Buyer Insights

The housing hotspots of 2030

The population of Spain is expected to fall by 1 million over the next 15 years. What does this mean for the housing market?

Population in Spain

Spain’s shrinking population has long been a political concern. An economic diaspora and falling birth rates are the chief causes of a problem that INE predicts will cost Spain 5.6 million people over the next 50 years.

The government has also shown an astounding reluctance to address the issue. Alejandro Macarrón, a business consultant who’s looked hard at the numbers, said last year “I was astonished – we have provinces in Spain where for every baby born, more than two people die.”

Given that it’s hard to sell houses to dead people and emigrants, the long term impact on the local housing market looks bleak.

But is it that simple?

INE publishes detailed municipal population statistics each year that hold important clues on what happens next. The data is also very hard to penetrate so Kyero has gathered statistics on over 8,000 municipal zones and created an interactive map that helps us quickly visualise how the population has changed since 2012 (when the decline began):

Interactive map of Spain's population

The population is falling, but where is it rising? Use our interactive map to explore over 8,000 municipal zones

It’s only a short leap to see that areas with a rising population will most likely see healthy housing demand in the future.

Explore Spain’s high growth zones at kyero.cartodb.com →

Flight to the suburbs

Visualising the data this way instantly shows up a more nuanced picture: The population may be falling, but it isn’t falling everywhere and we can quickly see recent population movements.

Spain’s big cities are seeing an exodus from city centres to surrounding suburbs. Studying the price and characteristics of housing in these areas will hold big clues to current and future demand.

Population change in Spain's cities

On a broader note, the data also shows the story of O Penso is likely to become more common. With rural populations static or falling, the data confirms that Spain’s future is not in the countryside.

Confusing Costas

The picture along Spain’s popular Mediterranean coastline is more mixed. Málaga and Almeria are notable winners while at the opposite extreme Calpe has seen 21% of the population disappear in 3 years.

With foreign buyers so active in these areas, we think the story here is much less worrying.

For example over 50% of house sales in Alicante go to foreigners – while the figure is 1 in 5 nationally. This negates the impact of a falling local population and stoking overseas demand could be key to helping these areas absorb future demographic shocks.

The data also (yet again) shines an unapologetic light on the changes in regional holiday rental laws. If Spain is to become more reliant on investment from overseas buyers, restricting the property rights of foreigners looks suicidal.

Location, location, location

So where are rising populations most likely to put pressure on housing? The data reveals some potentially big wins for smart investors.

Top 20 growth zones

Rank Municipality Province Pop 2015 vs. 2012
1 Rivas-Vaciamadrid Madrid 81,473 7.99%
2 Melilla Melilla 85,584 5.92%
3 San Sebastián de los Reyes Madrid 84,944 4.27%
4 Valdemoro Madrid 72,854 3.61%
5 Las Rozas de Madrid Madrid 93,520 3.46%
6 El Ejido Almería 85,961 3.44%
7 Sant Cugat del Vallès Barcelona 87,830 3.40%
8 Molina de Segura Murcia 69,331 2.89%
9 Arona Santa Cruz de Tenerife 79,928 2.84%
10 Santa Lucía de Tirajana Las Palmas 69,069 2.64%
11 Aranjuez Madrid 58,168 2.27%
12 San Vicente del Raspeig Alicante 56,302 2.18%
13 Getafe Madrid 174,921 2.13%
14 Fuengirola Málaga 77,525 2.07%
15 Chiclana de la Frontera Cádiz 82,777 2.05%
16 Dos Hermanas Sevilla 131,317 1.96%
17 Alcobendas Madrid 113,055 1.81%
18 Algeciras Cádiz 118,920 1.71%
19 Alcalá de Guadaíra Sevilla 74,845 1.59%
20 Almería Almería 194,203 1.44%

Top 20 population falls

Rank Municipality Province Pop 2015 vs. 2012
1 Torrevieja Alicante 88,447 14.73%
2 Orihuela Alicante 82,675 8.23%
3 Benidorm Alicante 69,045 5.41%
4 Coslada Madrid 86,919 5.35%
5 Castellón de la Plana Castellón 171,669 4.74%
6 Gandia Valencia 75,514 4.42%
7 Talavera de la Reina Toledo 85,150 4.06%
8 Segovia Segovia 52,728 3.86%
9 Puertollano Ciudad Real 50,035 3.77%
10 Reus Tarragona 103,194 3.75%
11 Salamanca Salamanca 146,438 3.69%
12 Ferrol A Coruña 69,452 3.53%
13 Torrelavega Cantabria 53,496 3.26%
14 Mijas Málaga 79,483 3.22%
15 Santa Coloma de Gramenet Barcelona 116,950 3.02%
16 León León 127,817 2.93%
17 Madrid Madrid 3,141,991 2.83%
18 Cuenca Cuenca 55,428 2.81%
19 Cádiz Cádiz 120,468 2.81%
20 Avilés Asturias 80,880 2.68%

Explore population change across Spain at kyero.cartodb.com.

Source data is available at INE.es

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