House-hunters offer 23pc below asking prices in January

The “demand thermometer” tool from, one of Spain’s leading property portals, allows us to see the difference between asking prices and what house-hunters are offering

On average, house-hunters offered 23pc less than asking prices in January, according to Idealista’s demand thermometer.

The biggest difference between asking prices and offers was in Malaga, home to the Costa del Sol, where house-hunters offered 29pc less than asking prices, followed by Soria (-28pc) and the Balearics (-27pc).

Differences of more than 25pc were also to be found in Girona (Costa Brava), Tarragona (Costa Dorada), Castellon (Costa Azahar), Murcia, and Almeria (Costa Calida), all popular locations with foreign holiday-home buyers.

So it seems there is still a big gulf between vendor expectations and what buyers are prepared to pay.

+ Idealista’s demand thermometer (in Spanish)



10 thoughts on “House-hunters offer 23pc below asking prices in January”

  1. brad

    Is there a way to find out the actual selling price of a specific property in Spain. In the UK, the prices are available online but I’m not aware of the same appearing online in Spain but is it possible to enquire at the local townhall?

  2. Steve

    Brad, not as far as I know. The only useful hard data in Spain is the average local sale price per sq mtr. This article is about Idealista which I think is an estate agents organisation. It publishes average advertised prices – which are on average about 50% higher than average sale prices i.e.1.5 times higher. This report needs to add that these low offers are being made on the lowest prices being asked for by vendors, not the average advertised price. In other words if you saw three identical cars for sale at £8k, £10 and £12k you’d only put a bid on for the lowest priced one. My rule of thumb for true value is the very lowest estate agent’s advertised price for similar properties, less another 20%. Some advertised prices are double the true current market value, so shop around – and then haggle.

  3. Dave

    Hi all, We deal on the Costa Blanca. From what I see buyers are praying on those who need to sell. In most cases these people are just looking to get their property sold and are asking, in many cases, very low prices, then you get the buyer coming in and offering in many cases about 20% below asking price and on average geting about 10% below asking. Those who are not looking to sell quickly will hold on for what they believe is a realistic price give the prices of similar property around them.

    In the mid 2000’s we had those who looked to buy quickly incase they could not get the property they wanted due to high demand and high prices, now it is those who are looking to buy when prices are low and hope to cash in a few years down the line.

  4. Steve

    “Those who are not looking to sell quickly will hold on for what they believe is a realistic price given the prices of similar property around them.” The trouble is that this ‘value’ is only what such people believe. They mistakenly imagine that their properties are actually worth the sort of hyper-optimistic inflated prices that they see being advertised in local estate agents’ windows. Genuine worth, the only value with any meaning, is current market price, i.e. the current price a property will actually sell for in the open market. ‘My property has been valued at E200k’ is a quite meaningless statement if it can only find a buyer at E120K. The value of that property today is E120k, full stop. At least 90% of Spanish property adverts today are delusional.

  5. Chris Nation

    It is worth remembering, especially if you are in the estate agency business or have a property to sell, one of Margaret Thatcher’s memorable quips.

    Not “We are a grandmother” or “the Honourable gentleman [N.Kinnock] is frit!” but

    “You cannot buck the market”

    For anyone who doubts this, her’s an example of how it works.

    At my boatyard, an unfortunate customer had to swallow the anchor, prevented by injury from sailing his blue-water sloop. He reckoned it was worth £55k. I had it surveyed. The surveyor valued it at £55k. That made three of us.

    It sold for £35k.

    What was this thing actually worth? £35k.

  6. tony foley

    Price affordability remains a big problem in Spain and with average prices still too high. It requires a drop of at least another 50% before some semblance of reality comes into the market

  7. Herb

    I bought my villa just south of Malaga in Sept 2011. Asking price was 560K, the vendor had paid 740K in Dec 2003. I offered 470K and it was reluctantly accepted. The villa had a mortgage to Bank of Scotland for 466K and this clearly was the trigger that forced the vendor to accept my offer. I would suspect there are still some vendors that are hanging on by their fingernails. Since I bought prices appear to have fallen a bit more so there are obviously still some distressed vendors in the market.

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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