Spanish property sales fell just 1pc in 2013, suggesting the market bottomed out last year.
There were 276,641 home sales last year (311,414 including social housing), just 1pc down on 2012 – an almost negligible decline compared to recent years – according to the latest data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE).
But according to the latest data from the notaries, to be reported in a separate article, sales fell 19.7pc last year, and prices 8.6pc. These figures and the reason for the difference will be dealt with in a separate article.
Returning to the INE’s figures, sales declines in the years leading up to 2013 have been much bigger. The market shrank 11.3pc in 2012, 17.7pc in 2011, 6.8pc in 2010 (when fiscal changes distorted the picture), 24.9pc in 2009, and 28.6pc in 2008. Last year’s 1pc decline was tiny in comparison.
Compared to 2007, a year when sales first started falling but were still close to record highs, with 715,244 home sales inscribed in the property register, the market has imploded by 61pc in volume terms, partly due to weak demand and partly due to a lack of mortgage financing.
Bank repos amounted to around 90,000 sales last year, or 30pc of the market, according to Spanish press reports, many of them new build sales. New build sales have been higher than resales in recent years, but are now shrinking fast.
Resales increased by 2.2pc, whilst new build sales fell by 6.8pc, despite favourable financing from banks for new builds.
The market broke down into 89pc private sales and 11pc social housing. Private sales fell 1pc over 12 months, whilst social housing was down 10pc.
By regions, sales rose in the Canaries (13.5pc), Murcia (6.4pc), Catalonia(4.8pc), Aragon (0.9pc), La Rioja (0.8pc), and the Balearics (0.5pc). Sales fell in Asturias (-24.2pc), the Basque Country (-18.3pc, and Cantabria (-16.8pc). Sales in Madrid fell a fraction (-0.2pc).
In absolute figures, the biggest market was Andalucia, with 62,716 sales, followed by the Valencian Community (45,413) and Catalonia (45,064).