The Balearics head the list of most popular locations. | J.H.

The pandemic has led to a 22% decrease in home buying in Spain by foreign purchasers. Over the first nine months of 2020, there were 36,850 purchases, whereas there were 47,150 between January and September 2019.

Figures from the College of Registrars indicate that despite the health crisis and Brexit, the UK remains the largest market. In the first quarter of 2020, UK purchases fell to a low of 1,900, but these were still more than those by other foreign buyer markets and represented 12.6% of all foreign purchases. In the second and third quarters, the share was roughly the same - 12% and 13% respectively. German buyers ranked third in the first quarter, second in the April-June period, and fourth in the third quarter. French buyers were second in the first and third quarters and fourth in the second quarter.

Although the UK market maintained its leadership, the college has suggested that this may slip because of Brexit and the exchange rate as well as the pandemic.

All regions of the country recorded lower numbers of purchases over the nine months, with the tourist regions having continued to be the most desired locations. In this respect, the Balearics headed the list, followed by Valencia, the Canaries, Murcia, Catalonia and Andalusia.

Of the 36,850 purchases, 14,850 were between January and March, a decrease of seven per cent. Between April and June there were 8,000 purchases, a fall of 46%, while the third quarter saw something of a revival - 14,000 purchases, still 7.5% down on the same quarter of 2019.