Property sales in Spain up over 16% year on year

Taylor Scott International News

Residential property sales in Spain are continuing to rise but this may be due to sellers accepting lower offers as prices are falling. The latest data from the General Council of Notaries show that sales increased by 16.2% in April year on year and in seasonally adjusted terms were up 18.9%. But prices are not following the growth trend, down 5.1% on average to stand at €1,241 per square metre. Both houses and apartment prices are falling, down 1.6% and 5.9% respectively. The growth is also reflected in lending with the number of mortgages for the purchase of a home rising by 38.3% year on year. The average amount was €120,125, a reduction of 4.9% compared to a year ago, also suggesting that people are paying less for properties. Meanwhile demand for prime property is also rising, especially in the most sought after areas. Well prices properties are being snapped up fast, often in just a matter of days, according to the latest report from Lucas Fox International Properties. Multiple agencies often find themselves competing with each other for the same clients, all of whom are looking to take advantage of the current low prices, according to the Barcelona based firm. ‘We're having to remove around 40 sold properties from our website each week as the market has picked up significantly. We currently have around 40,000 mainly overseas clients actively searching for homes to buy, the majority of whom want to invest in Barcelona, Madrid and key coastal areas such as the Costa Brava,’ said head of listings at Lucas Fox Ivan Belmonte. The report suggests that the lack of supply is due to the fact that new developments are still fairly slow to come onto the market and some owners are still waiting for prices to rise before they sell. According to Rod Jamieson, head of operations, published price data is often based on asking prices rather than actual sales prices so prices paid are not actually rising. ‘Our statistics show very minimal price increases, even in prime districts,’ he said. The firm’s data also shows that 50% of visitors to its website are from overseas and 50% national buyers. This compares to 56% and 44% respectively during the same period in 2015. The British continue to represent the biggest proportion of overseas visitors to the website at 10%, a slight drop from 2015, most likely due to fears over the European Union referendum outcome. After the UK, most overseas demand for Spanish homes comes from France, the United States and then Sweden. Taylor Scott International

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