The Spanish property market recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic slump continued unabated in July, according to the latest figures from both the Association of Spanish Notaries, and the Land Registrars of Spain.
There were 64,039 Spanish home sales in July, up 23% on the same time last year, according to the notaries. Compared to 2019, a better comparison year before the pandemic, sales were up 12%.
The chart above illustrates the evolution of the Spanish property market from the start of 2019. The blue columns show monthly sales using the left axis, and the dark blue line shows the annualised percentage change in sales per month, against the right axis. You can clearly see the decline in sales driven by the pandemic and lockdown-policy response, followed by a strong recovery. Sales this year are notably higher than the same period in 2019, before the pandemic.
You see a similar picture in the data from the INE, which lags the notaries data by a month or two (next chart). When the notaries report a big increase in April, you see it show up in the INE’s figures in May.
Some of the sales we are seeing this year will be due to pent-up demand from last year, but the strength of the recovery suggests there is more to it than that. One gets the feeling that the pandemic has stimulated real estate investment.
The INE also breaks down sales between new and resales. As you can see from the next charts, new home sales both fell and recovered more than new home sales. New home sales are also increasing with availability.
Spanish home sales by region July 2021
Looking at home sales by region, the notaries only break down sales by autonomous region, whilst the INE break them down by province. The charts below cover a selection of regions of interest to foreign investors.
Catalonia saw the biggest increase in sales in July (+40%), according to the more timely data from the notaries, with the smallest increase in Murcia (+8%). All regions of interest increased sales in the month.
But compared to 2019, a more interesting benchmark before the pandemic, sales were up the most in Andalusia (+39%), and fell slightly in the Canaries (-1%), according to the notaries. Year-to-date (first seven months) compared to 2019, sales are up the most in Murcia (+20%) but fell in both the Balearics (-6%) and the Canaries (-8%).
The regional data from the INE allows us to look at sales by province, but bear in mind the figures lag sales by a month or two (see data explanation below). Compared to 2020, sales were up strongly everywhere (as expected), particularly in Almeria and the Costa del Azahar (Castellon).
But compared to 2019, sales were up in about half the regions, led by Almeria, and down heavily in the Canaries and the Balearics. Sales were also down by 9% in the Costa Blanca (Alicante), traditionally a British stronghold, perhaps because of Brexit.
The overall picture is of a sustained recovery in sales after the pandemic in most areas of interest to forieign buyers, at least for now.
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.