Spanish property prices fell just 3.7% over 12 months to the end of June, say the latest figures from the Ministry of Housing. The Ministry’s figures are so detached from reality they can usually be ignored, but this time I decided to delve, a bit deeper and found out that we can learn something from them, even if they are not the gospel truth.
Average national prices fell just 3.7% over 12 months, and just 0.9% between Q1 and Q2, say the figures, leaving the average price of Spanish property today at 1,849 €/m2.
As usual, there were considerable regional variations, as illustrated in the following table of selected regions (popular holiday-home regions highlighted in blue). Prices fell the most in holiday home regions like the Canaries (-7.2%) and Malaga / Costa del Sol (-5.8%).
I always slag off the Ministry of Housing figure’s for failing to capture the true extent of the bust. But if you compare latest prices with peak prices for selected regions, you can see that even these dodgy figures show falls of 18% in Malaga, 17% in Alicante (Costa Blanca) and Las Palmas, and 16% in Murcia. These are not insignificant falls, though in reality they are probably up to twice as big.
And if you turn the figures into an index with Q1 2000 as 100, you see that 1) prices are back to where they were around the start of 2006, four and a half years ago and 2) in real terms (after adjusting for inflation), prices are only 70% higher than there were a decade ago, and falling.
That said, you can also see that the big surge in prices took place in the 4 years leading up to 2006, so there are still plenty of capital gains on the table to give up, if the Ministry’s figures are to be believed.