The final data for 2015 which were published the 11’th of march by the Ministry of Development report that the number of residential property sales registered in Spain exceeded 400,000 for the first time since 2010, reaching a total of 401,281 following a 9.8% year-on-year increase.
At the same time, the fourth-quarter figure of 114,598 was also the highest for five years, providing optimism that the level of activity in the property market will continue to intensify during 2016. Of course the 2015 total is a long way from those recorded at the peak of the property boom, when almost a million sales were registered in 2006, but a return to the boom-and-bust cycle of the early years of the millennium is not a realistic or desirable target and the general feeling is that at the moment the market is returning to an acceptable and sustainable level of buoyancy.
There are, of course, doubts over whether the first quarter of 2016 will produce similar results, the main one concerning the effect that Spain’s current political uncertainty is having on consumer confidence, but nonetheless the outlook for this year is currently positive.
One telling indicator of how the market has changed in recent years is that during the fourth quarter of last year as many as 87.9% of all properties sold were second hand, whereas during the boom the proportion was close to 50%. The fact that construction practically ground to a halt between 2007 and 2010 explains these figures, and for many the market will only be in full good health when demand is high enough for the construction sector to be reactivated.
The number of property sales is reported by the Ministry to have risen last year in all seventeen of Spain’s regions except Castilla-La Mancha, with the most significant increases being recorded in the Balearics (17.4%), the Basque Country (17%), Cantabria (16.6%), Murcia (16.3%) and Aragón (14.3%).
Source: Spanish News Today, March 2016.