With some ups and downs along the way, the Spanish holiday-home market has expanded for about the last thirty years. Will this growth story continue, or are there reasons to think the market will peak and reset at a lower level, ending up a smaller niche business than it has been in recent decades?
I can’t find accurate figures, and I doubt they exist, but I can say with confidence that there are millions of second homes in Spain, hundreds of thousands of them owned by foreigners, tens of thousands of them are bought and sold each year, and tens of thousands of new ones being built right now.
Spaniards buying second homes they can easily reach by car is one thing, and that has been going on for much longer than the boom in foreign demand, which really started to take off in the 1980s. Local demand shares some headwinds and tailwinds with foreign demand, such as property prices and the availability of mortgages, but foreign demand has its own unique set of brakes and drivers that I think could prove challenging in the years to come.