Spanish housing market shrinks by 10pc in 2012


The spanish property market shrank 10pc by volume last year to the lowest level since the housing bust began.

There were 280,816 home sales last year (excluding social housing), according to the latest full-year figures from the the National Institute of Statistics (INE).

As you can see from the chart above, the Spanish property market has reached a floor at around 20,000 sales/month. But the same chart also illustrates how far the market has fallen since the beginning of 2007, when there were close to 80,000 sales / month.

Full year, the market shrank 10pc compared to 2011, and 61pc compared to 2007. Yearly declines have been getting smaller, further evidence that the market is near its floor.


Worth a lot less too

How much did the housing market shrink in monetary terms? Assuming that house prices fell around 10pc last year – the figure that most studies suggest – then the housing market slumped around another 20pc in 2012.

I estimate that the Spanish property market is down by 75pc or more since the peak. You don’t have to be a financial genius to imagine how much damage that must have done to household wealth.

The following table summarises all the key transaction figures for the last 5 years: