Costa del Sol, Spain Photo: Barbara Walsh Photography
Statistics from idealista.com showed that the price of existing homes in Spain fell 5 per cent year-on-year in December 2014 to €1,594 per square metre. The portal’s data was published by Kyero , whose own asking price index found that the average value in Q4 2014 had dropped back to Q1 2014 levels.
The decline follows a 6.3 per cent annual drop recorded by Tinsa in November 2014, despite several preceding months of stabilising house prices, including the first overall increase since 2008 (0.3 per cent year-on-year) recorded in September 2014 by INE.
Nonetheless, the idealista.com data indicates that the price declines continue to moderate, with values edging down by just 0.4 per cent in the final quarter of 2014, while some markets enjoyed positive growth.
Fernando Encinar, Head of Research for the portal, suggests that the market is recovering at two paces, with values bottomed out in popular tourist markets and major cities, while other regions are likely to see prices continue falling.
Indeed, demand has been high from buyers in the traditional hotspots, with the INE recording a 51 per cent surge in sales in the Canaries in October year-on-year, followed by double-digit growth in transactions in Madrid and Barcelona. The Costa del Sol also enjoyed a 15 per cent rise in sales.
Activity was fuelled by foreign buyers, with the market expanding by 20 per cent overall year-on-year. New mortages approved for residential purchases also rose 18 per cent annually in the same month.
While price performance has been uneven during 2014, the INE statistics follow a wave of positive reports regarding sales, indicating that this affordability is encouraging the return of foreign investors and holiday home hunters.
Indeed, Spain’s tourism industry enjoyed an excellent year. Overnight stays at Spanish hotels were up 5.1 per cent in October compared with the year before, reaching a total of 26.2 million, according to the INE. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism reported record tourist spending of €56,374 million between January and October 2014.
“It’s been a fantastic year for Spain,” comments Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director for leading Spanish homebuilder Taylor Wimpey España, the Iberian arm of the UK’s Taylor Wimpey.
“We’ve seen resorts across the country receive record numbers of visitors, with the lure of Spanish sunshine tempting many to come here for their holidays. One of the great things about Spain is its mass appeal – whether for singletons, couples, families or retirees, Spain has something to offer everyone.”
Indeed, in November 2014, demand for Spanish property reached a 12-month high, accounting for one in 10 of all enquiries on TheMoveChannel.com.
“There’s a feeling here that while 2014 has been good, 2015 is going to be great,” Pritchard continues.
“Spain still has some way to go in sorting out its finances, but there is much more of a feeling of positivity about the economy than there was this time last year.”