The purchase of housing by foreigners rebounds in Tarragona after the pandemic
Tourists seek sun and beach. And foreigners who finally, for one reason or another, decide to buy a home in Spain, mostly do so on the Mediterranean coast.
The figures speak of the percentage of homes purchased by foreigners with respect to the total in each region in the second quarter of this 2022, and Tarragona occupies the last position of the Top 10. Ahead is Castelló, Murcia, Almería, Girona, Las Palmas , Malaga, the Balearic Islands, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and, at the top, Alacant.
With 13.74% of properties acquired by foreigners between April and June of this year, and with an accumulated figure of 13.46% since the second quarter of 2021, Tarragona recovers the pre-pandemic figures, after the year following the confinement so only 11.09% will be achieved.
According to figures from the Association of Property and Mercantile Registrars of Spain, at the state level it has been achieved that 14.66% of home purchases have been made by foreigners, the highest figure in the series, of the last 10 years . "The favorable evolution of foreign demand is verified by verifying how the percentage of purchases by foreigners accumulates its fifth consecutive quarter of growth, being especially relevant in a period with a high number of home purchases in absolute terms", points out the College of Registrars in the report, in which they add that "during recent years, the maximum levels had normally been above 13%, without reaching the levels reached in the last quarter, which constitute a particularly intense framework of activity in relation to to foreign demand.
The real estate sector of Tarragona confirms what the figures already assure, and that is that they have noticed a greater activity in the acquisition of homes by foreigners. Cesar Calatayud, member of the board of the Official College of Real Estate Agents of Tarragona (COAPI) and owner of Finques Cesar, explains that "we have noticed that there are new foreign owners again, there is movement."
On the one hand, Calatayud maintains that "people not only buy a property, but also buy beach, sun and good temperature. Tarragona, in this, has a lot of potential”, and comments that the coastal municipalities are the ones with the most demand. At the same time, the real estate agent talks about two different profiles of foreigners who buy a home in Tarragona. «There are people who emigrate here and live for rent until they settle down and then buy a property, and people who come on vacation, like the province, and end up buying a second residence, and it is that according to what purchasing power Tarragona it is cheap”, says Calatayud.
Beyond this, the businessman in the sector assures that now «many of the purchases are not to live in the property, but rather we see that they are investments in real estate assets, from which they obtain a return that can be used to pay part of the mortgage". However, Calatayud thinks that this trend can now be stopped due to the increase in the price of mortgages.
Sergio Mussari, owner of M&C Gestión Inmobiliaria in Salou and real estate agent in Tarragona, also agrees that many foreigners are betting on investing in housing. “What has been happening in recent months is that, in an economic context of inflation, money does not yield in the bank, so it is invested in assets, in this case real estate, to obtain a return,” explains Mussari. On this, and with a majority French clientele, the businessman from Salou, highlights that "the context is very similar in France but the prices for this type of investment are lower here in Spain."
As for the type of clients Mussari works with, he says that there is the retired couple from the north of France and Europe who buy a second home to spend the winter here, "where it is not so cold and energy consumption will be less" and who rent it in the summer to make a profit and, on the other hand, the purely investor, in which both foreigners and Spaniards enter.
To all this, another real estate agent from Salou, José Manuel Gonzálvez, speaks of the existence of another type of client in recent months, and it is the one who escaped from the war in Ukraine. “A few days ago we sold a house to a family from Belarus. A lot of people come for fear that they might be enlisted,” says Gonzálvez. Regarding this, the College of Registrars points out that “within the first eighteen nationalities, the greatest growth has been registered in Poles (0.75 pp) and Ukrainians (0.42 pp), confirming the effect derived from the war situation.