In a ranking of global house price markets by international property consultants Knight Frank, Spain comes in at number 41 out of 48, with prices down 3.7pc in a year.
Bottom of the list was Ireland, where house prices fell 14.8pc in a year, whilst at the other end of the scale Latvia came in first delivering the best returns with prices up 26pc over 12 months. Bear in mind, however, that Latvia’s stellar investment returns followed a 70pc house price plunge since the peak in 2007.
As far as Spain was concerned, the key findings of the report was the growing gap between the less debt-afflicted European economies of Austria, France and Finland (ranked 8, 9 and 12 in the league table) and their neighbours to the south and west of the continent, with Greece, Spain and Ireland ranking 38, 41 and 48 (out of 48) respectively.
Taking a global perspective, the news was largely good. “There is a positive story to take from the latest results of the Knight Frank Global House Price Index,” explains Liam Bailey, head of residential research at Knight Frank. “For the first time since late 2008 prices are rising in each of our six world regions (Asia-Pacific 9.9%, Middle East 5.1%, North America 4.2%, South America 3.5%, Africa 3.0% and Europe 0.8%).”
On the other hand, there may be signs of clouds gathering.
“There is growing evidence that the global housing market recovery, which began in early 2009 following the desperate conditions in 2007 and 2008, may just be beginning to run out of steam. Nearly 30% of countries which had experienced strengthening conditions in 2010 saw quarterly price growth turn negative in Q3 2010. Led by European markets the list includes: Greece, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia and the UK. Outside of Europe the list also extends to cover: China, Canada, Columbia, Dubai, New Zealand, South Africa and Taiwan.”