Notaries offer bleak outlook for Spanish housing market

The Spanish property market will get worse before it gets better says the Notaries’ Association.

“We will end the year worse than we started in terms of home sales,” says Manuel López Pardiñas, head of Spain’s General Council of Notaries, quoted in the Spanish press.

López Pardiñas sees no reason to think that 2012 will be any better than the last quarter of this year – the worst period on record since the crisis began.

Overall, notarised documents such as property sale deeds are down 30pc on last year, and 80pc on 2007.

House sales are weak because “there is practically no credit and it is very unusual for people to buy with cash,” explains López Pardiñas, who says that house prices have fallen 30pc since the peak (official figures say 20pc).

According to him, Spain needs a “message of confidence so that developers start building again and people start buying.”

He supports the reintroduction of a mortgage tax credit and lower sales tax on both new and resale property.

López Pardiñas forecasts the recovery will come in 2013.

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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.