Things are getting better in Spain, aren't they?

Conveyancing Thu, 24 Jul 2014
Things are getting better in Spain, aren't they?

At one time a glance at the Spanish skyline, at least in any coastal region, was likely to take in a handful of cranes. Then came the downturn and the cranes disappeared and went into storage. Until now.

In some parts of the country, the giants of the skyline are back to swing new Spanish property into place. No matter that the coast is still peppered with the skeletons of incomplete structures. The builders are back.

On The Pulse reports that in May construction activity in Spain rose by 1%. This was still behind Hungary (2.3%), Bulgaria (1.7%) and Slovakia (1.6%) but does seem to indicate a healthy optimism that there are people out there ready to buy new property in Spain.

If you like looking at graphs then this one from Spanish Property Insight, might be of interest to you. The red line indicates that this year’s Spanish property market might be no way near where it was in 2007 but its direction of travel is promising.

All is not yet rosy

However, we should be cautious about assuming that a steady sale of Spanish homes indicates the rise of a new dawn for the building industry. This is early days and there still remain large numbers of properties in Spain without owners and a significant number still under construction or with construction suspended.

Politicians approaching the next election would have us believe that the ‘really hard times’ are over and now there are just ‘hard times’ to come. However, a swell of cynicism is coming from a rather unlikely source – Spanish estate agents.

Los Agentes de la Propiedad Inmobiliaria (API), an association of real estate agents in Spain, are casting doubt on the degree of upturn that Spain is really seeing. Reported in Spanish Property Insight, a press release from the organisation has announced that although there is more interest being shown this is not converting into sales.

It is pointed out that this might reflect the experience of those estate agents located in areas with fewer foreign buyers. The foreign housing market in Spain does appear to be relatively buoyant in comparison to the home market, as reported in this article from Spain Explained.

As such, the experience for estate agents on the coast might be a different one to that elsewhere. Spanish Property Insight reports that the short term view, at least, is not looking too good when it come to the Spanish property mountain.

What should you make of all this?

Perhaps it is safest to say, things appear to not be getting any worse. In some locations and at some prices, there are grounds for optimism. However, as API report, whilst ever unemployment is high and loans are difficult to obtain, fewer people will be eligible to buy.  

Hardly surprising then if we’re not seeing a deluge of potential property purchasers just yet.

More information

Estate agents not buying property recovery story.

No reliable signs of recovery, new report concludes.

EU tumbles in construction activity while it increases in Spain.

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