After months of almost uninterrupted growth, the number of home sales inscribed in the Spanish property register in July was almost unchanged from a year before.
There were 29,579 home sales recorded in the Spanish property register in July this year (not counting subsidised housing), almost exactly the same number as the same month last year.
Home sales have been growing strongly this year, by double digits almost every month, and rising in all but 2 of the last 28 months. So what happened in July? Has the recovery ground to a halt?
Probably not, though it is possible that the political situation in Spain is starting to undermine consumer confidence and take some of the shine off the recovery. But the main reason for the lack of annualised growth in recorded sales in July was a recent Supreme Court ruling on abusive clauses in mortgage contracts, which meant that property registrars suspended the inscription of sales tied to mortgages affected by the ruling. These sales will be inscribed in the register in the coming months, once the clauses are sorted out.
So it’s reasonable to assume the market is still growing, though they political deadlock in Madrid might not be helping. The growth in recorded sales has dropped to zero or below in the month after the last two inconclusive general elections. If the Spanish property market is recovering, it’s no thanks to the country’s politicians.
Another reason why recorded sales might start slowing down is because more people are buying off-plan or under construction than before, as the supply of new developments on the market grows fast. These sales do not get recorded until the homes are built and delivered, which could take as long as two years.
Recorded new home sales (built and delivered) were down 6% and resales were up 3%.
Year-to-date by selected region (focusing on areas where foreigners tend to buy property), the Balearics continues to lead the recovery by a wide margin with sales up 34% in the year to July, followed by Asturias in the north up 23%, Barcelona up 22%, and Murcia up +22%. Sales growth in Malaga, home to the Costa del Sol, has been comparatively lacklustre this year, up just 7%.
On a monthly basis, residential property sales were up 20% in Barcelona compared to the same time last year, 14% in the Balearics, 10% in Murcia, 5% in Girona (home to the Costa Brava), and 3% in Alicante province (Costa Blanca). There were down 7% in Malaga (Costa del Sol), 9% in the Canaries, 18% in Castellón (Costa del Azahar), and 48% in Cadiz (Costa de la Luz).
SUMMARY TABLE MONTHLY SPANISH PROPERTY SALES – ALL YEARS