Foreign demand for property in Spain saw a major surge in the fourth quarter of 2017, led by British buyers returning to the market who appear undeterred by the prospect of Brexit.

Spain was the European property hotspot for overseas buyers looking for second homes, as well as relocation, back in the heyday before the financial crisis, after which buyer numbers plummeted significantly as the knock-on effects were felt across the world.

However, the latest figures from the Spanish Registrar’s Association show that Spain’s property market rose back to 2007 levels in the final quarter of 2017, with a 19.8% rise in home sales while foreign demand rose to 15,266 registered purchases – a 20.4% annual increase from Q4 2016. House prices in the country increased by 7.6% in the same period, and foreign purchases made up 13.6% of the total Spanish housing market.

Return of Brits abroad

Brits were back at the front of the queue looking for property in sunny Spain, making up the largest amount of foreign investment (2,384 registered purchases), after which the French bought 1,242 homes and Germans snapped up 1,198.

Mark Stucklin of Spanish Property Insight said: “British demand is growing again in volume terms, though by value I suspect British investment is stagnant or even declining, as more buyers have been forced by a weaker pound to reduce their budgets.”

In October last year, Spain’s foreign minister Alfonso Dastis promised that British expats living in Spain would experience “no disruption” after Brexit, as well as assurances surrounding the European Health Insurance Card and pensions, which could have reassured many Brits and encouraged the increase in property purchases.

Marc Pritchard, sales and marketing director of Taylor Wimpey España, added: “Spain’s economy is the fastest growing in the Eurozone, bringing greater confidence back to the property market and thus attracting demand from North European countries.”