Insight into the Spanish property market, guides to help you make informed decisions, and a directory of real estate professionals and home service providers from a source you can trust.
This is a website for buyers, owners, and sellers of property in Spain, offering reliable information and resources to help you get things done with confidence. It is run by Mark Stücklin, author of the Spanish Property Doctor Column in The Sunday Times (2005-2008), and the book ‘Need to Know: Buying Property in Spain’ published by Collins.
When you buy or sell property in Spain the sums of money are large, perhaps one of the biggest financial decisions of your life. The high transaction costs you will face like taxes and commissions only make the decision more important to get right. And when you own property in Spain you face a host of extra challenges to manage, and costs to control. Unfortunately, the Spanish property market is opaque and full of pitfalls, and notoriously unprofessional. Buying and selling property in Spain is not a decision to be taken lightly, and you may find it much easier to buy than sell if you don’t take care. In this market it is crucial to do your own research, and don’t rely exclusively on people who are trying to sell you something – let’s just say they might not have your best interests at heart. Spanish Property Insight is the only independent source of information and analysis of the Spanish property market. Don’t even think about buying or selling property in Spain without subscribing to Spanish Property Insight.
Measured by transactions, the Spanish property market shrank 34% in the first 3 months of this year, according to the Ministry of Housing. There were just 104,703 residential property sales between January and March this year, compared to 159,088 in the same period last year. A pitiful number of just 484 holiday homes were sold to non-residents.
Sales have been declining fairly steadily since the beginning of 2007, and the latest figures show there is no sign yet of the market bottoming out.
The Ministry of Housing broke the news by comparing last quarter’s sales to the previous quarter, which makes the news sound less grim. Compared to the last quarter of 2008, the latest sales are a drop of ‘only’ 16.5%.
The Ministry of Housing also points out that, over the 12 months to the end of March, there were 510,079 transactions, a drop of 33.3% compared to the previous 12 months.
As is clear from the table below, home sales in the latest quarter were the lowest since the Ministry of Housing started compiling this data. Compared to the 1st quarter of 2006, when 233,669 residential properties changed hands, sales in the latest quarter were down a thumping 55%.
Breaking down the figures into new build and resales, there were 58,993 newly built properties sold in the quarter, compared to 45,710 resales. Once again, new builds sold in greater numbers than resales, as they have done every quarter since the 2nd quarter of 2007. Prior to that, resales had always been in the majority.
Spain’s out of control building boom in the middle of the decade explains why new build sales started to outnumber resales. Now the boom is well and truly over we can expect sales of new builds to fall below resales, restoring the natural order. Quarter to quarter, new build sales fell 21.3% in the first quarter, compared to 9.4% for resales. This trend will continue, and by the end of the year new build sales will be significantly below resales.
38% of all sales took place in just 6 provinces: Madrid, Barcelona, Alicante, Valencia, Málaga and Murcia.
Over 12 months to the end of March sales fell by the following percentages in the autonomous regions:
Balearics, -43,6%; Catalonia, -42,2%; Canaries, -39,0%; Valencian Community, -37,5%; Castilla y León, -35,4%, Andalucía, -33,7%. Castilla-La Mancha, -32,3%; Asturias, -31,3%; Cantabria, -29,4%; Aragón, -29,2%; Madrid, -28,5%; Galicia -27,5%; Murcia, -27,4%; La Rioja, -26,1%; Basque Country, -21,8%; Extremadura, -13,9%, and Navarra, -8,0%.
Everything you need to know about property in Spain
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