How long does it take to sell a home in Spain, and how does the rate of sale compare to the UK?

Illa del Mar, Diagonal Mar Barcelona, in the Sant Marti Poblenou district, where the time on market is getting longer.

Illa del Mar, Diagonal Mar Barcelona, in the Sant Marti Poblenou district, where the time on market is getting longer.

How long does it take to sell a home in Spain, also known as the average time on market or rate of sale? It depends on the location, but in Barcelona, one of Spain’s most liquid markets, it took 66 days in the first quarter of this year, which was 10% longer than it took in the second quarter of last year (60 days), according to a study by Housfy, an online home sales operation.

Is the Housfy study statistically reliable? I don’t know, lots of these sorts of reports in Spain look a bit dodgy when you drill down into the data. Let’s take it at face value but keep in mind that it might not be an accurate picture of time it takes to sell a home in Barcelona.

The report goes on to reveal that the district with the shortest rate of sale is Sants-Montjuïc, where it takes just 48 days on average to find a buyer. Average house prices in the district rose 1.9% in March, the district with the highest increase, which might explain why demand is rising and the time to sell falling in that district, argue Housfy (if you follow!).

“With demand down in districts like Sant Martí and the Eixample, which were very sought after in 2017 and 2018, Sants-Montjuïc has become the focus of attention for buyers and investors, thanks to its close proximity to the city centre and attractive prices,” says Albert Bosch, CEO and founder of Housfy.

Uptown district Sarrià-Sant Gervasi has the longest time to sell with an average of 87 days, partly due to high property prices in the area, argues Bosch.

The time to sell increased the most in Graciaa, up 16% from 69 days in H2 2018 to 80 days in H1 2019, due to a lack of attractive homes for sale in the district, say Housfy ,and it was a similar story in Sant Martí Poblenou, where the average rate of sale went from 68 to 76 days. If the rate of sale is going up in the Poblenou because of a lack of attractive homes for sale, then two refurbished flats just of the Rambla de Poblenou and a short stroll to the beach I featured as cool casas back in February should have sold by now. I believe they are still on the market, but with the asking price significantly down.

If it takes 66 days on average in Barcelona, where there is lots of demand and a shortage of homes for sale, I assume it takes longer in most other parts of Spain. I’ve seen plenty of examples of properties all over Spain languishing on the market for years in search of a buyer.

I don’t know what the average time on market is in Madrid, but it might now be shorter than Barcelona, where the separatists in control of the regional government have reduced international demand with their drive for independence from Spain. Under normal circumstances I would expect the time on market in Barcelona to be the shortest in Spain.

By comparison, how long does it take to sell a home in the UK? 51 days in Briston, 89 days in London, 108 days in Liverpool, and an average of 91 days for UK cities, according to a ‘City Rate of Sale’ report from Cebr and Post Office. In comparison, then, homes in Barcelona sell in no time at all.

Like I said, best treat the Housfy findings with a degree of scepticism.

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).

2 thoughts on “How long does it take to sell a home in Spain, and how does the rate of sale compare to the UK?”

  1. MarkDavid

    Well, I think we can conclude that the speed of sale depends on:

    1. Where the property is.
    2. The kind of property and its condition.
    3. Who is trying to market / sell it and how.
    4. Is the price competitive for the area or not.

    In other words, how long is a piece of string?

    1. Mark Stücklin Post Author

      Yes, that’s true of an individual property, but there are bound to be average rates of sale per area that are worth knowing about. But like I write above, we have to be sceptical about this case.

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