More than 3.7 Million Foreign Tourists Buy a Home in Spain

Canary Islands

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Around 3.7 million foreigners who visit Spain each year for leisure reasons buy a home. The months of April, July, August and October are the months preferred by these tourists, with stays lasting an average of 17 days.

The acquisition of homes by foreign tourists who reside in them during some period of the year generates an impact of 6,351 million euros on the Spanish GDP, according to a report by the Association of Developers and Builders of Spain (APCEspaña).

The study, prepared together with the consulting firm PwC based on 2022 data, takes into account both the value generated by the investment related to the construction of new construction (1,785 million) and that derived from the expenses associated with the enjoyment of the housing (4,565 million).

The president of the association of promoters, Juan Antonio Gómez-Pintado, has valued the figures of an economic segment that until now had not been measured in detail and that in his opinion has a more relevant weight than the one that the administrations have given it. granted .

Investment related to residential tourism has a "multiplier impact" on the economy, emphasizes the employers' association, which estimates that for every direct euro allocated to these homes, 2.34 euros are generated in the GDP.

According to these estimates, "residential tourism" has an effect on the economy three times greater than that of the textile industry (1,920 million), twice that of the wood and cork industry (2,515 million) and above manufacturing of pharmaceutical products (5,959 million).

According to this construction company, "the activity of these foreign tourists, from the moment they arrive in Spain for the first time, until they return to enjoy the homes they have acquired, also generates 105,606 jobs, both in the construction of these properties and in the leisure and other sectors".

Spain, the Florida of Europe

Gomez-Pintado stressed during a presentation of the report to the media that many of the Europeans who choose Spain as their holiday residence do so with the prospect of continuing in the country when they retire.

"Spain could become what Florida is in the United States. Spain would be the Florida of Europe," said the president of the employers' association.

Spain "clearly wins the game" in this field over countries that could compete in attracting foreign visitors with properties, such as Turkey, Morocco or Tunisia, says Gómez-Pintado.

Upward trading

The purchase and sale of housing by foreigners skyrocketed in 2022 to 88,858 acquisitions, of which 15.5% were new construction (13,800 properties), the APCEspaña study highlights.

In 2021, sales were 60,973 homes; In 2019 they amounted to 62,732 and in 2018 to 65,308.

By nationality, 11.1% of properties sold in 2022 were purchased by Britons, 9.5% by Germans, 7% by French and 5.2% by Belgians.

At the provincial level, home buying and selling was concentrated on the Mediterranean coast, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands, the report indicates.
With the first data for 2023, the employers' association anticipates that the economic impact of residential tourism will be greater than in that year thanks to an increase in spending by tourists during their stay in Spain, despite a slight decline in investments in sales and purchases.