The number of Spanish home sales inscribed in the Land Registry was up by 24% in January, the biggest start-of-year increase since the recovery began, thought the market in Catalonia still shows signs of weakness.
There were 42,745 Spanish home sales inscribed in the Land Register in January, and 47,289 if you include homes subsidised by the Government, known as VPO. Sales in the free market were the highest they have been since May 2008.
Compared to the same month last year, Spanish home sales were up by 24% (excluding VPO), all according to the latest figures from the National Institute of Statistics (INE). At a national level the Spanish property market is now growing strongly and consistently, in a sign of growing confidence in the market.
Bear in mind these figures are based on sales inscribed in the Land Register, not sales completed in the month, so they lag the market by a few months. They reflect sales that were completed in the last quarter of 2017 but inscribed in January 2018. Figures from the Association of Spanish Notaries for home sales that took place in January were up 11.2% (and average national house prices down 0.4%).
New and resale Spanish property transactions
New home and resale transactions were up 21% and 23% respectively, showing that the recover is now firing on both pistons, having relied almost exclusively on resales between the start of the recovery in 2013 and May last year. New home sales have now grown for eleven out of the last twelve months, due to the recovery in demand for new homes in Spain.
Spanish Home Sales by Region – January 2018
Looking at the evolution of sales by selected region, January 2018 was a great month for most areas of interest to foreign buyers and investors, and in particular for the Valencian Region’s Castellon province, home to the Costa del Azahar, which languished in the doldrums for years after the first sign of recovery in other coastal areas like Marbella and Ibiza. Recorded sales in Castellón were up 46% in January. Alicante (Costa Blanca) and Malaga (Costa del Sol), where British buyers are the biggest group, also enjoyed strong growth, suggesting the Brexit effect has been shrugged off. In Catalonia, however, the effects of the constitutional crisis are still clear to see in these figures, with low growth in Girona and Barcelona compared to past performance and other regions. Estate agents tell me that demand has come back strongly in March, but that will not show up in the figures until the second quarter of the year.