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Driven by demand from international buyers, Spain’s prime real estate markets are poised to gain momentum during 2017 and beyond, as the country’s economy steadily recovers, according to a large luxury real estate agency in Spain.

In its annual market report released in February, the agency said that its sales across all regions were up 31% year-over-year in 2016, the biggest increase in more than a decade.

International buyers were the main drivers in the luxury segment, representing 65% of all their sales during 2016, according to the report. The British made up the biggest portion of foreign buyers (11%), followed by buyers from the Middle East (8%), Scandinavia (7%), France (6%) and the U.S. (5%).

Many European buyers turned away from London following the Brexit vote, looking instead at Madrid and Barcelona. Other non-European buyers, including those from the United States, Middle East and Asia, are increasingly taking advantage of the country’s Golden Visa program, which grants residency for certain property investors, according to the report.

At a macro level, Spain’s residential sales increased 14% to 403,866 in 2016, according to the report, citing data from the National Institute of Statistics.

Spain’s residential properties have become more attractive as the European country shakes off the Great Recession triggered by the debt crisis in 2008. Last year, Spain’s economy grew 3.2%, becoming one of the strongest performers of the Eurozone’s four big economies, according to IMF data.



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