According to the latest statistics published by the Spanish Government’s Ministry of Public Works, sales of homes in Spain increased almost 10% during 2015, reaching a total of 401,281 transactions. The figures represent the third consecutive year of increases in home sales and the greatest volume of transactions since 2010.
Resales dominating demand
The Ministry’s data shows that the growth is largely due to the resale property market, which accounted for 89% of the transactions, up 13.4% on the figures for 2014. In contrast, sales of new homes, which represented 11% of the market total, fell by 10.6% over the previous year to 41,938 transactions.
Spanish national newspaper El Mundo reported that a total of 114,598 homes were sold in the fourth quarter of 2015, representing an increase of 2.4% compared to the same period the year before, the highest figures since the fourth quarter of 2010.
Sales up across the board
Property sales increased across all of Spain’s regions during 2016, with the exception of Castilla-la-Mancha, which registered a decline of -0.8%. The highest increases were registered in the Balearic Islands (+17.4%), the Basque Country (+17%), Cantabria (+16.6%), Murcia (+16.3%) and Aragón (+14.3%).
With regard to the provinces, the steepest increases were recorded in Segovia (+28.5%); Vizcaya (+24.8%); Cádiz (+21.4%); the Balearic Islands (+17.4%); Cantabria (+16.6%); Murcia (+16.3%); Valencia (+14.8%) and Zaragoza (+14.8%). In contrast, among the provinces with the greatest declines are: Ciudad Real (-9.5%); Guadalajara (-7.5%); Ávila (-4.9%); Cáceres (-4.8%) and Salamanca (-4.2%).
Foreigners continue buying in numbers
The Ministry also highlighted that transactions carried out by foreign residents in Spain saw year-on-year growth for the 18th consecutive quarter, rising by 9.9% compared to the fourth quarter of 2014, to a total of 18,029 homes sold, while purchases by non-resident foreigners amounted to 1,453 transactions during the quarter, representing an increase of 10.3%. Altogether, some 19,482 housing transactions were carried out by foreigners (resident and non-resident), representing 17.0% of the total transactions in the quarter.
The provinces which recorded the greatest numbers of home purchases by foreign residents were: Alicante (3,910); Málaga (2,377); Barcelona (1,621); the Balearic Islands (1,426) and Madrid (1,406).
The Ministry reported that foreign buyers acquired a total of 69,196 homes in Spain during 2015, representing an increase of 13% over the previous year, accounting for almost one in every five of the homes sold in the country last year (18%).
Non-resident foreigners purchased a total of 4,846 homes in Spain last year, representing an increase of 10.1% over a year earlier, while resident foreign buyers acquired 64,350 homes last year, an increase of 13.3% compared to the previous year.
Valencia still foreign favourite
Valencia is the region where foreigners bought most homes last year, with a total of 20,219 sold to foreign buyers of which 1,665 were acquired by non-residents.
Andalucía was the second most popular region, with 14,384 homes being registered to foreign buyers in 2015 (1,854 by non-residents) followed by Catalonia, with 10,264 homes sold to foreign buyers (186 of them non-residents).
El Economista reported that in the Canary Islands foreigners bought 7,295 homes last year, 386 of which were acquired by non-residents, and in the Balearic Islands some 5,061 homes were sold to foreign buyers (218 non-residents).
The euro weakened throughout 2015, encouraging buyers in other currencies back into Spain’s property market and with house prices still at a significant discount to the peak of 2007, there are plenty of bargains to be found across Spain in 2016.
Main image: Artist’s impression of the Oasis Beach development on the Costa Blanca © Contrimar Country S.L.