UK expats flood to Spanish property market

Ryan Bembridge

May 10, 2017

British expats are increasingly investing in Spanish property as its housing market continues to recover from the global financial crash, data from BNP Paribas shows.

Last year 17% of Spain’s transactions were from overseas buyers with Britons being the largest group, accounting for 19% of foreign transactions.

Meanwhile the country’s housing market is growing, as property transactions have risen from 300,000 in 2013 to nearly 460,000 in 2016.

And over the same period mortgage volumes have climbed from €20bn to €30bn.

Guy Stephenson, a spokesman for Offshoreonline, said: “European mortgage lenders have traditionally followed a model based on an individual buyer’s personal ‘debt ratio’, which is a way of limiting the total exposure to loans for a customer, i.e. an affordability test.

“Buyers are not allowed to exceed certain debt ratios, once all mortgages and other loans, both Spanish and in their home country, are taken into account.

“As brokers, one of our jobs is to prequalify buyers and ensure they meet the debt ratios now in place, which means that a buyer knows exactly what they can afford at any given time.”

Mortgages in Spain are available from 1.99%, while buyers are able to include UK rental receipts and pensions as part of their overall income calculations.

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