A quick look at peak-to-present asking price falls in select regions of the Spanish coast and islands reveals the property crash has ravaged some places more than others.
Using asking prices from the idealista.com database for a sample of municipalities in different coastal regions going back to the last quarter of 2007 – around the time prices peaked in most areas – we get a good idea of how the prices have changed in different regions from boom to bust (chart above).
In Ibiza, asking prices are almost back to where they were at the peak of the boom, down just 4 per cent since the last quarter of 2007, when they reached €3,041 per square metre (sqm). Asking prices adjusted down by 15 per cent at the start of the crisis, then stabilised in 2011, and started rising in 2013, accelerating upwards in the last two quarters. Ibiza is a trendy destination for affluent buyers, with no glut of property, and an obvious shortages of building land. Ibiza property looks on course to be a hotspot for several years, and any half decent new developments launched there will be jumped upon by eager buyers.
At the other end of the scale is Oropesa del Mar, in Castellón province, home to the Costa Azahar (and the unsightly mega-development Marina D’Or), where asking prices are just 54 per cent of peak prices, and falling. Though perhaps not the most representative municipality of the coast due to the extra-depressing influence of Marina D’Or, it nevertheless gives you an idea of how hard the crisis has hit the Costa Azahar, with its glut of never-previously-sold homes, and over-reliance on Spanish demand (though charming in places, this coast is relatively unknown outside of Spain). Perhaps the new airport just opened on the Costa Azahar will bring in planeloads of foreign buyers looking for the bargains on the “real Spain” coast, but for now asking prices on the Costa Azahar are still falling.
The areas where asking prices appear to have bottomed out are Ibiza, Marbella, Barcelona, and the Canaries. Elsewhere prices are still falling, so in most places the recovery is still just a yearning.
This ‘quick and dirty’ comparison only looks at areas on the coast, where foreigners tend to buy. The situation is more dire in the interior of Spain, where the population is stagnant or declining, and there is no foreign demand to support the market whilst local demand is depressed.
This analysis also helps illustrate how misleading talk of a “Spanish property market” can be for buyers, who need to know as much or more about local markets and segments than national house market trends. Asking prices are down just 4 per cent in Ibiza and rising, whilst in Oropesa del Mar they are down 46 per cent and falling. The discount you can expect all depends on where you want to buy.