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Foreigners are buying homes in Spain in record numbers, outpacing the years of the real estate bubble.

In the first six months of 2018 there were 53,359 purchases by non-Spaniards, according to notary data released on Tuesday. This is the highest figure in a statistical series that began in the first half of 2007, when around 33,000 sales were recorded.

Sales plummeted during the economic crisis that followed, and the property market did not show signs of recovery until 2014. Since then, however, almost every semester has registered double-digit growth on a year-on-year basis.

As for their favorite destinations, the Valencia region leads the list by a wide margin

The average price per square meter that foreigners are paying is €1,687, slightly down from the last semester (€1,716). But prices have grown 0.9% year-on-year.

One thing that has not changed is the nationality of foreign buyers: the British continue to lead the way with 7,613 purchases, a 8.8% rise from the first half of 2017. They are followed by French nationals, who acquired 4,211 properties (a drop of 4.6%) and Germans, who bought 4,138 homes (down by 2.1%). Fourth and fifth place go to Romanians (3,872 purchases) and Moroccans (3,662). The latter are the top non-EU buyers of Spanish property. The nationalities that posted the highest year-on-year growth are Morocco (28.8%), Ireland (24.7%) and Denmark (18.2%).

As for their favourite destinations, the Valencia region leads the list by a wide margin: nearly one out of every three home sales (15,613) took place there, and the region posted the highest year-on-year growth at 16.7%. Second on the list is Andalusia with 9,737 sales and growth of 8.2%, followed by Catalonia with 7,570 transactions, a 5.3% decline from the first half of 2017. The fifth top destination is Madrid, where foreigners bought 4,911 properties, up 5.4%.

Source: El Pais

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