Measured by transactions, the Spanish
property market shrank 34% in the first 3 months of this year,
according to the Ministry of Housing. There were just 104,703
residential property sales between January and March this year,
compared to 159,088 in the same period last year. A pitiful
number of just 484 holiday homes were sold to non-residents.
Sales have been declining fairly steadily since the beginning
of 2007, and the latest figures show there is no sign yet of
the market bottoming out.
The Ministry of Housing broke the news by
comparing last quarter’s sales to the previous quarter, which
makes the news sound less grim. Compared to the last quarter of
2008, the latest sales are a drop of ‘only’ 16.5%.
The Ministry of Housing also points out
that, over the 12 months to the end of March, there were
510,079 transactions, a drop of 33.3% compared to the previous
As is clear from the table below, home
sales in the latest quarter were the lowest since the Ministry
of Housing started compiling this data. Compared to the 1st
quarter of 2006, when 233,669 residential properties changed
hands, sales in the latest quarter were down a thumping
Spain’s out of control building boom in the middle of the
decade explains why new build sales started to outnumber
resales. Now the boom is well and truly over we can expect
sales of new builds to fall below resales, restoring the
natural order. Quarter to quarter, new build sales fell 21.3%
in the first quarter, compared to 9.4% for resales. This trend
will continue, and by the end of the year new build sales will
be significantly below resales.
38% of all sales took place in just 6 provinces: Madrid,
Barcelona, Alicante, Valencia, Málaga and Murcia.
Over 12 months to the end of March sales fell by the
following percentages in the autonomous regions:
Balearics, -43,6%; Catalonia, -42,2%; Canaries, -39,0%;
Valencian Community, -37,5%; Castilla y León, -35,4%,
Andalucía, -33,7%. Castilla-La Mancha, -32,3%; Asturias,
-31,3%; Cantabria, -29,4%; Aragón, -29,2%; Madrid, -28,5%;
Galicia -27,5%; Murcia, -27,4%; La Rioja, -26,1%; Basque
Country, -21,8%; Extremadura, -13,9%, and Navarra, -8,0%.
Article reproduced with kind permission
from Mark Stucklin of the www.spanishpropertyinsight.com