Home » Number of second-homes in Spain in long-term decline

Number of second-homes in Spain in long-term decline

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Housing on the Costa Brava, where second-homes have declined by 11%

A look at Spanish government figures estimating the number of homes in Spain broken down by residence type reveals that the number of second-homes has declined significantly in the last 20 years, especially on the costas and islands.

The Spanish government department responsible for housing policy (known by its acronym MITMA) annually estimates the Spanish housing stock broken down by region and type of residence, with ‘principal residence’ being one category, and ‘not principal’ being the other that mainly comprises of ‘second-homes’.

The latest figures for 2021 show that the housing stock has gone up by 24% since 2001, and the number of primary residences by 38%, whilst the number of second or other homes has declined by 6%.

In absolute terms, there were a total of 25,976,305 homes in Spain in 2021, of which 19,536,469 were classified as primary residences, and 6,439,836 as ‘other’ residential properties, in the main second homes. ‘Other’ homes were therefore 25% of the Spanish housing stock in 2021, down from 33% in 2001 when the total was 21,033,759 of which 6,849,733 were classified as ‘other’.

Over 20 years the overall housing stock increased by 4,942,546 whilst the number classified as other shrank by 409,897.

The surprising thing is the second-home stock has declined significantly on some of the popular tourist areas like Malaga, home to the Costa del Sol (down 21%) and Las Palmas in the Canaries (down 51.5%). In the selection of popular tourist areas included in the graph below the stock of second-homes only rose in Almeria, Murcia, and Alicante, home to the Costa Blanca.

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In the Balearics, where the regional government almost demonises the holiday-home industry and blames second-home buyers for a primary housing shortage and high costs, the second-home stock has fallen by almost 30% in the last 20 years, all according to Spanish government figures.

2 thoughts on “Number of second-homes in Spain in long-term decline

  • How is survey conducted? With town halls? In which case overseas owners second homes would be included. If a survey could under represent foreign owners’ second homes and also hide danger of areas becoming less desirable to nationals because so many overseas owners changing the community. Eg Costa del Sol.

  • Christopher C. says:

    At first look and without knowing the exact criteria of the survey, and without having a direct link to it, the survey is suspect. If an investor buys a property and leases it out on a long term or short term basis, or uses it part time and rents it out the rest of the year like many thousands of owners do, whether Spanish or foreigners, how does this count and how do the authors of the study get their information? Do golden visa owners who use their property part of the year count as permanent or holiday home
    owners? Etc, etc. To state that the number of holiday homes in Malaga province has decreased in the last 20 years is extremely doubtful (and from the perspective of a professional in the field, totally erróneos). When you publish the results of a survey of this nature wouldn’t it be beneficial to analyze it also? To publish it without analyzing it as a top specialist you are, Mark, you are giving credence to what is probably a survey with false criteria and therefore, most likely, fake news.

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