Look & Find report home sales up 38pc last year

Look & Find, one of the biggest chains of estate agents in Spain, reports a big annualised improvement in sales last year, as the market recovers from the lows of 2009.

Look & Find’s results lasts year were significantly better than the overall market, which only grew by 5pc, according to figures from the government (Fomento). The company forecasts its sales will grow by a similar amount in 2011.

The typical sale involved a 3-bed flat of 90m2 (up from 85m2 in 2009), in good condition in an urban setting.

According to the company’s data, house prices fell 2pc last year, taking them down 35pc in total since the peak in 2007. Prices are now back to where they were in 2004.

The weakest segment of the market is the holiday-home segment, where prices are down an additional 15pc.

Look & Find also do rentals, which were stable last year, though prices fell 8pc. They report a shift away from renting to buying as lower prices and mortgage rates make buying more attractive.

Spaniards still prefer buying over renting

New data from Re/Max, another big chain of agents in Spain, shows that, despite the property crash, Spaniards still prefer buying over renting by a wide margin. Just over 70pc of Spaniards looking for housing plan to buy, compared to a European average of 44pc.

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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 ms@spanishpropertyinsight.com.