British expats are heading a charge to buy homes in Spain, according to the latest official figures.
Statistics issued by The College of Property Registrars show 10% of Spanish home sales are to foreigners – and British buyers were the largest group of non-residents snapping up properties.
Expats bought 46,000 homes in Spain last year, with 9,956 going to British expats or second homers.
The College says foreign demand for homes was up 11% in the year, compared to 7% in Spain.
Brits buy 10,000 homes
British buyers bought a fifth of homes that went to foreign buyers, followed by the French with 9% and Germans with 7%.
Demand from Russia, which has seen a steady flow of buyers over the past two years slowed to a trickle due to economic problems and a steep devaluation of the rouble against the euro and other currencies.
Property prices in Spain increased by an average 4.3% in 2015
The region with the largest house price gain was The Balearic Islands – up 7% in quarter three and 8.4% in the last three months of the year.
The registrars have also published a guide to buying a property in Spain
Cyprus price plunge bottoms out
Meanwhile, in another favourite property destination for British expats and second homers, prices are bottoming out, according to the Central Bank of Cyprus.
Prices dropped by just 0.3% in the last quarter of 2015, compared to the previous three months.
Two areas – Lanarca (1.2%) and Paphos (0.2%) reported price increases.
The market fell an average 3.7% across the Mediterranean holiday island in the third quarter and 5% in Q2 and 6.5% in Q1, revealing a sharp slowdown in prices falling away.
The bank explained that Cyprus reaching the end of a bail-out deal with the European Union was acting as a break on falling house prices.
“The slowdown is affecting houses and apartments,” said a spokesman for the bank. “Prices are still down on year-by-year measure, but we are hoping the market is somewhere at the bottom now and will level out and start to climb soon.
Estate agents are trying to promote a revitalisation of the market by pointing out that prices are probably at the lowest they will reach.
“Paphos in particular offers some real holiday home bargains for expats or families looking for a holiday home,” said Antonis Loizou of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.