Spanish property market shrank 30pc in 2011

The Spanish housing market shrank 29.3pc in volume terms (transactions), according to the latest data from the Housing Department in the Ministry of Public Works.

As a result there were 347,305 homes sales in 2011, the lowest level since the crisis began and 64pc down on 2006, when 955,186 homes were sold.

On a quarterly basis there were 105,560 sales in Q4, 38pc more than the previous quarter (there is normally a bounce at the end of the year), but 30pc down Q4 2010, which is the figure that counts..

These figures are worse than the 20pc annual fall reported by the National Institute of Statistics (INE), which I reported in this article last month: Spanish property market shrinks 20pc in 2011.

Whichever source is more accurate it is clear that the Spanish housing market is still contracting, in part due to the on-going credit crunch (new mortgage lending has also collapsed).

If you look at the market in value terms (transacations x average price), with prices down 35pc according to the Minister for the Economy, then the market has shrunk 77% since the peak.

The map below uses deeper shades of red to show where sales have fallen the most. You only need a glance to see the biggest problem is on the coast.

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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.