Mapped: Where to invest in Spain in 2017

Spanish property remains some of the most attractive in the world, as the country’s housing market continues its recovery. Spain has been the number one destination on for two of the first six months of 2017.

New quarterly data from the Notaries’ Association details both the annual change in Spanish property transactions and annual growth in house prices per square foot. House prices have risen 4.6 per cent in the year to Q2 2017. That growth, however, masks significant regional variations. This is also true of the transactions data.

Where should you be investing in 2017? We map the latest official data to highlight the best hotspots for the year ahead for buyers to maximise their returns.

Transactions rose 19.2 per cent year-on-year in the first three months of the year. Sales were led by Aragon (45.6 per cent), Castilla-La Mancha (30.9 per cent), Extremadura (25.2 per cent), Asturias (24.7 per cent), Cantabria (24.6 per cent), Catalonia (24.2 per cent) and Madrid (22.8 per cent).

Mapping the data together highlights the very strong correlation between sales and values. Indeed, prices rose 4.6 per cent year-on-year, fuelled by growing demand from buyers. In areas such as Madrid and Barcelona, where buyer interest is notably concentrated, average prices are now €1,997 and €1,653 per square foot respectively – significantly higher than the national average of €1,356 per square foot.

Price growth was led by Aragon (17.8 per cent), Castilla y Leon (12.1 per cent), and the Canary Islands (11 per cent). Aragon’s rise in prices is matched by its almost-50 per cent surge in transactions. Prices fell, on the other hand, in La Rioja by 15.5 per cent. It was the only region to see sales decline, with transactions also slipping 5.7 per cent.

There are some anomalies, such as the Balearics, where prices fell 3.3 per cent, despite a 19.8 per cent climb in transactions. Prices also fell 3.6 per cent in the Basque Country, despite a 16.8 per cent climb in transactions. In such markets, though, significant sales growth indicates rising demand among buyers, which is likely to lead to price growth in the near future, marking these areas as ideal for investors seeking long-term capital growth. Indeed, sales soared 30.7 per cent for Balearics property in Q2 2015, turning a -6.4 per cent drop in prices in Q1 of that year to 7.1 per cent growth in Q2. Prices then rose for the next four quarters in a row.

Prices fell 10.9 per cent in Castilla-La Mancha in Q1 2017, but sales have risen 30.9 per cent, suggesting that the market will soon begin to enjoy stronger price growth.

Compared to previous years, the mapped data also indicates the way that Spain’s recovery is slowly showing signs of spreading away from the south coast, which has traditionally dominated by holiday home buyers, often from the UK: regions in the north are now seeing price growth and sales growth.