Spanish property market down 26pc in March

% change in number of sales March 08 vs. March 09 selected regions

% change in number of sales March 08 vs. March 09 selected regions

The Spanish property market shrank 26% in March compared to the same month last year, according to the latest figures from the National Institute of Statistics (INE). Excluding social housing, there were 31,096 property transactions in March, compared to 41,982 a year before.

Look a bit further back and the fall is even greater. Compared to March 2007, pre-credit crunch and when the Spanish property market was slowly coming off the boil, the market has contracted by 55%.

As the table above shows, sales in March fell the most in Huelva -47% (Costa de la Luz, Andalucia), followed by Asturias -42% (North Spain), and Tarragona -40% (Costa Dorada). At the other end of the scale, sales fell the least in Malaga -2% (Costa del Sol), and Castellon -4% (Costa Azahar).

Once again, resales fell the most, by 35%, compared to just 13% for newly built homes from developers. This order will go into reverse at some point, probably this year, as the collapse in new sales contracts signed by developers starts to show up in the official figures.

About Mark Stücklin

Mark Stücklin is a Barcelona-based Spanish property market analyst, and author of the 'Spanish Property Doctor' column in the Sunday Times (2005 - 2008).

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