In a bit of good news the latest figures from Spain’s property registry reveals that the number of Europeans buying holiday homes in Spain jumped 12.3pc in 2011 compared to the year before, and to 6pc of the overall market (chart above). British buyers are declining but still dominant.
I have finally had a chance to analyse the 2011 annual report on the housing market from the property registers (registradores.org), which I briefly mentioned a while ago just to report that the overall Spanish housing market shrank last year by 17pc, from 445,885 in 2010, to 370,204 home sales last year.
The analysis shows that, although the domestic demand slumped 18pc in the face of declining output and rising unemployment, European demand for holiday homes in Spain surged 12.3p led by big jumps in the number of French, Russian, and Scandinavian buyers.
It appears that Europeans with stronger economies than Spain are taking advantage of lower Spanish property prices, with the exception of the British and the Dutch. The Irish have their own problems. The following table shows sales by nationality in 2010 and 2011.
British buyers demand but not out
The number of British buyers have been declining for several years but they are still the biggest group of buyers by far. As a percentage of European demand they are still more than a quarter of the market, albeit down from something like 70pc of the market in the boom years.
Unfortunately, foreign demand is not yet strong enough to sort out the glut of homes on the Spanish coast. There could be as many as 400,000 new homes on the coast built with holiday-home buyers in mind. At this rate it will take 20 years to sell them all to foreigners.
You can downlaod the whole 2011 report on the housing and mortgage market from the Registrars here (pdf in Spanish)