The Spanish property market had its best August for five years, according to the latest sales data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE).
There were 26,570 home sales inscribed in the Spanish property register in August (not counting subsidised social housing), up 25% on the same month last year, and the highest level of sales in August since 2010.
NEW HOMES VS. RESALES
Yet another month the growth in sales was driven by the resale market, up 52% on last year, which compensated for a 27% decline in new homes sales, which were the lowest on record. Resales were back to where they were in mid-2008, as the Spanish property market cooled down heading for crisis.
By region (see next chart), August was a particularly good month for Murcia, with home sales up 55% on last year, followed by Castellón, home to the Costa del Azahar, up 44%. On the other hand, sales in Catalonia’s Tarragona province, home to the Costa Dorada, were down by 5% – the only Mediterranean coastal area popular with tourists to post a decline in sales. This might have something to do with the collapse in Russian demand, as the Catalan coasts, including Girona province (Costa Brava) where sales were only just positive (+4%), have always been firm favourites amongst Russian buyers.
On a year-to-date basis (first 8 months of year compared to same period last year, see chart below), Cadiz province, home to the Costa de la Luz, and including hotspots like Tarifa, is enjoying the strongest recovery in sales, up 19%, along with Barcelona (+19%), followed by Las Palmas in the Canary Islands (+17%) Valencia City (+15%), Madrid (+14%), and Malaga province, home to the Costa del Sol (+14%).
At the other end of the scale, Andalusia’s Huelva province, home to the northern part of the Costa del la Luz, sometimes called the “Spanish Algarve”, was down 2% in sales terms, the only southern coastal region to post a decline. Sales have also been comparatively disappointing in Girona province, home to the Costa Brava, where sales this year are only up 2%, once again, perhaps because of the decline in Russian demand.
The next chart makes clear how the recovery in all regions is being driven by a resurgence in resales, compensating for a slump in new home sales.
The next chart showing all provinces and regions in Spain illustrates the recovery in sales is not limited to coastal areas that benefit from foreign demand. The first seven provinces growing the fastest do not have a southern coastline and attract few foreign buyers. They are also small or mid-sized markets, which can amplify a relatively small number of sales into a big percentage increase. Nevertheless, the picture is clearly one of a significant recovery in home sales in most Spanish provinces, albeit building from a low base.
Finally, a summary table of monthly sales (excluding subsidised housing) for the last nine years.