Palma.—According to the annual report published yesterday by the Real Estate Registry, the foreign property market grew for the third consecutive year in 2012 apparently reaching pre-recession figures of 2007.

The annual reports states that 8.1 percent of the properties sold in Spain , last year were to foreigners and most of them in tourist destinations to be used as holiday homes and the Balearics enjoyed a 24.9 percent share of the national market followed by the Canaries (22%), Valencia (18%) Murcia (11.2%), Catalonia (9.3%) and Andalucia (8.8%).

New builds
And the report clearly indicates that the British dominated the market accounting for 16.6 percent of property transactions followed by the French (9.9%), the Russians (9.6%), the Germans (7.9%), the Belgians (6.5%), the Norwegians (5.7%), the Italians (4.9%) and the Swedish (4.6%).

Just over half of British buyers opted for new builds and the Spanish government hopes that the growth trend in the foreign property market will continue this year because the domestic market slumped again by nearly 10.6 per cent despite the new fiscal incentives which have been brought in in an attempt to stimulate the struggling domestic property market.

And, the Spanish government recently set off on a road show, which began in London, to promote investing in Spanish property to the overseas markets.
Various new incentives have been introduced such as granting residency permits to property buyers, more flexible terms from Spanish banks and these have apparently already made a difference to the real estate sector, which could also rebound to the construction industry, the government hopes.

China and India
The authorities also believe that the new residency laws are going to drive greater foreign interest from new markets such as China, India and South America.

Amid the expected flurry of competition to buy, locally based expatriates who already understand the market may be better positioned to know when to turn discounted stock into their new home.