Spanish home sales in February were the highest they have been since 2008, according to the latest data from the Spanish notaries’ association.
The Spanish property market delivered another month of strong growth with 55,524 homes sold in February, up 19% compared to the same month last year. Sales were also up 25% compared to 2020, just before Covid-19 struck Europe, and 22% compared to 2019, demonstrating that the market has more than recovered the ground it lost to the pandemic.
The chart above shows homes sales every month since the start of 2019 in the blue columns (left axis), whilst the black line area (right axis) shows the year-on-year percentage change each month. You can see the big dip in April 2020 with lockdown, mirrored by a huge increase (+243%) in April 2021 that kicked off the remarkable recovery still in progress today. Year-on-year, the market has increased by double digits for 12 consecutive months.
And as you can see from the next chart, 2022 is head-and-shoulders above all other years since 2010 for sales in February.
My favourite chart is the next one showing the 12-month rolling sales total with the annualised change shown by the black line area (right axis). From left to right you can see the crash after the real estate bubble burst, the false dawn in 2010, the real recovery starting in 2013 (with a brief reverse in 2014) that starting losing steam in 2018 before crashing with the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Since the start of 2021 you can see a steep and sustained recovery.
Spanish homes sales by selected region February 2022
Looking at the regional markets of interest to foreign buyers, sales growth in February was strong across the board – the only region where growth was in single digits was the Spanish capital Madrid (+7%). The next chart shows sales per region (blue columns), and the year-on-year change in black (right axis). Sales growth was most pronounced in the smaller markets of the Canaries (+43%) and the Balearics (+44%), but still robust in the Valencian region (+31%), Catalonia (+21%) and Andalusia (+15%).
The continued boom story is also clear if you look at the year-to-date figures, which in February means the first two months. As illustrated in the next chart, the sales increase compared to the same period last year went from +49% in the Canaries to +17% in Madrid at the lower end of the scale. That helps to show that February was not an exception.
And finally, if you look at sales in the first two months compared to the same period over the last four years, once again you see this year is shaping up very nicely, even compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019. The post-pandemic housing-boom appears to be rolling on in all regions of interest to foreign buyers.
The market is particularly strong in upmarket segments like Marbella, where the Engel & Völkers office on the Golden Mile reports a huge increase at the very high-end of the market. “We have seen demand at the top end increase by 50%,” says Smadar Kahana, the Managing Director of E&V Marbella. “In the last few months we’ve worked on the sale of six properties with a value of over €10 million, the most active buyers in this upmarket segment being German and Dutch. We’ve also seen an increase in enquiries in all price brackets, compressed sales times, and buyers taking immediate decisions.”
The problem is a shortage of attractive properties on the market, including new developments, says Smadar, which estate agents in other areas that attract affluent, international buyers also report. For example “the second phase of Benalús – a new development of apartments close to the beach on the Golden Mile – was sold almost completely before its market launch,” says Smadar, to illustrate the high demand. “We are expecting 2022 to be a strong year in terms of sales.”
What remains to be seen is how the war in Ukraine, and the related spike in energy prices, will affect the market for property for sale in Spain, if at all.