United Kingdom and Germany. In the first eight months of the year, the Balearic Islands received 7.94 billion euros in spending by inbound tourists, 9% more than in the same period last year and accounting for 19.6% of the total.

Catalonia received 2.07 billion euros in August, an increase of 17.4% and accounting for 25% of the total. France was the top market for this region, followed by Russia. The average spend per tourist rose by 4.3%. Between January and August, Catalonia held the top spot in terms of inbound tourist spending with 9.75 billion euros, an increase of 11.4% and the highest percentage of the total in the period: 24.1%.

Andalusia, with significant year-on-year growth of 15.3%, posted a figure of 1.15 billion euros in August (accounting for 13.9% of the total). Tourists visiting from the Scandinavian countries, Belgium and the United States made the largest contributions to this increase, and the average spend per tourist increased by 8.7%. The results from the period in question were: 5.82 billion euros total spending by inbound tourists, an increase of 6.5%, accounting for 14.4% of the total, thus putting Andalusia in fourth place.

The Canary Islands received 1 billion euros in August – 12.1% of the total and an increase of 6.8% – and the top emitting markets were the United Kingdom and Germany. Also worth noting is the significant increase of 5.6% in the average spend per day in this region (to 117 euros). In the first eight months of the year, the Canary Islands received 7.24 billion euros – an increase of 7.6%, accounting for 17.9% of the total.

Valencia posted an increase in inbound tourist spending of 18% in August and received 770 million euros, 9.3% of the total. The United Kingdom was the main emitting market for this region, but the French market made the largest contribution to total growth.

published: 2nd Oct, 2013

Spain Second for Construction Activity in Europe

According to the most recent report by the EU statistical office, Eurostat, the heart of the construction sector in Spain is beating once again, with national production in this sector growing by 4.1% in June compared with the same month in 2012. This percentage places Spain as the second most active in this sector in the eurozone, surpassed only by Hungary (12.5%) and ahead of Sweden (3.1%).

This positive percentage for Spain consolidates the good data from May, when Spain led the European ranking month-on-month (4.4%).

At the other end, year-on-year, the largest decreases in the month of June for production in construction, were in Poland (16.3%), Portugal (12%), Slovakia (10.7%) and the Czech Republic (9.8%).

El Mundo reported that in the eurozone as a whole, production in construction during the sixth month of the year fell by 3% year-on-year, while in the countries of the European Union (EU) it fell by 1.5%.

In both areas the decline was concentrated on the construction of buildings, which fell by 3.1% in the eurozone and by 1.2% in the EU, year-on-year; while civil engineering production decreased by 3% and 2.5%, respectively.

Month-on-month (June compared to May), production in the construction sector grew in June by 0.7% in the eurozone and by 0.8% in the European Union. In May, the sector registered an increase in production of 0.5% in the eurozone and 0.3% in the EU.

The improvement was driven by the increase in building construction, of 0.3% in the eurozone and by 0.5% in the EU countries; and in civil engineering production, by 1.3% in the eurozone countries and 1.5% in the whole of the EU.

The countries registering the greatest increases in production were Slovenia (10.5%), Poland (5.3%), Germany (1.6%) and the Czech Republic (1.3%), while those who had more marked declines were Romania (2.4%), Portugal (2.2%) and Sweden (0.9%). In Spain, France and Hungary construction activity remained stable in June compared to May.

published: 29th Aug, 2013

Spain's International Tourism Marks New Record in July 2013

Spain received 7,875,997 international tourists in July 2013, which is an increase of 2.9% compared with the same month of 2012. According to the latest tourist border movement survey (Frontur) prepared by the Institute of Tourism Studies of Spain’s Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, this figure is a new record, and marks the best July since 1995, when the statistical series began.

The United Kingdom, Germany and France led the ranking of arrivals, but the Scandinavian countries, the United Kingdom and Russia were the main markets responsible for the growth of tourists in the month. Andalusia and Catalonia were the tourist destinations to benefit most as a result of the increase.

Up to July this year, over 34 million international tourists visited Spain, an increase of 3.9% over the same period of 2012, representing the best record in the Frontur statistical series, after beating the 33.6 million visitors received in the same period of 2008.

Specifically, in July 1,826,084 tourists came to Spain from the UK, which is 23.2% of the total and up 3.4% from a year earlier. The second source market was France, with 1,269,607 tourists (+2.2%), followed by Germany (1,177,584, up 0.1%) and the Scandinavian countries (with 603,925, 26.5% more). However, there was a notable decline in tourists from Italy (-14.5%), Portugal (-8.7%) and the United States (-8%).

Catalonia was the region to receive most tourists, with 2,103,064, an increase of 3.1%, followed by the Balearic Islands, where the figure rose by 1.7% in July to 2,002,980 tourists. These two regions received more than 50% of the total tourist arrivals. Andalusia ranked in third place, registering 999,912 tourists, followed by the Canary Islands (843,794) and Valencia (842,013). The survey also noted that 76.9% of the tourists came to Spain by plane in July and 60.4% of the total chose hotel accommodation.

published: 27th Aug, 2013

Spanish property prices rise for the first time in 41 months

The Spanish property market could be turning the corner if a report from and the IESE business school are to be believed.

The average price of resale property rose 0.7% in July compared to a month earlier, the first rise in 41 months. The majority regions saw and increase with Galicia, Asturias and Extremadura the only regions where prices fell (by 0.1%, 0.2% and 1.2% respectively). In Andalucia prices remained stable.

Although it is far too early to jump to conclusions based on a month's data, there are other indications the market might be about to turn. A report by the Ministry of Public Works (Fomento) shows the Spanish housing glut is now shrinking due to big discounts and a total collapse in building activity.

The Spanish “bad bank” has also this week sold the first phase of its property portfolio to institutional investors HIG Capital.

According to OECD figures Spanish house prices are now at 2000 levels (around 30% down) before accounting for inflation. After inflation prices have more than halved.

It is a fool who predicts the bottom of a property cycle but what is certain is that from an agent's perspective the international Spanish property market is looking healthier than many other European markets. Prices have dropped further an almost any other European country. International buyers are a small but buoyant proportion of the market and I would be willing to bet on the domestic market turning the corner by 2015.

published: 21st Aug, 2013