International tourists to Spain increased a staggering 12.5 per cent in the first two months of 2016 in comparison to the same period last year, with 7.2 million foreign visitors touching down in the land of sunshine and sangria.
While Brits make up the largest group of foreign tourists, it was those arriving from Ireland that stood out in January and February, recording a significant year-on-year increase of 20.2 per cent, according to the latest Survey of Tourist Movements in Frontera (Frontur), released by the National Statistics Institute (INE).
Supporting this, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) reported that the total number of overseas trips made by Irish residents between December 2015 and February 2016 increased by 7.7 per cent, compared to the year before, with Spain the second most popular destination after the UK. This growing interest in Spain is now also beginning to transfer across to the second home market, with leading Spanish agents and developers experiencing a substantial rise in Irish enquiries.
Any visitors to Spain also considering a property purchase there will be encouraged by the most recent report by international property consultancy CBRE that forecasts a substantial 20 per cent increase in Spanish property transactions in comparison to 2015.
CBRE also forecasts that the average property price in Spain will rise by 5.9 per cent on average this year, peaking at an incredible 6.3 per cent growth in the third quarter. With prices set to increase so dramatically over the course of just 12 months, Spain's already appealing housing market is becoming even more so, causing an influx of both new and renewed demand for property.