Many French people choose Spain to buy their second homes there. What are the most popular regions for the French in Spain? decoding.
Sunshine, thousands of kilometers from the coast, proximity to France … The Iberian Peninsula has it all and the French understood it well. In 2021, 655,000 residential property purchase/sale transactions were registered in Spain. Among them, 1/5 or 111,000 were made by foreigners. In all, 54% of purchases are made by foreigners residing in Spain, and 46% by foreigners residing outside Spain and thus buying a second home.” Details of Roman Traversino, Commercial Director of Buy in Spain.
In this amount of transactions, 8% are made by the French. The latter therefore ranks third among the communities of foreign buyers in Spain, ‘Behind the British and Germans’ Roman Traversino identifies. Among the favorite regions of the French, Catalonia won the gold medal. And for good reason, a foreigner’s purchase in Catalonia is one in two made by a Frenchman.
Catalonia, the favorite region of the French
Half of the second home purchases made by the French in Spain fall in Catalonia. The preference for the Catalan region fuels many factors that are very beneficial to French society. First of all, the region is geographically popular, as it borders France. “We have a branch in Catalonia, and we often work in the Costa Brava. A lot of people from Toulouse or Montpellier are looking for real estate in this area, because it is only 3 hours away by car.” That is, a square meter in Spain amounts to 2,000 euros, that is, the average budget of a French individual is 200,000 euros. This allows you to get a few more square meters compared to real estate in France, and to get housing not far from the beach. It is more attractive than buying in Montpellier or Cap d’Agde.”Real estate expert analyzes.
Another feature of the region, Catalonia is closely related to France. The motorway makes it possible to reach Toulouse or Montpellier in three hours. Barcelona Airport has many connections with all of France, including 20 daily flights to Paris as well as the TGV Barcelona – Paris line that runs through Montpellier and Lyon, among others.
Finally, the language factor plays a big role with French buyers. “The Catalans speak French better than the rest of the Spaniards, because there are more French here. Catalans also have to communicate with a lot of French in tourism” Little real estate expert. Knowledge of French developed in the Catalan region more than in the rest of Spain. Furthermore, the Catalan language itself is much closer to French in terms of vocabulary and grammar, which makes French easier for Catalan than for Spanish. “All these factors encourage the French to prefer buying in Catalonia” Summarizes the commercial director of I buy in Spain.
Aside from Catalonia, the Spanish coast also appeals to the French. According to the Spanish website idealReal estate expert, the provinces of Alicante, Girona, Malaga and Valencia are the most sought after regions of France. Finally, a small part of the French were seduced by the Spanish territories” less Pays in real estate like Extremadura, Aragon, or the Basque Country » As Roman Traversino pointed out.
Very diverse features
Among French buyers, profiles vary greatly by region. According to the real estate agency I buy in Spain, Spanish coastal cities attract very different profiles, both buyers who have saved for several years and CSP +. “I see that in Valencia and Alicante we can have people who have saved a whole life, it will be civil servants, ex-gendarmes, teachers, who have paid for their main residence and will retire. The latter will buy an apartment or a small house with about 100,000 euros to enjoy the winter during their retirement. So the retirees /Future pensioners represent a large proportion of the buyers, especially in Roses, an area close to France and where it is easy to communicate in French,” Commercial Director notes.
In the rest of the Costa Brava, the portrait is noticeably smaller. “These are mainly city dwellers, in their forties or fifties, from Toulouse or Montpellier, who arrive on the Costa Brava by car” Roman describes. In Baix Emporda, ie Platja d’Aro, Palamos and Sant Felio, customers buy more homes with a budget of 400,000-500,000 euros. ” There are a lot of entrepreneurs from the Southwest and CEOs » Commercial Director notes.
Finally, many French people buy pied-à-terre in Barcelona. In this case, the profile will be a larger number of CSP + executives, with a budget of 200,000 to 300.00 euros. Executives love the dynamism of Barcelona, and they can easily come to Barcelona for a weekend getaway or work from home here. Nevertheless, the Catalan capital is still a city that attracts rather diverse profiles. expert analyzes.
Mortgage rates soar: Spain remains optimistic
In the context of global inflation, central banks advise. As a direct result of this inflation, mortgage rates are increasing. However, this rise in mortgages has a greater impact on the French real estate market than on the Spanish market. The rates in France were very low compared to the rest of Europe. Banks have not earned much in terms of mortgages. In Spain this was somewhat the norm. Roman mentions.
Namely, buying a second home in Spain, three options are available to French buyers. They can buy a property with cash, or take out a loan in France by means of a mortgage. ” It could be a main residence or other property they have in their heritage. says the commercial manager of I buy in Spaine.
Finally, the third option, French buyers buy directly in Spain and on the Iberian Peninsula prices for second homes are between 2-3%. ” Since the rates are higher, they will be asked for a contribution equal to half of the project. The monthly payments will then be less than the French monthly payments” Roman Traversino explains.
Despite the high prices, Spain should not suffer from this increase, especially with regard to the purchase of second homes. “This sector relies less on bank leverage in this case, as opposed to prime residences or rental investments” The expert analyzes before concluding: ” We are optimistic, because second homes represent 40-50% of our business, especially since our clients already have a certain amount of assets and therefore present favorable buying positions. However, with higher interest rates, the volume of loans may increase even more, so buyers prefer to buy now in order to anticipate another increase..