Coronavirus catches the Spanish holiday-home market at a delicate time

It’s now clear that Coronavirus histeria is going to disrupt life and the economy for at least a few months over the peak sales period of the Spanish second-home market, creating another headwind for a market already struggling to move forward.

All you hear about these days is the damned Coronavirus COVID-19, and although life seems to be going on as normal, things must be worse than they look if countries like Italy are forecast to lose more than ten million tourist in the next three months, the world’s biggest mobile tech fair the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is cancelled this year, and Europe’s largest regional airline Flybe collapses after a slump in bookings linked to the coronavirus.

When it comes to the Spanish property market, the figures I’ve seen suggest that the first six months of the year are always the best for holiday-homes sales, with more than 50% of sales taking place in the first half, in particular the second quarter period April to June. But now it looks like the Coronavirus is going to cause significant disruption to European travel over the next three to six months, it’s not hard to imagine this could have a meaningful negative impact on Spanish holiday-home sales as potential buyers miss the window and cancel their purchase plans this year.

If so, a Coronavirus headwind would catch the Spanish property market at a delicate time with both local and foreign demand for homes in Spain on the slide in 2019. Consumer confidence is always key to the health of the property market, and falling sales do not exactly boost confidence. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Coronavirus ends up reducing Spanish holiday-home sales in 2020.

For anyone interested in the difference between COVID-19 and various other colds and flus:

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