Spanish property prices continue trend towards positive territory – Tinsa Index

Spanish property prices are still falling, but less with every passing month, according to the monthly house price index published by Tinsa, one of Spain’s leading appraisal companies.

Average Spanish property prices fell by 4.4% over 12 months to the end of May, show the latest figures from Tinsa. That said, prices actually fell a fraction compared to last month, even if they rose compared to the same month last year.

If the Tinsa figures are to be believed, the rate of decline in Spanish property prices has been slowing since June 2009, when it peaked at -10.1%.

If the trend towards smaller declines keeps up, average property prices will be stable, or even growing slightly before the end of the year.

Coast and Islands doing best

Suprisingly, prices have fallen the least over 12 months in coastal areas and the Islands, areas traditionally popular with foreign buyers looking for holiday and retirement homes. Prices are down just 4.1% on the coast, and 2.4% in The Canaries and The Balearics

The following table gives the annualised % change for selected regions in May:


Peak to present

On a peak to present basis (since prices peaked in December 2007), prices are down 16.5% nationally, 21.4% on the Mediterranean coast, and 12.8% in the Canaries and the Balearics. So anyone buying a property on the coast today should be getting a discount of 21% on average compared to 2007.

As always, it needs to be pointed out that Tinsa’s figures are based on their own valuations, not actual transaction prices. Most of these valuations have been paid for by banks, and for several reasons they might not give a true picture of property prices . Nevertheless, they are interesting in what they reveal about trends, not to mention the valuations used by banks for mortgage lending purposes.

May Index
National: 1,906
Mediterranean coast: 2,035
Balearics & Canaries: 1,641

Peak Index (December 2007)
National: 2,284
Mediterranean coast: 2,590
Balearics & Canaries: 1,881

SPI Member Comments

Thoughts on “Spanish property prices continue trend towards positive territory – Tinsa Index

  • Mark,
    I’m no expert on the Spanish property market… as you are. So forgive my remarks if they appear naieve. Or my criticism on this issue of the sites “journalistic function”..LoL

    I do have some expertise on global and financial markets as a futures trader, and I do spend some time here in Spain every year, hence my interest..
    Arising from that, it’s my observation of the Spanish Property Market, that it is, one of the most corrupt, obfuscated, imperfect markets in Europe.
    Imperfect ?..because of an almost complete lack of transparency, and imperfect again, because it’s actively obfuscated at ALL levels by ALL the main players, to their own ends. Most seriously the obfuscation is institutionalised in supposedly reliable government sponsored statistics, (a la Greece) which produce figures, which though valid in what they measure (even that is questionable but WTH!), are dedicated to measuring the wrong THINGS. Dedicated to produce headlines, for both financial markets and the indiscriminating media, and to provide benchmarks, useful to the financial complex in hiding the critical problems they face as a result of their complicity in the recent property bubble.

    So what do I take issue with in the article above?
    Actually the whole thing. The whole spin. Starting with the headline
    “Spanish property prices continue trend towards positive territory – Tinsa Index”
    I’m confused..Is that informing readers, or is it perpetuating misinformation?

    With respect..the REAL headline readers NEED to know is…
    “Tinsa continues to publish it’s irrelevant statistics… don’t be fooled”
    and I would suggest the first para expansion is..
    “Tinsa figures show the Spanish property market in recovery. The problem with Tinsa is that their figures are complete abstractions, and bear no approximation as to what is happening on the ground and in the real market. However they ARE interesting to global analysis’s as an insight to how the Spanish Banks and the financial system are continuing to cover-up their balance sheet crisis and are buying time in the hope that no one will notice that, on a mark-to-market basis, and without the intervention of the ECB, many are actually close to failure?

    (And NO, I don’t think it’s sufficient to cover, in the published text, with a final para qualification..”Tinsa’s figures are based on their own valuations, not actual transaction prices. Most of these valuations have been paid for by banks, and for several reasons they might (SIC) not give a true picture of property prices..” …
    What does that mean? If they are “not actual transaction prices”: what the heck are they?
    Wouldn’t it be better to write… “kindly disregard all the above since its all BS? ”

    I’m not a journalist, and you do write a normally marvellously honest and erudite service in “Spanish Property Insight” which I respect…
    So forgive me for taking you to task on this, and presuming to advise you on your job..
    But I read endless reports daily each with its own spin.
    And today, this just “got my goat!” as they say.

    I spoke this morning after reading your article with an analyst in a major European Bank.
    He laughed when I mentioned Tinsa. Ill say no more.
    But to ordinary guys Tinsa headlines have credibility. Afterall its “Government” information.
    IMHO its up to reputable people like you in Spanish Property Insight to ensure that ordinary people are not misled by the spin. From the headline out.. and not with caveats hidden in the last para.

    PS..Euro Stat had to descend on Greece to clean up their state sponsored misinformation system. Now the bailout requires their investigative oversight of all EZ members. I don’t underestimate that power or sophistication of the State/Banking complex here in Spain will make the unravelling of this particular bag of snakes, infinitely more difficult than Greece.
    But unravel it will.
    IMHO They are just buying time. But ironically in this case, IMHO time is not for sale.
    As the Economist said in a headline on Spain last year, “The Partys Over!”

    PPS previous post by adiep..
    couldnt have said it better mate..LoL

  • Oidunno,

    Thank you for taking the time to write a very thoughtful response.

    I can’t really argue with anything you say.

    All I can say is that I’ve trashed Tinsa’s figures so many times before that I now suffer fatigue. Go back over the articles I’ve written on the Tinsa Index and you’ll often find sentences like: “The problem with Tinsa’s figures is that, like the government’s, they bear little relation to the real world.” I got tired of saying the same thing every month, so now I barely spend any time reporting or commenting on this index.

    But you are right. Reality is not being reflected in these figures, which means they need to be reported with more care.


  • Oidunno,

    Great post. I too agree with most of what you write. The sad fact however is that, in what you correctly describe as “one of the most corrupt, obfuscated, imperfect markets in Europe”, the Tinsa index is probably about the best of the lot.

    The official statistics, which showed prices still rising years after the market had started to fall, are laughable. The only other index I know of, run by the portal is based on asking prices which, it is well known, are usually some way from what the reality is.

    Where I too take issue with Mark is his headlines. I did indeed comment on the one he used last month. In this case a much more accurate one would be ‘Tinsa Index Records Continued Falls’. As we are now in a period where there are more than twelve months of continuous falls the year on year figures are pretty well meaningless. Much more relevant is the peak to present figure. This is not readily available in the index itself but is usually given in the accompanying press release. Tinsa records the peak as Dec 2007 and reports drops since then of 16.5% generally and 21.5% on the costas.

    For what it is worth my feeling is that Tinsa is running some 12-24 months behind the actual market. Yes the stats are flawed, no argument, but they can be useful as part of the picture.

  • In fairness to Mark, he has pointed out that TINSA numbers are a load of cack in numerous posts.

    Mark, perhaps a little more irony is needed though when dealing with TINSA numbers 🙂

  • If you take issue with this article, you should read the coverage in national papers like El Pais. They accept Tinsa and the government’s figures without question. If you just read the quality Spanish press you would think a property market recovery was well under way.

  • culturespain says:

    In fairness to Mark, few people have been as consistently dismissive, as him, of Tinsa and their absurd figures.

    The truth is that property prices have fallen since 2007 by around 30% – 50% depending upon the area and type of property concerned. This is not surprising given that there may be around 1 million new builds for sale and the same number of re-sales (no-one knows for sure!). Meanwhile, unemployment is over 20% on Spanish government figures and is probably much worse, if the truth was really known.

    The point with any story about ‘recovery’ is that one must ask: what are the fundamentals to the recovery? That is something the futures trader (oidunno) above will know all about – that sentiment has to be driven by fundamental values, particularly in a major economic downturn. Are those positive fundamentals present at the moment within the Spanish property market? As a whole, I would say: absolutely not! For particular, tightly defined segments, they are. The latter, of course, are a narrow stream of superbly discounted, genuinely fine properties that, I believe, have little to do with much of the rest of the marketplace.

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