Spanish home sales in November were the highest in 14 years, and just below the record reached in the boom year of 2007, according to the latest figures from the Spanish notaries’ association.
There were 12,640 homes sold in November, up 26% on the same month last year and just 4% lower than the record 13,117 homes in November 2007, at the peak of the Spanish property bubble before the financial crisis. The chart above showing sales every November going back to 2007 illustrates this point.
The next chart shows monthly home sales and the year-on-year change (right axis) going back to the start of 2019. Looking back, the big decline in sales caused by the coronavirus was relatively short-lived.
Year to date there were 602,786 Spanish homes for sale purchased in the first 11 months of the year, up 41% on the same period last year, when there were 428,656 transactions in the period. Of course last year included the start of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, making it an unusual comparison. A better comparison is the pre-pandemic year of 2019, when 516,785 homes were sold in the year to November, so this year is 17% higher in comparison to the last year before Covid-19 started roughing up humanity.
Just looking at November, sales were up 30% compared to 2019. So whichever way you look at it, the Spanish property market is now significantly bigger in volume terms than it was in the last year before the pandemic.
If you go back to 2009, and look at the 12-month rolling sales figure, and the annualised change in that figure each month, you get a good picture of the ups and downs of the property market cycle (next chart). You see the big crash that was already well underway by 2009, the recovery that started in 2013 and started to run out of steam in 2018, and then the plunge in sales with the onset of the pandemic in 2020, followed by a steep recovery in 2021.
Home sales by Spanish region – November 2021
Looking at market performance in Spanish regions of most interest to foreign investors, November home sales were higher than both 2020 and 2019 in all regions, with the biggest annualised increases (Nov 2021/20) in the Balearics (+58%) and the Canaries (+43%). Year-to-dates sales were up in almost every region compared to last year and the year before. Only the Canaries were lower than 2019, by 3%. The following charts give you the regional market picture.
I’ll take a more analytical approach to the numbers, and the factors that might be driving the strong growth in Spanish home sales when I have the full year figures, which will probably be in February.