It would not be an exaggeration to state that the Coronavirus Pandemic has completely changed life as we know it: professional estimates suggest that it will take several years before the world returns to the kind of ‘normal’ we experienced pre-2020. The pandemic has impacted every aspect of daily life, and this includes what potential foreigner home owners looking to move to Spain are looking for in their new property.
Here’s everything we know about property searches in Spain by potential overseas buyers since the beginning of the pandemic:
There is Still A lot of Enthusiasm for Spanish Properties
With most of us spending large chunks of 2020 staying at home, it gave potential property hunters to reflect on their dreams of Spanish homeownership, and many decided to act sooner rather than later: there’s no time like the present to follow your dreams, especially when you don’t know what’s coming around the corner.
This is reflected in research released from Google Trends, which showed that the number of searches for the search term “buy flat in Spain” which was already hugely popular in 2019, didn’t diminish in popularity throughout 2020, despite many potential homebuyers experiencing financial and personal uncertainty as a result of the pandemic.
It is clear that foreign tourists still hope to move to Spain, and for many of them, planning to turn that dream into a reality helped to get them through the darker days of the crisis.
The Most Popular Foreign Buyers
The three countries that generated the most searches for property in Spain throughout 2020 were Britain, Germany and France. Sweden, Italy and Holland completed the top six countries most interested in moving to Spain, based on their online searches. Between June and September of 2020 there was also a huge surge in searches from United States buyers, but this waned towards the end of the year.
These are the same buyer demographics that were hoping to buy property in Spain before the crisis, which is good news for the market as a whole. Other similarities are the hot spots that foreign investors are looking to buy in. Throughout 2020, the provinces which foreign buyers were most interested in buying a property in Spain were Alicante (28.4 percent), Santa Cruz de Tenerife (26.2 percent), the Balearic Islands (25.6 percent), Malaga (22.2 percent) and Las Palmas (19.8 percent). This shows that it is a property in a coastal region that continues to hold the most interest for foreigners.
The Big Decision: City or Country?
There is a mix between those foreign house hunters who are looking for city properties and quieter country retreats. On the whole, properties outside the big cities and urban areas that offered a more rural setting but still has good transport links and services were considered to be the most desirable. But in nine provinces, properties in the provincial capital were considered much more appealing than quieter countryside settings: those nine provinces were Cádiz, Valencia, Barcelona, San Sebastian and Bilbao – all cities on the coast – as well the provincial capitals in the interior of Segovia, Madrid, Seville and Toledo.
Another interesting and unexpected development is that American purchasers were much more interested in living in Spain’s interior than buyers from any other region. Property searches in Madrid, Salamanca, Ávila, Cuenca and Segovia were all dominated by potential US buyers. This is interested because most foreign buyers from the rest of the world want to be close to the coast, with easy access to the beach and the sea being at the top of their list of search criteria.
Where do British, French and German Buyers Want to Live?
If Americans favour the interior of Spain then British, French and German buyers favour its coastal regions. They topped property searches for both the Canaries and the Balearics, although they did also show some interest in interior provinces such as Toledo and Teruel.
As would be expected, British buyers continue to favour property in Alicante, Malaga and Murcia. They are also widening their reach of interest, topping searches for Andalusian provinces in the interior such as Jaén and Córdoba, as well as for most provinces in the windswept and rainy (but very green and beautiful) Galicia in Spain’s northwest.
And as for the French, the regions of Spain that they most frequently searched for properties were situated in Barcelona, Valencia, Seville and Castellón provinces, some of the country’s most popular tourist spots.
Once the Coronavirus crisis has waned, are you thinking of taking the plunge and moving to Spain? The region remains a wonderful place for Britons to live after Brexit! If you’re thinking of moving to Spain then why not get in touch with our local property experts who are perfectly placed to help you turn your dreams of Spanish home ownership into reality.