Sales of Spanish property to foreigners rose 29 per cent last year compared with 2021, and Britons are the biggest overseas buyers
Nestling among the tree-lined streets of one Barcelona’s most exclusive neighbourhoods, three luxury villas have gone on sale for a combined price tag of more than €50m (£44m).
Villa Grande, Villa Alta and Villa Botanica are all on Avenida Pearson in Pedralbes, one of the most sought-after addresses in the city. High above Barcelona, they command the best views of the sprawling Mediterranean city below and beyond to the sea.
Anyone lucky to snap up one of these sumptuous properties can count as neighbours Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, FC Barcelona players and a Saudi prince.
“This type of property tends to attract the [Lionel] Messis of this world plus international business people,” said Mark Weingard, founder of Iniala Developments, which is behind the properties.
The villas have already attracted interest from at least one British buyer, as well as other potential international customers.
Experts say the cost of living crisis, Brexit and the pandemic have not dampened the enthusiasm among wealthy Britons for buying luxury villas in Spain in this “super-prime” market.
Data from the Spanish Property Registry found sales to foreigners rose 29 per cent last year compared with 2021. Britons are the biggest overseas buyers by nationality, snapping up 11.07 per cent of villas, followed by the Germans (9.47 per cent), the French (6.97 per cent) and the Belgians (5.21 per cent).
Last year was a record for property sales to foreigners, up almost 50 per cent compared with 2019.
Data for villa sales do not differentiate between prices but wealthy Britons tend to choose exclusive enclaves, including Marbella, Ibiza, Mallorca and Barcelona.
“Last year was a record year for foreign demand, but the super prime market was untroubled by trivialities of Brexit or travel restrictions,” Mark Stucklin, an analyst from Spanish Property Insight told i.
“Generally, the data says that Britons spent less than other nationalities like the Germans or the Belgians, but in enclaves like Marbella, Ibiza or parts of Mallorca there are Britons buying in the super-prime section of the market.”
After Brexit, Britons and other non-EU nationals are only allowed to stay for 90 days within every 180 in Spain and other European states. However, wealthy Britons can side-step that rule by qualifying for a “golden visa”, available for those who spend more than €500,000 on a property or investment in a business.
Last year, well-off Britons were handed a tax windfall by Spain after the southern region of Andalusia abolished a “wealth tax” to attract investors.
British expatriate residents in Spain or those with second homes along the Costas whose worldwide assets are more than €700,000 (£614,208) will not have to pay the tax this year.
The tax cut also applied to Britons who live in Spain for up to six months per year, which can qualify them as tax residents.
David Rolt is the British director of Francesc Macia 10, which sold a series of luxury flats in Barcelona for about €6m each. “Barcelona has a series of luxury developments. About 75 per cent of these have been bought by Spaniards but the international market is also strong,” he told i.
Another development on the Paseo de Gracia, Barcelona’s luxury shopping boulevard where Gucci and Chanel shops vie for space, sold an 80-square-metre flat for €2m.
Back at Pearson Avenue, Mr Weingard showed off the designer garages after a tour of the home cinema, private jacuzzi, not to mention the panoramic view from the master bedrooms.
“If you have a Ferrari, which the people who buy this type of property do, then you are going to want a serious garage to park it in,” he said.
Written by: Graham Keeley
This article is brought to you by Expat Hub Valencia, a property buying agent in Valencia. Using the Expat Hub’s services, you will be able to successfully navigate Valencia’s complicated property market in no time.