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Average Ownership Period Increases To Eleven Years After Crash

Ibiza, in the Balearics, where foreign buyers are now 33% of the market, show these figures
Ibiza, in the Balearics, where foreign buyers are now 33% of the market, reveal these figures

The average period of ownership of a Spanish property has increased by 55 per cent, from 7 years 4 months in 2007, to 11 years and 4 months in 2014, according to new data from the Property Registrars.

The Registrars looked at property ownership for personal use and investment, and found a “clear and continual increase in the average ownership period over the last few years”.

In 2007, homeowners who sold their property after over five years comprised 44 per cent; in 2014, they accounted for 76 per cent of the total. Homeowners are hanging on, or being forced to hang on, for much longer.

At the other end of the scale, sales of properties owned for less than five years went from 56 per cent in 2007, to 24 per cent in 2014. Back in 2007 there were many more speculative investors in the market, looking to buy and flip quickly for a profit.

These figures show that the rate at which residential properties are now turned over in Spain has declined dramatically since the boom years.


The figures also reveal that buyers are going for bigger homes. Small homes of 40m2 or less are just 4 per cent of sales, followed by 40m2 to 60m2 homes at 17 per cent of sales. The remaining 80 per cent are properties of between 60 and 80 square metres (29 per cent), and those with over 80 square metres, accounting for 50 per cent of purchases.

In Extremadura and Castilla La Mancha, two thirds of all properties bought had over 80 square metres. At the other end were Catalonia and the Canaries where two thirds were smaller than this size.


Foreign buyers were up to 13 per cent of all transactions in 2014, the sixth consecutive year of growth, up from a low of 4 per cent in 2009.

Foreign buyer market share is especially noticeable in the most important tourist areas: the Balearics (33 per cent), followed by the Canaries (27 per cent) and the Valencian Community (27 per cent).

Purchases costing more than €500,000, which entitle non-EU buyers to a Spanish residence permit, made up 5 per cent of sales in 2014, up from 4.7 per cent in 2013.

SPI Member Comments

2 thoughts on “Average Ownership Period Increases To Eleven Years After Crash

  • Ray Cattermole says:

    Maybe simply a result of owners taking longer to bail out and sell over the recession since 2007. What do other owners think? I have owned my property since 2007 and with renovation costs, it stands me in for far more than I could ever sell for now.

    • Troy Bannon says:

      Ray I agree. I only got silly offers which would have required me to get cash to pay the sales bills (legal, tax etc.) as the offers werer barely covering a mortgage. I was lucky to get good tenants on a long term rental. The trick now is timing it so you sell when the price has risen but before interest rates rise putting buyers off again!

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