A new study has reported that foreigners with second homes in Spain contribute a massive amount to Spain’s GDP, at a time when some regions are considering limiting the number of overseas property buyers.

The extent to which foreign second homeowners contribute to the Spanish economy has been made clear in a recent report, but it doesn’t come without drawbacks.

In 2022 foreigners with a second home in Spain contributed €6.35 billion to Spanish GDP and generated more than 105,000 jobs in the tourism sector, according to the study “The economic impact of residential tourism in Spain” done for the Spanish Association of Developers and Builders (APCE) by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

According to the study’s definition: “A residential tourist is considered to be a foreigner who buys a property in Spain to enjoy it during the year.”

Though there’s no time duration specified, we can take it to mean a second homeowner who spends some of the year in Spain.

In 2022, the foreign purchase and sale of property in Spain reached a historic high with 88,858 acquisitions. Of those homes, almost a third (32.8 percent) were bought by a handful of nationalities, all long-established second home owning communities in Spain.

Despite Brexit limiting the amount of time second homeowners can spend at their Spanish homes, Britons still lead the pack (11.1 percent of purchases in 2022), followed by the Germans (9.5 percent), French nationals (7 percent) and Belgians (5.2 percent).

Overall, 71.5 percent of so-called ‘residential tourists’ who visited Spain in 2022, to use the vocabulary in the study, came from the UK, Nordic countries, Germany or France.

The financial contribution made by these second-home owners in Spain is clearly significant. In fact, experts point out that the money brought into the Spanish coffers by foreign homeowners even outstrips some major industries.

“The contribution of residential tourism to GDP is triple that of the textile industry, double that of the timber industry and the same as the manufacture of pharmaceutical products in Spain,” Anna Merino, director of the Economics team at PwC, said when presenting the study.

Every euro spent by ‘residential tourists’ adds €2.34 to Spanish GDP. On top of this direct contribution to the Spanish economy, the surrounding economic activity associated with the spending generated 105,600 full-time jobs in 2022.

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