The government has released the last of 2015’s property market statistics and they reveal steady growth but wide gaps in Spain’s ongoing housing recovery.
The official House Price Index attracted the most headlines by finishing the year up 4.2%. The problem with prices is they tell you very little about the real health of the market.
The numbers we prefer are transactions. How many houses are being bought and sold?
With a full year’s data for 2015 we can take an annualised look at sales and this reveals good news. Overall property market activity rose 10% in 2015, to over 400,000 house sales. International buyers were particularly busy, generating over 71,000 sales and continuing a strong return to the market.
There’s a lot more to the story provincially though. When we check 2015 sales volumes against their 2007 levels, it reveals a very mixed picture of recovery:
Madrid’s property market is already back to 71% of its pre-crisis sales levels, while other provincial markets are still barely one third of where they were at 9 years ago.
|Province||House sales 2015||vs. 2007|
|Santa Cruz de Tenerife||9,117||49.7%|
The picture that emerges from these figures is of a recession that was not evenly spread. But the numbers also show 2015 marked a big change to the narrative: House prices rose, sales volumes rose and the outlook turned positive across every market indicator.
With the tough times behind us the question is no longer where we’ll see growth in sales. The question in 2016 is where we’ll see the fastest growth in sales.
If you were waiting for better times, they’re here. Now’s the time for smart thinking and an eye on growth.
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