Insight into the Spanish property market, guides to help you make informed decisions, and a directory of real estate professionals and home service providers from a source you can trust.
This is a website for buyers, owners, and sellers of property in Spain, offering reliable information and resources to help you get things done with confidence. It is run by Mark Stücklin, author of the Spanish Property Doctor Column in The Sunday Times (2005-2008), and the book ‘Need to Know: Buying Property in Spain’ published by Collins.
When you buy or sell property in Spain the sums of money are large, perhaps one of the biggest financial decisions of your life. The high transaction costs you will face like taxes and commissions only make the decision more important to get right. And when you own property in Spain you face a host of extra challenges to manage, and costs to control. Unfortunately, the Spanish property market is opaque and full of pitfalls, and notoriously unprofessional. Buying and selling property in Spain is not a decision to be taken lightly, and you may find it much easier to buy than sell if you don’t take care. In this market it is crucial to do your own research, and don’t rely exclusively on people who are trying to sell you something – let’s just say they might not have your best interests at heart. Spanish Property Insight is the only independent source of information and analysis of the Spanish property market. Don’t even think about buying or selling property in Spain without subscribing to Spanish Property Insight.
A chart from the Optinver blog at the financial website Rankia.com shows how house price declines in Spain compare to the UK, the US, and Ireland – all countries that had a property boom in the lead up to the financial crisis.
House prices have fallen by 50pc in Ireland, 34.2pc in the US, 10.2pc in the UK (distored by London), and 24.3pc in Spain.
The first thought that comes to mind is that Spanish house prices have much further to fall, as the boom in Spain was just as bad as Ireland.
But to some extent, apples are being compared with oranges, as asking prices in Spain are being compared to sales prices in the UK, US, and Ireland.
The UK figures come from the Nationwide House Price Index, based on actual sales prices, and the US figures come from the Case Shiller Inex, also based on real sale prices, whilst the Spanish figures are based on a asking price index published by Idealista.com, a property portal. Asking prices and sales prices are not the same.
If we had a reliable house price index in Spain, based on actual sales prices, we would see a curve more like the Irish one. From what I can tell, Spanish house prices have declined by between 40pc and 50pc, whatever asking prices and official figures would have us believe.
New housing pipeline
Here is another interesting chart from the same source. It shows housing starts and construction completions over the last 20 years, with the 12-month average of planning approvals in blue (bold) and the 12-month average for construction completions in red (bold). It’s a tragic tale of boom and bust, and makes abundantly clear how bad the collapse in building has been. But at least planning approvals appear to have bottomed out. At some point, they will have to start rising again, but never again to the heights of the boom, at least not in my lifetime.
Everything you need to know about property in Spain
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