Between April and June 2018, 134,196 properties have been sold which is 12.4% up on the previous year. This figure is the highest recorded since the same period in 2008 when 152,630 sales were registered in Spain. This renewed interest in purchasing houses is not expected to stop any time soon. The forecast is that there could be as many as half a million properties sold by the end of the year.
The property market is certainly on the rebound since the 2008 crash. Now we can see that the number of sales has almost returned to pre-2008 levels and has triggered a sense of real optimism in the construction industry and real estate market.
It’s not only the number of sales that has increased. We can see that the price of properties also seems to be on the up. There has been a sharp rise since 2015, particularly in the cost of new properties. Between April and June of this year house prices are thought to have increased by 10.7%.
So why is the market so buoyant now? One of the reasons being given is that there is a general sense of optimism about the economy which is encouraging Spanish buyers to purchase. Other reasons include the popularity of buying property as an investment and low interest rates.
There are regional differences, however. Property in Madrid, Barcelona and Alicante is particularly sought after and the same sharp increases both in sales and prices are not evenly spread across the country.
The highest figures for house sales belong to:
- Madrid (20,128)
- Barcelona (14,155)
- Alicante (10,534)
- Malaga (8,730)
- Valencia (8,019)
- Sevilla (4,483)
- Murcia (4,290)
In the Alicante region the cranes are noticeable on the horizon again and investors are keen to purchase properties for rent and for future sales. The rise of Airbnb means that buy to let is an increasingly popular means of investing money, particularly as interest rates remain stubbornly low.
What this means for you
What does this mean for your average person buying or selling property in Spain? The phrase ‘it’s a buyer’s market’ is perhaps on its way out. Certainly, in some areas there is a very healthy market for property with buyers finding themselves in competition for the first time for many years.
So, if you have been contemplating selling your property but have been put off by stories of a sluggish market for house sales, then this could be the time to move. Following the purchasing trend, the percentage of real estate offices has risen nearly as much as the number of houses and there are plenty of agents to choose from.
Be cautious however, in the people who you hire to represent your interests. Whether you are buying or selling, there’s too much at stake to cut corners.