The lack of reliable statistics for the Spanish property market unnerves investors and hinders a recovery, explains an article in today’s WSJ.
The lack of transparency in the Spanish property market is one of my favourite bugbears, and I’ve been banging on about this for years. The official figures give the impression that Spain is in denial, and send confusing price signals that scare away potential investors. The lack of transparency is a big obstacle to recovery.
To give you an example of how they muddy the waters, the official statistics like those published by Ministry of Housing have average Spanish property prices down just 13pc from the peak, whereas the reality is more like 20pc to 30pc.
I believe there would be many more foreign buyers around (especially for prime and A-grade homes) if the market was transparent and people knew how much prices have actually dropped. There are some good deals out there if you hunt around, but potential buyers are put off by headlines suggesting otherwise.
Greater transparency would also lift the lid on silly asking prices, which would be most welcome. Deluded vendors are a pest in Spain.
Here is a link to the article at the WSJ online: + A Home-Price Puzzle in Spain