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Foreign Buyers Continue to Drive Vacation Home Markets in Spain

International buyers continue to purchase vacation homes in Spain’s coastal regions, pushing up sales and prices in major destinations such as Marbella, Costa Brava and Ibiza, according to a report Tuesday by Lucas Fox International Properties.

Across all the regions Lucas Fox covers, the number of prime sales, those over €900,000 (US$1.05 million), increased 27% annually during the first half of 2018, with significant growth seen in popular second-home destinations.

Prime sales in Marbella increased 50% year-over-year in the first six months of this year, while the average price rose 125% to €1.2 million (US$1.4 million) during the same period. Foreign buyers accounted for 83% of all sales, with one-third coming from the U.K., according to Lucas Fox.

“British clients are starting to buy again and if Brexit ends up being a ‘soft Brexit,’ that is likely to have a positive impact on the property market,” said Ira Brankovic, an agent with Lucas Fox Marbella, in the report.

The average sales price in Costa Brava increased 82% year-over-year to €1.3 million (US$1.5 million), while the number of sales quadrupled. French buyers accounted for 31% of the market, followed by buyers from the U.K. (25%) and U.S. buyers (6%).

Another popular vacation-home destination, Ibiza also saw its number of prime sales quadrupling during the first half of 2018. The average sales price was €1.2 million (US$1.4 million), representing a 10% increase from the same period of 2017. The majority of buyers were from European countries, with 13% coming from the U.K.

In addition to the coastal lifestyle these cities offer, Spain’s improving economy is also a draw to international buyers, according the report.

Spain is on track to be one of the fastest-growing economies among developed countries, with a 2.4% GDP growth during 2018, projected by the International Monetary Fund. The country’s unemployment dropped 10.8% in the first quarter of 2018, according to the report, citing figures from Spain’s National Institute of Statistics.

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