Spanish property sales fall 37% in August

The residential Spanish property market shrank by 36.8% in August compared to a year ago, to 37,744 transactions, according to the latest data from Spain’s National Institute of Statistics (INE).

On a year to date basis, the Spanish property market has declined by 28.4% compared to the first 8 months of last year.

Back in July it looked as if the rate of decline in Spanish home sales had started to slow, with sales in July falling by an annualised rate of 26% compared to 30% in June, and 34% in May. The 37% decline in August has sent that trend into reverse.

In keeping with recent months, the resale market was hit hardest, with sales down in August by 47.3% to 17,747 compared to the same period last year. This means that, for every 2 properties sold in August last year, only 1 was sold this year.

In comparison first time sales of newly-built properties fell by only 23.4%, to 19,997, though these figures do not reflect the recent collapse in new sales contracts signed by developers, which are down by more than 60%.

Sales of social housing fell by 32.6%, compared to 37.2% for non-social housing.

By region sales fell the most in Catalonia (-50.63%), followed by the Balearics (-44.48%), Aragon (-43.6%), the Basque Country (-43.42%), and Andalucia (-40.02%). Sales also fell in the Canaries (-20.85%), the Valencian Community (-37.63%), Murcia (-22.01%), and Madrid (-38.38%).

Mortgage activity is down in line with the fall in property sales, according to the INE’s figures. Mortgage approvals were down 37.2%, whilst the average mortgage loan fell by 9.6% to 137,657 Euros.



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About Mark Stücklin

Mark Stücklin is a Barcelona-based property market analyst and consultant, and author of the 'Spanish Property Doctor' column in the Sunday Times (2005 - 2008). He can be reached by email on