Spanish Minister at OPPLive as home sales plummet
04 October 2011 13:07

Home sales dropped 3% year-on-year in Spain during Q2 2011 to lowest quarterly figure on record according to the latest information from the Spanish Land Registry.

In total, just over 85,000 homes were sold in Q2, down 32% compared to Q1 this year.

On a 12-month basis, just over 400,000 Spanish residential units were sold to the end of Q2, fewer than half of the one million property sales recorded at the peak of the market during the 12 months to the end of Q1 2006.

According to the Land Registry report, “the trend shows continuity towards a deterioration in real estate activity in the last quarter, as we warned in previous quarters.”

The news comes as Spain’s housing minister Beatriz Corredor is set to give a high-profile speech at next week’s Property Investor Show & OPP Live in a bid to persuade investors to return to Spain, which currently has a stock of around 700,000 unsold homes.

She recently urged potential investors to “come [to Spain] calmly and trust in the system we have and the transparency we provide”.

The ministry’s involvement is part of an agreement with the Spanish Institute of Foreign Trade to launch Spain Invest at the show, an initiative to showcase Spain’s market and overseas property businesses to a wider audience.

Spanish authorities, however, hope that a recent boom in tourism levels may eventually translate into greater demand for holiday homes in Spain, which have fallen in value by up to 70% across some parts of the country in the past four years.

The number of international tourists in Spain rose to a record high of 7.6m in August, up 9.4% year-on-year, according to a survey by FRONUR, which monitors tourist activity.

In the most recent 12-month period more than 40m tourists have gone to Spain, up 7.8% compared to the previous 12 months, making the country the fourth most-visited country in the world.

The survey found that 23% of all Spain’s visitors during the first 7 months of 2011 were British with Germany contributing 18% of all tourists. France, the Scandinavian countries and the USA were all major contributors.