Foreign investment in Spanish real estate rose to 2.83 billion euros (about $3.87 billion) in the first half of 2013, up 16 percent compared to the same period last year and a nine-year high, a study by consulting firm Knight Frank said.

Spain is such an attractive market that foreign investors may be willing to pump up to 14 billion euros into the Iberian nation's real estate market over the next year, Knight Frank said.

The severe economic downturn in Spain caused housing prices to plunge 47.7 percent since the peak of the boom, with the average cost now down to 1,253 euros per square meter, the Spanish Property Appraisers Association said in its latest report.

Although it is at its highest level since 2008, when the economic downturn started, foreign investment in Spain's real estate market is still well below the 3.5 billion euros registered in the first half of 2003.

The top foreign buyers of Spanish real estate are Belgians, whose purchases are up 78.1 percent; French citizens, whose purchases are up 70 percent; and Germans, whose purchases have risen 35.3 percent, General Notaries Council figures show.

Britons, however, are still the top non-resident purchasers of Spanish real estate, buying 1,244 properties during the period, up 24.6 percent from the comparable period. EFE