Increasing foreign investment is one of the key factors helping the Spanish property market to recover, with investment in residential property following the trend in the commercial sector.

According to Spain’s property registrars’ society, foreign nationals purchased around 12.2% of residential property in the first three months of the year, up 9% on the same period in 2006, just before the global financial crisis that floored Spanish property sales.

Alex Vaughan, co-founder of Lucas Fox in Barcelona, says: “At the high end – €500,000 and up – it’s primarily being driven by international demand.” The luxury estate agent sold 91% of its 126 home sales to foreigners looking for luxury bargains in Spain.

More investors from the Middle East and America have been dipping their toes in Spanish real estate, due to advantageous exchange rates, while the weakness of the euro has encouraged buyers from the UK and elsewhere and a collapsing rouble has drawn interest from Russian investors looking for a safe haven for their money.