Property market grows fastest in the emptying Spanish interior, according to new report from the notaries

Left map = annualised change in Spanish home sales by region, right = change in Spanish house prices

Left map = annualised change in Spanish home sales by region, right = change in Spanish house prices

A few weeks ago the Association of Spanish Notaries published a report on home sales and house prices in the fourth quarter of 2018 (see map above), showing that regions of the interior of Spain were some of the most dynamic that period, having lagged the coast and big cities for years.

Though sales increased in all regions bar the islands and La Rioja, sales rose the most in Extremadura (+19.1%), and prices the most in Castilla-La Mancha (+16.8%) and Castile & Leon (+11.5%), all regions to be found deep in Spain’s vast and increasingly deserted interior.

At the other end of the scale sales fell the most in the Canaries (-9.8%), Cantabria (-7.8%), and the Balearics (-7.2%) – all on the coast – whilst prices fell the most in Aragon (-7.2%), but also fell in the Balearics (-1.3%).

For years since the Spanish property market recovery began, growth has largely taken place on the coast and in big cities like Barcelona and Madrid, whist growth was low or negative in most of the interior of Spain. Here is what the picture look like back in 2015, before the recovery had reached the interior.

spanish property home sales and house prices % change in 2015

Annualised % change 2015. Sales on left, prices on right. Source: Notaries

It looks like recovery has finally arrived in the Spanish interior, but this doesn’t necessarily mean the rural property market is growing. The markets in the interior are small compared to the coast and cities, where most people live, and are dominated by provincial capitals, rather than towns and villages. In fact, the Spanish interior is suffering a powerful depopulation trend as the young head for cities in search of work, and the old slowly shuffle off. There is a looming crisis in the Spanish interior as thousands of small towns and villages in beautiful countryside are being deserted.

About Mark Stücklin

Mark Stücklin is a Barcelona-based Spanish property market analyst, and author of the 'Spanish Property Doctor' column in the Sunday Times (2005 - 2008).

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