A place in the sun: Poles buying up record number of apartments in Spain

Polish buyers have looked towards properties in the EUR 100,000 to EUR 150,000 bracket, a price range an increasing number can afford without having to take on loans or mortgages. Kamila Maciejewska on Unsplash

Despite the prevailing economic gloom, new data released by Bank Pekao has revealed that a record number of Poles bought property in Spain this year.

Disrupted only by Covid in 2020, Spanish real estate purchases by Poles have grown each year since 2013; yet even by this benchmark, the latest figures have exceeded expectations – by the end of Q3, over 2,300 transactions had been recorded, more than double last year’s total figure.

In total, Poles comprised 3.2 percent of foreign buyers, a considerable hike from the 1.9 percent recorded in 2021.

Bartłomiej Grzywniak of Tripinvest, a firm specialising in the sale of Spanish residential real estate, said: “The apartments Poles are looking for are often in slightly older buildings – they’re not in bad shape, but neither are they luxurious. Sometimes they require minor repairs and renovations.”Fredrik Öhlander on Unsplash

Bartłomiej Grzywniak of Tripinvest, a firm specialising in the sale of Spanish residential real estate, said: “The apartments Poles are looking for are often in slightly older buildings – they’re not in bad shape, but neither are they luxurious. Sometimes they require minor repairs and renovations.”

Generally speaking, Polish buyers have looked towards properties in the EUR 100,000 to EUR 150,000 bracket, a price range an increasing number can afford without having to take on loans or mortgages.

Figures published by Poland’s second-largest bank, Pekao, show that in the third quarter of 2022, the number of Polish buyers was 37 percent higher than in the second quarter. Analizy Biuro Maklerskie Pekao/ Twitter 

Speaking to Interia, Grzywniak added: “Location is important; most Poles choose the Costa Blanca, south of Alicante and around Torrevieja.”

Citing proximity to the beach as one of the most decisive factors, according to Grzywniak these buyers have targeted apartments within three kilometres of the sea with the Costa Blanca offering the best value for money.

Citing proximity to the beach as one of the most decisive factors, according to Grzywniak buyers have targeted apartments within three kilometres of the sea with the Costa Blanca offering the best value for money.Zac Cain on Unsplash

“In this area, apartments tend to be large,” said Grzywniak. “For between EUR 100,000 and EUR 150,000, people can buy a property ranging from 60 sq/m to 120 sq/m.”

Although it is buyers from this segment that have been most noticeable, the stats also reveal a surge in transactions valued between EUR 200,000 and EUR 250,000.

As for high-net individuals, these have tended to gravitate to the Iberian Peninsula.

High-net individuals have tended to gravitate to the Iberian Peninsula.Quino Al on Unsplash

“Those with a budget of EUR 1 million and beyond aren’t looking for property in the Alicante region, but rather more towards the south on the Costa del Sol, mainly in the vicinity of Marbella and Malaga, or on the north of the Costa Blanca close to Calpe and Benidorm,” said Grzywniak.

According to analysts, this extraordinary appetite for a second home has been driven by more than just a desire for ‘a place in the sun’.

Whilst buyers have purchased with holidays and retirement in mind, the spike registered in Q2 indicates a direct relationship to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Whilst buyers have purchased with holidays and retirement in mind, the spike registered in Q2 indicates a direct relationship to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.Uwe Gerig/PAP

“Real estate agencies saw an explosion of interest in March, shortly after Russia’s aggression,” said Grzywniak. “People concerned about their cash decided to make quick transactions. Moreover, people were looking for a place to which they could escape to safety and Spain was a popular choice because it is relatively cheap and far removed.”

In spite of the soaring interest noted in 2022, experts forecast the market will stabilise next year and return to previous norms.

“We see a decrease in transactions relating to the tense political situation, but an increase in 2021 and also the pre-pandemic years,” said Grzywniak.