The Spanish property market expanded last year for the first time since 2010, in a sign that the slump in home sales might have finally come to an end, according to the latest figures from the National Institute of Statistics (INE).
There were 286,408 home sales last year (excluding social housing), up 4% compared to 2013, but down 60% compared to the peak year of 2007.
It looks like the Spanish property market has finally stopped contracting in volume terms, after shrinking for six consecutive years – excluding 2010, when the market was artificially inflated by Government tinkering with the tax code, and banks moving property portfolios from one balance sheet to another.
With the exception of some local segments in prime areas of the big cities and popular coasts, the Spanish property market is still deep in crisis, but at least these figures suggest that the market has bottomed out in terms of sales.
The following chart clearly illustrates how 2014 was a better year than 2013, with sales increasing in nine months out of twelve, compared to a decrease in nine months out of twelve in 2013.
The gulf between new build and resale transactions widened throughout the year, as the pipeline of new homes that can realistically be sold ran dry. The collapse of the Spanish home-building industry is partly responsible for the plunge in new home sales.
Taking the year as a whole, sales were up the most in Malaga and the Balearics, largely thanks to foreign demand boosting the market in those areas.
And finally, a table summarising monthly sales (excluding social housing) for the last seven years.