Home sales in Spain, not including social housing, fell 9.9% in August compared to the same time last year, according to the latest figures from the National Institute of Statistics (INE). A 10% fall may sound bad, but given the form this year it’s actually rather good.
Spain’s leading daily El Pais suggests this another sign that the market if finding a floor, pointing out that this is the smallest year-on-year fall since the INE began publishing this data in January last year.
On the other hand, August 2008 was itself a bad month, so maybe the comparison isn’t so flattering. Sales in August 2008 were down 40% on the preceding year, and fell 18% on a monthly basis.
Nevertheless, the year-on-year sales trend has been improving since April, as is clear from the graph above. That said, on a cumulative basis sales this year to the end of August were still 32% below the same period last year, and 51% down compared to 2007.
New vs. Resale
If you break down sales into new build and resales you notice an alarming deterioration in resales during August, only offset by the steady performance of new build sales. Resales, traditionally the biggest segment of the market, have lagged new build sales almost since Spain’s property market slump began, but looked like recovering in July. We will have to wait a few more months to see if resales ride to the recovery of the market or not. Probably not, I should warn you.