Spanish home sales recovery well under way, latest figures confirm

The recovery in home sales in Spain is well underway with transactions rising across many parts of the country, an analysis of the latest figures show.

The number of sales inscribed in the Land Registry increased by 18% in February compared to the same month last year, the biggest February increase since the boom years more than a decade ago.

Indeed, an examination of the figures, which are published by the National Institute of Statistics (INE), reveals that home sales have grown by double digits in most months since March 2014, when the Spanish housing market recovery started.

However, Mark Stucklin of Spanish Property Insight pointed out that sales are still down by 44% compared to the peak year of 2007. ‘Sales in the boom years were exaggerated and unsustainable, so not a normal benchmark, but there still looks like room for more growth,’ he explained.

He said that it must be remembered that these figures are based on sales inscribed in the Land Register, not sales completed in the month so they lag the market by a few months. However, figures from the Association of Spanish Notaries for sales that took place in February show they increased by 2.7% so the trend is continuing.

New home and resale transactions were up 17% and 16% respectively in February. ‘The recovery is now firing on both pistons, having relied almost exclusively on resales between the start of the recovery in 2013 and May last year. New home sales have increased by double digits almost every month for the last year, driven by the recovery in demand for new homes in Spain,’ Stucklin pointed out.

‘Looking at the evolution of sales by region with a focus on areas that attract foreign buyers in significant numbers, year to date sales have increased strongly almost everywhere except Extremadura, where foreign demand is not a big part of the picture, and Catalonia, where the constitutional crisis and political uncertainty are discouraging foreign buyers,’ said Stucklin.

He pointed out that sales were up 59% in Castellón province, home to the Costa del Azahar, in what looks like the first signs of recovery in a coastal market that has suffered the crisis longer and harder than most.

‘The overall picture is one of surging sales in most areas of Spain that attract foreigners in significant numbers, with the exception of the Catalan provinces of Barcelona, Girona, and Tarragona. But even in those regions sales were positive, despite the political turbulence,’ he added.