One of the biggest trends in the overseas property market is that an increasing number of buyers are coming from Sweden. Yes, cash rich buyers from Sweden are today among the biggest investors in overseas property. So where are they investing?
Spain, of course! On a popular Swedish property portal, there were 12,000 listings for Spanish properties for sale, about 1,000 each for French and Italian properties, 800 for properties in Turkey and a lesser number of listings for properties in countries such as Bulgaria, Portugal, Greece, Malta and Cyprus.
Indeed, Spain is very popular with Swedish buyers. According to the data that is available with us, Swedes have bought 26% more homes in Spain over the last 12 months compared to the same period a year ago.
It’s easy to see why Spain is so popular with Swedes – it’s the Sun of course! Spain gets 320 days of sunshine, and kids don’t have to wear gloves and hats, as in Sweden. They might as well play in their shorts all day long. If you are a Swede, you will know how important this is.
Indeed, Swedes are the biggest promoters of properties in Spain and the word-of-mouth publicity is very strong. It began with a trickle, as a few Swedes began holidaying in Spain in the 1950s, and soon turned into a flood, as a massive number of Swedes now make their way to Spain every year. Many have taken their love for Spain to the next level by buying second homes or holiday homes there.
So why is Spain popular, and not France or Italy? Well, properties in Spain are much cheaper for one, and the property buying process is simpler as well.
There is also a traditional relationship between Sweden and Spain which began in the 1950s, which has only got stronger over the years. Swedes love vacationing in Spain just like their parents and grandparents before them. Indeed, holidaying in Spain is a Swedish tradition.
This year, it is estimated that 3,000 Swedes are expected to buy a home in Spain. What has changed about the Swedish interest is that most Swedish buyers of Spanish properties today are wealthy individuals between the age of 35 and 55. In the past, only Swedes aged 55 and above used to buy Spanish property.
So there is a demand for Spanish homes that are located in areas with good international schools, where there are a number of playgrounds for kids and are generally considered to be safe for children. Swedes are no longer buying only retirement homes in Spain.
Anders Claesson is a Swede who bought his home in Spain two years ago, at the age of 45. Speaking to Radio Sweden, he says that he was always interested in Spain, and then one thing led to another and he decided to take the plunge finally: “We decided the next day to do it. So we went back home, sold the house, quit our jobs and everything, and went back to Spain. And we haven’t regretted it for a second.”
But it is not all perfect. As Anders explains, Swedish buyers have issues with the lethargic nature of the Spanish bureaucracy. He says, “Something that’s hard to accept in the beginning is the bureaucracy, which is a little confused and old-fashioned, so it’s a bit frustrating. But you just have to take a deep breath and accept it.”
There are other risks as well, as Daniel Nilsson, who heads a real estate company explains: “Yes, the Swedish krona is a small currency. And if it is weak that will affect demand. As long as it remains in its typical historic range against the euro that really isn’t a factor. But a major weakening of the Swedish krona would certainly affect prices.”
Regardless, there is no question that Swedes are buying properties abroad, more so than at any time in the past, and this is a welcome development indeed. If you need to sell overseas property fast to cash rich investors from Sweden contact us today.