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Resale asking prices stable in January

Resale asking prices were stable in January after 36 consecutive months of declines, according to the Fotocasa index, sparking off articles asking if now is the time to buy property in Spain.

Resale asking prices in the Fotocasa database (Fotocasa is one of Spain’s biggest property portals) averaged 1,890 €/m2 in January, almost the same as in December. That is the first time there has been no monthly decline in prices since February 2010.

According to Fotocasa, asking prices actually rose in regions like Murcia (+1pc), The Canaries (+0.7pc), Andalucia (+0.7pc) and the Valencian Community.

Murcia is a region where a resale housing stock of not particularly good quality sits on the market alongside a glut of new homes. Asking prices in the Fotocasa database may have risen in Murcia in January, but I find it hard to believe that real prices went anywhere but down.

The news was reported by Bloomberg and triggered articles online at AOL and Yahoo! asking if bargain hunters should now buy property in Spain, now that the market is “ showing the first signs of recovery after five years of pain. Yahoo! Finance say that “this is the sort of buyers’ market where bargain hunters thrive, snapping up premium properties at bargain-basement prices,” but conclude that “while property prices in Spain are well below their former highs, they could yet have further to fall. So this is a market only for the brave, foolhardy or risk-hungry!”

Bloomberg also pointed out that prices might not yet have fallen enough. “It’s still a very illiquid market, and there aren’t many deals going forward at these prices,” Hugo Navarro, a money manager at BPA Global Funds in Madrid, told Bloomberg. “The real price, where sales can happen and that would be reflected in official valuations, is still about 20 to 25 percent below these levels.”