Spanish property market expands 17pc in January

Most of the rise is probably due to the elimination of mortgage tax relief bringing forward sales.

Excluding social housing, there were 39,788 residential property transactions registered in January, up 17pc on 12 months before, and a heft 46pc on December, according to the latest figures from the Government (INE).

Spain in desperate need of sales to mop up its housing glut but the news is not quite as good as it seems. Many of the sales registered in January will have been brought forward by the elimination of mortgage tax relief, which means that sales may slump again in the next few months.

As always, some areas did better than others. Year-on-year Almeria was up 72pc, 137pc in resales alone, though a big bank-operation might lie behind that figure. Murcia, on the other hand, was down 14pc.

The following table shows transactions for selected regions.

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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.