Foreign buyers are helping to preserve the live market in Spain, but cannot absorb the nation's property surplus alone, according to one expert. During a radio interview on 9 Valencia, a spokesperson for Inmoaction explained that overseas buyers are driving activity, but the market is so saturated that even high demand from foreign investors can not significantly reduce housing stock - domestic buyers will need to enter the fray once again.

Nevertheless, certain local markets are performing well, with 2012 witnessing 2,501 sales transactions in Alicante alone. This is a first for the country and shows that despite plummeting property prices, there is still considerable interest in Spanish real estate. Malaga is also performing well, with 1,110 transactions. The Inmoaction spokesperson explained that this is the result of the "long tradition of foreign tourism" enjoyed by these provinces. "They are very classic and favourite areas, adapted to foreign lifestyle. Furthermore, their few cultural barriers have been diluted throughout the years," they said. Therefore it isn't surprising that in the penultimate quarter of 2012, demand increased by 18 per cent, with the British taking the crown of the biggest buyers.

However, it isn't just the UK that is active in the Spanish property market and France and Germany are hot on our heels. With overseas buyers soon to be offered residency permits in exchange for buying property over €160,000 (approximately £ 132,938), the Chinese and Russians are also likely to soon enter the breach, challenging traditional markets and increasing competition. What's more, Egyptians, Iranians, Vietnamese and South African buyers increasingly looking to Spanish property for bargain real estate, according to Inmoaction.

Nevertheless, British, German and Swedish buyers aren't expected to drop off the face of the Spanish property market any time soon. Inmoaction claim that these investors will "always be there" due to "geographical proximity", turning them into somewhat of a "floating population". Combined with Spain's thriving tourism industry, it seems that the country will always be able to rely on strong overseas activity.



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