The Spanish property market was already struggling with home-made headwinds before Covid-19 arrived from the Far East and closed it down. The latest sales figures published by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) and the Notaries are worth looking at just to remember where the market was heading, but are now completely out of date thanks to the dramatic changes visited upon Spain and its economy by the coronavirus pandemic that hit home in mid-March. These numbers tell us nothing about where the market is now heading. There is no point in analysing them, they are just for the record.
Spanish home sales according to the notaries – February 2020
February was BC (Before Coronavirus), and sales were down 6% year on year to 42,920 (chart above) and the 12-month rolling average makes the BC trend even clearer (next chart).
And according to the notaries, Spanish house prices rose by 0.5% in February to a national average of 1,393€/m2, with apartments up 2.4% to 1,594€/m2
Spanish home sales according to the INE – February 2020.
Figures from the INE, based on sales registered by the Association of Spanish Land Registrars, show inscriptions in the Land Registry up a modest 1% to at 44,104, including subsidised housing, known as VPO. Excluding VPO the free market was up 3% to 40,360.
But the 12-month rolling average shows a clear downward trend in sales BC.
There were 8,784 new home sales, unchanged compared to last year, and 35,320 resales, up 1%.
Looking at regions popular with foreign buyers, the Canary islands had a good month, up 68%, and Malaga province, home to the Costa del Sol, was just in positive territory. But more regions were in the red, with both Alicante / Costa Blanca and Barcelona down 11%.
In the case of Barcelona, it’s 11% decline BC was partly due to a 20% collapse in new home sales brought about by anti-development policies introduced by Mayoress Ada Colau, who has made housing access and affordability her signature issue.
Looking at the bigger picture, it will be interesting to see how the graph below changes in the light of the coronavirus crisis, when those figures are finally available in a few months time. I expect to see a fall in sales to depths unplumbed even in the worst years of Spain’s real estate crash, at least for a few months reflecting the lockdown.
Spanish home sales figures come from two official sources: 1) The Association of Spanish Notaries based on sales witnessed by them in the month, and 2) The Institute of National Statistics (INE) based on sales inscribed in the Land Register by the Association of Spanish Land Registrars.