Healthplan Spain


American Interest In Spanish Property Surges Spain News

Spain has been a sought-after destination for foreign property buyers for decades, with Europeans from the UK, Germany, Sweden, and Holland historically dominating the market. However, recent years have witnessed a significant influx of Americans into Spain's property market, reflecting a broader trend of increased American interest in the country.

In 2022, foreign home sales in Spain surged by 9.7 percent compared to the previous year, according to data from Spain's General Council of Notaries, as reported by property website Fotocasa. Among foreign buyers, Americans emerged as one of the fastest-growing groups, with a remarkable 36.64 percent increase in property transactions during the second half of 2022 alone.

This surge in American property purchases aligns with the overall growth in the American expatriate community in Spain. Even before the pandemic, the number of Americans living in Spain had risen by 13 percent from 2019 to 2021. Concurrently, home sales to Americans witnessed an 88 percent increase from the first half of 2019 to the first half of 2022, as indicated in a report cited by Telemundo.

However, this burgeoning interest in Spain is not confined to the property market. Both tourism and tourist spending from Americans in Spain also experienced significant year-on-year increases, with a 54.7 percent rise in the number of tourists and a 60.8 percent boost in spending, according to Turespaña data.

The question remains: What is driving this surge in American interest in Spain, and where do most Americans choose to buy property and settle?

American Residency in Spain

According to Spain's National Statistics Agency (INE), by late 2022, Spain officially counted 41,953 US nationals as residents. Among the Spanish regions, Madrid housed the largest number of Americans, constituting over a quarter of the total expatriate population.

The Madrid region accommodated 11,570 American residents, nearly equivalent to the number of British expatriates (11,831) in the capital, despite the substantial disparity in overall UK nationals across Spain. Americans in Madrid significantly outnumbered residents from other nationalities such as Germans, Belgians, Irish, or Canadians.

Barcelona claimed the second spot, with 8,156 US nationals residing there in 2022. Following closely were Málaga province in the south of Spain, with 2,692 US residents, and Valencia province on the east coast, hosting 2,549 Americans. Completing the top five was Alicante province, a long-standing favourite among foreigners, with 1,714 American residents.

Property Purchases and Spending Power

In terms of property purchases, data from the General Council of Notaries, cited by Fotocasa, revealed that Americans showed a strong preference for the Madrid market, which led the list of transactions. The Andalusia region, with its picturesque cities like Seville and Granada, secured the second position in popularity among American buyers.

Americans also demonstrated considerable purchasing power. In 2022, they ranked fourth in terms of average spending per square metre (€2,809 €/m) among all nationalities purchasing property in Spain. They followed only behind Switzerland, Sweden, and Denmark, according to data from the General Council of Notaries.

The Allure of Spain

The attraction of Spanish living is apparent and multifaceted. Spain's favourable climate, delectable cuisine, relatively affordable cost of living, and the laid-back Mediterranean lifestyle have enticed Americans, as they have drawn countless other foreigners over the years.

Additionally, Spain offers a range of varied and accessible visa options for Americans. The Golden Visa program, for instance, grants residency to those who purchase one or more properties worth €500,000 or more. Another newly introduced option is the digital nomad visa, allowing freelancers and remote workers from non-EU countries to gain residency rights and tax benefits, provided that no more than 20 percent of their income comes from a Spanish company.

These visa programs cater to two primary groups of Americans contributing to the recent wave of arrivals and property buyers. Firstly, retirees seeking to spend their later years in the Spanish sun and embrace the Mediterranean lifestyle are likely to enter through the Golden Visa program, often with some savings at their disposal. On the other hand, younger Americans, drawn by the digital nomad lifestyle, opt for the Digital Nomad visa, enabling them to work remotely for American companies while living and renting in Spain.