Signs point to the Spanish property market continuing to recover in 2018

Property sales recorded in Spain recorded in the land registry soared in October 2017, up 28%, the biggest increase since the housing market recovery began.

The figures from the National Institute of Statistics suggest that the end of the summer months were strong for sales as the data refers to transactions completed in August and September.

The figures also show that sales of both new and existing homes increased in October, with new home sales up 30%, and resales up 26%. New home sales have now increased for six months in a row, the first period of sustained growth in new home sales in more than a decade.

According to Mark Stucklin of Spanish Property Insight, 2017 was a good for most parts of Spain. He pointed out that sales were up by double digits in most areas in the 12 months to October, down only in the Andalusian province of Almeria.

Sales were particularly strong in Madrid with growth of 61%. But Stucklin pointed out that in Catalonia sales were lower than might have been expected and this could be due to the ongoing constitutional crisis in the region. ‘The Catalan independence movement is clearly having a negative impact on the regional housing market in terms of lost sales,’ he said.

Prices are also moving upward. Nationally prices increased by 4% in November month in month, the latest index from property appraisal firm Tinsa shows and year on year they were up 4.1%, higher than the 1.8% recorded in the same period in 2016.

Year on year the strongest price growth was 6.8% in the Balearics and the Canaries, but as with sales, Catalonia has seen price growth slow. ‘The property market continues on a positive note with the main trend being moderate price growth,’ said Jorge Ripoll, director of Tinsa research services but he added that price rises in Catalonia came to a halt in November because of the political situation and in anticipation of the regional elections in December.

A look at the data for Catalonia shows that prices increased by 6.5% in October but the accumulated increase dropped to 3.3% in November. And overall prices nationwide are still 38.9% below the peak of the market in 2007.

Agents and builders are also recorded positive growth in the Spanish market. Taylor Wimpey Espana has reported a 13% increase in demand during 2017 up to the beginning of November compared with the same period on 2016, the biggest growth in the last six years.

‘The Spanish housing market has remained strong throughout 2017 and we believe that it will continue to thrive further in 2018,’ said Marc Pritchard, sales and marketing director of Taylor Wimpey Espana.

According to Lucas Fox, which specialises in the higher end of the market, sales volumes have increased in both Madrid, Barcelona, and in Valencia. In the cities it is new homes that are driving the rise in sales, according to Lucas Fox co-founder Stijn Teeuwen.

‘We expect these key trends to continue in 2018 and beyond as the property market recovery gathers pace. We expect new homes and national buyers to account for a greater proportion of all Lucas Fox sales particularly in Madrid and Barcelona,’ he said.

The firm also expects sales to buyers from the United States, Canada, the Middle East and China to grow in 2018 and that sales to buyers from Scandinavia, France, the Netherlands and Germany will account for a bigger proportion of sales and the British a smaller proportion due to Brexit, particularly in coastal regions such as Marbella and the Costa Brava.