In the first quarter of 2018, according to data published by the Ministry of Development and National Statistics Institute, Spain saw 134,705 house sales completed, an annual increase of 7.97%, compared to the same quarter a year earlier. Of these, 16.67% were sales to international buyers. This part of the market segment experienced a downturn of 0.44%. One reason for this slight downturn was due to the fact that Pound Sterling has been underperforming against the euro. The typical British buyer is being put off, as house prices have continued to rise in their double digits along several of Spain's coasts, including Alicante, Ibiza, Malaga and Mallorca.
Although British buyers remained the largest group of foreign buyers, house buyers from the Nordic countries and Belgium are hot on their heels. For now, house price rises are sustainable and nowhere near their dizzying heights of 2007/2008, when the Spanish housing market peaked and the bubble burst after a period of booming figures.
In April the National Statistics Institute reported that the number of mortgage approvals had risen by 34% in a year-on-year comparison, with the average mortgage value going up by 9.1% to 123,256 euros. Overall, banks lend 3.54 billion euros to home buyers, an increase of 46.5% year-on-year. Madrid was the region with the highest number of mortgage approvals (6,018), followed by Andalucia with 5,154 and Catalunya with 4,700 mortgages.
Malaga province is seeing a resurgence of its regional economy thanks to a steady influx of tourists. This is helping unemployment figures to come down, as 3,401 new work places were created for this summer alone. Eventually, the region's stronger economy will make it easier for local people to apply for mortgages and buy properties in Malaga.
The number of tourists visiting Malaga province this summer will rise by 1.5%, compared to 2017, according to the President of the regional administration, Elias Bendodo (People's Party ). This rise in visitor numbers equates to an increase of revenue of 4.1%, of which 3.6% fall strictly into the tourism segment. The market is slowly recovering, Bendodo said at a recent media conference, adding that tourism figures on a national level would go up by 9% this summer. This prediction should be welcome news for buy-to-let landlords across Malaga province.