It is still too early to know what effect ‘Brexit’ will have on the property market in Malaga province, but figures issued by the Ministry of Public Works for the first half of this year show that there has been a considerable increase in British buyers. In the first six months of 2016, 14,364 residential properties were sold in Malaga, which was about 13 per cent more than in the same period in 2015. It was also the highest level of activity in the property market since 2008.
Foreign demand continues to be the driving force behind this sustained recovery in property sales. Of the more than 14,000 homes sold in Malaga province between January and June, 5,570 were purchased by someone from another country. This is the highest figure ever for the first half of a year; not even matched by 2007, which marked the peak of the property boom on the Costa del Sol.
The role of foreign buyers in the local property market is such that 39 per cent of homes sold go to purchasers from abroad. In Spain as a whole, this percentage is almost half: 20 per cent. The majority of buyers are British, accounting for about 20 per cent of foreign demand, followed by Scandinavians, French, Belgians and Germans. Most of them are already living in Spain. Only four per cent are non-resident, according to the official figures.
At a national level, foreigners bought 43,519 freehold properties in the first half of this year, which was an increase of 19.7 per cent compared with the same period in 2015. Nearly 13 per cent were in Malaga.
All the regions of Spain, except Ceuta, Melilla and La Rioja, saw an increase in property sales to foreigners. In three, the increase was below the national average: Andalucía, with a rise of 14.3 per cent; Valencia, with 16.6 per cent; and Madrid, with 19.1 per cent. These three regions have the highest numbers of foreign buyers, so the lower growth is due to a high volume of business, not a drop in demand.
The figures also show that the average price per square metre paid by foreign purchasers was 1,618 euros, which was an increase of 2.3% on the year-on-year rate.