News summary: Week 19, 2023

A summary of the main Spanish property news stories in the week gone by.

  • There are 306,136 tourist flats in Spain, according to the National Institute of Statistics, which represents just 1.2% of the housing stock, and 54% are located in just three regions: Andalusia, the Valencian region, and Catalonia.
  • The IMF has warned that house prices are overvalued by 15% to 20% in the majority of European countries and could fall by 7% in developed countries over the next three years, and 19% in emerging economies.
  • The stock of homes for sale has declined by 12% in the last four years whilst resale asking prices have increased by 15% over the same period, according to research by Spanish property portal Idealista.
  • The Spanish government is looking at reining in so-called ‘Golden Visa’ investments in by raising the investment threshold, or even eliminating the scheme entirely, reports the Spanish press. Read more here.
  • The regional government of Galicia has warned that the new housing bill going through parliament in Madrid could make squatters out of  80% of tenants in the region.
  • The regional government of Catalonia has passed a decree to expropriate empty homes of owners with more than five properties and turn them over to social housing.
  • Spain is home to 21% of all the bad debt in  Europe  – non-performing loans with a combined value of 79 billion euro – second only to France, which has a much bigger economy, according to a new study by valuations company Prime Yield, reported in the Spanish press.
  • Local property rates (IBI) have seen a relative decrease in Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Sagunto and Madrid, and an increase in Villareal, Mataró, Mollet del Vallès, Reus, and Leganés between 2019 and 2022, according to a study by the Institute of Economic Studies. Reus and Girona place the biggest burden on property tax payers.
  • The Spanish government has announced a type of ‘help to buy’ scheme for young first-time buyers that guarantees 20% of a mortgage. “We are going to put housing at the centre of our priorities,” said Spanish President Pedro Sánchez, but the move was criticised by the leader of the hard-left Podemos party and government minister Ione Belarra, who said it would “encourage a mortgage spiral” and “lead families into debt.”