Significant fall in Spanish house sales

The number of house sales recorded in Spain fell by the largest margin in three years, new figures show.

New figures from Spain’s National Institute of Statistics (INE) show that house sales recorded in the Land Registry fell by 8 per cent in April compared to a year ago. This is the biggest fall the housing market has seen since February 2014.

However, according to Mark Stucklin of Spanish Property Insight the fall may not be as dramatic as it sounds. “As always, it’s important to bear mind that the INE’s figures are based on sales inscribed in the Land Register, not actual sales that took place in the period,” he explains. “As such they lag the market by about two or three months. So, this decline reflects a decline in sales closed around January and February.”

What’s more, the 8 per cent drop follows a 30 per cent year-on-year rise recorded in March. Since the start of the year, the number of house sales is still up by 10 per cent in last year.

The fall in sales does not appear to have halted the recent resurgence of property prices. The latest data from appraisal company Tinsa shows that house values in Spain increased by 2 per cent in April.

However, the price rises varied dramatically depending on the region. Prices in big cities like Barcelona and Madrid were up 6.1 per cent and in the Balearic and Canary Islands they were up 4 per cent while along the Mediterranean coast they were up just 1.3 per cent.

Recently released figures from the Land Registers Association showed prices were up 7.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2017, while the Fomento index also showed a quarterly rise, albeit a slower one at 2.2 per cent.

Article published 13th June 2017