The past year has seen a surge in the number of foreign investors snapping up properties in the ailing Spanish market, according to a Property Wire report.

With unemployment high and domestic buyers struggling to secure mortgages, experts believe it is people from overseas who are driving sales.

Barbara Wood of The Property Finders, who are based in Andalucia, is quoted as saying that she expects the figures to reveal a substantial increase in the number of sales of Spanish properties that were made to foreign buyers over the past year.

"When full year figures are available I expect them to be 20 per cent up on 2011," she said.

And as residents of the country become increasingly aware of the problems facing its property market, Ms Wood added that sellers will be more willing to accept lower prices - a factor which means that are plenty of bargains to be found in the Mediterranean country.

"A real feature of 2012 was the increasing number of Spanish sellers finally coming out of denial and accepting offers they were previously turning down," she added.

The struggle of Spain's property prices has been no secret during the economic downturn and the falling value of the euro against the pound has also meant that Brits have been able to get more for their money.

But while conditions seem to favour buyers from overseas, what's vital is that they remember the importance of properly maintaining a second home that will often be left unoccupied for long periods over the years.

That's where holiday home insurance comes in, as such policies can cover the cost of unexpected damage, theft and other expensive incidents which could compromise just how much money you manage to save on what you initially considered to be a bargain.