Here you will find news, views, events and information relating to real-estate in Spain.

Third-Quarter Home Sales Highest Since 2008

Highest Q3 sales since 2008

The third quarter of the year saw a total of 121,561 homes sold in Spain, representing an increase of 16.7% when compared to the same period in 2016, according to data published by the Ministry of Development (Fomento). This is the highest number of Q3 home sales for nine years. To find a third quarter with more transactions we need to go all the way back to 2008, when there were 122,949 sales.

Highest Q3 home sales since 2008

Looking at the previous 12 months (October 2016 to September 2017) there were a total of 516,643 home sales made, representing an increase of 15.8% when compared to the previous period.

Annual Variation

When we compare this year’s third quarter to that of 2016, all of Spain’s autonomous communities registered an increase in the number of home sales. Among the most significant increases were La Rioja (32.9%), Cantabria (31.9%), Ceuta and Melilla (26.3%), Murcia (25.6%) and Andalusia (23.6%). At the other end of the table we see the smallest increases occurred in Extremadura (5.7%), the Basque Country (6.3%), Madrid (7.9%) and Navarra (9.9%).

By municipalities, those that accounted for the highest number of purchases in the third quarter were Madrid (8,560), Barcelona (4,096), Valencia (2,404), Zaragoza (1,944), Seville (1,779), Málaga (1,632), Alicante (1,399), and Palma de Mallorca (1,315).

Analysing the cumulative totals of the last 12 months (October 2016 – September 2017 vs. October 2015 – September 2016), all the autonomous communities had a positive variation, highlighting Cantabria (23.3%), Castilla-La Mancha (23.1%), Catalonia (20.6%), Asturias (18.3%), Balearic Islands (18.3%), Valencia (15.9%), and Madrid (15.1%).

Regarding the type of property, 11,435 transactions corresponded to new property, which represented 9.4% of the total. Second-hand housing accounted for 110,126 transactions.

In relation to the nationality of the buyer, transactions carried out by foreigners residing in Spain experienced year-on-year growth for the twenty-fifth consecutive quarter, increasing 17.6% when compared to the third quarter of 2016, to reach 20,257 transactions.

The total number of purchases made by foreigners (residents and non-residents) reached 24,009, 17.4% of the total. By province, the ones that registered the highest number of sales by resident foreigners were Alicante (4,619), Málaga (2,429), Barcelona (1,937), Madrid (1,564), the Balearic Islands (1,377), Valencia (1,183) and Santa Cruz de Tenerife (1,175).


Number of Foreclosures Down in Q3

Andalusia accounted for 1 in 3 foreclosures
Andalusia accounted for 1 in 3 foreclosures

Andalusia accounted for 1 in 3 foreclosures

Andalusia, Valencia and Catalonia accounted for more than half of housing foreclosures during the summer of 2017.

The number of foreclosures on “personas fisicas” (property owned by an individual) continues to fall with the third quarter seeing only about 1,600 cases. This is almost half as many as were seen in the previous quarter. On top of the huge monthly fall the year-on-year variation was a massive -59.8%, according to the INE. Andalusia accounted for one in three foreclosures in Q3, followed by Valencia and Catalonia.

The total number of foreclosures in the property registry between July and September showed a drop of 41.1%, when compared to last year reaching a total of 4,676 cases. This includes all property types and whether owned by an individual or a legal entity.

Of these, 17.5% were foreclosures on the primary residences of natural persons (1,584), 28.9% (2,605) correspond to housing owned by legal entities (companies, charities etc), and 5.4% to other properties.

Despite continuing falls from the highs reached in 2012 and 2013, foreclosure has always been a dark cloud hanging over individuals or families but looking at the overall property stock in Spain the number of evictions seems insignificant. If we take as a reference the total number of existing family properties in Spain, some 18.5 million as of the third quarter, then foreclosure proceedings were initiated on only 0.01% of the total housing.

Boom and Bust

The property boom that we experienced in Spain in the years leading up to the financial crisis is still affecting many people. In fact, 59.5% of foreclosures initiated in the third quarter correspond to loans from the period 2005 – 2008.

By autonomous community, Andalusia (1,425), Valencia (915) and Cataluña (677) accounted for more than half of the foreclosure proceedings on the home of a natural person, either primary or secondary residence.


Average Home Buyer Budgets 173,000€

Buyers typically budget less than asking prices
Buyers typically budget less than asking prices

Average budget in Andalusia is 126,000€

According to a report “Experience of Purchase/Sale of Housing in Spain in 2017” carried out by fotocasa, the average budget set by a home buyer was 173,000€. The budget varies by autonomous community: in Madrid the average is 212,000€. In Catalonia it is 206,000€. The average budget in the Basque Country is 191,000€. In Valencia it is 146,000€, while the average budget in Andalusia is 126,000€.

The buyers’ budgets also vary slightly from the average asking price. The national average asking price was 180,000€, but again, this varies from community to community: in Madrid the average asking price was 226,000€. In Catalonia it was 220,000€. The average asking price in Valencia was 140,000€. In the Basque Country is was 220,000€, while in Andalusia buyers asked for the same amount as the average buyers budget, 126,000€.

There is a clear difference between the home buyers’ budgets and the sellers asking prices. The national averages show the seller asks for around 4% more than the average home buyer wants to spend. The difference is more acute in the Basque Country where the seller wants 15% more than the buyers budget. Madrid and Catalonia see selling prices on average 7% higher than the buyers budget. In Andalusia we see that supply and demand is more balanced as both buyer and seller have the same budget. In contrast, in the Valencian Community the starting price for the private seller is 4% below the average budget.

“Catalonia, the Community of Madrid and the Basque Country are the most expensive regions to buy a home, which explains why in these areas buyers and sellers have budgets that are higher than the average for the rest of the country. This also explains that while 40% of active buyers in the last year in Andalusia and the Valencian Community set an initial budget of between 50,000 and 100,000 euros, in the case of Catalan, Madrilenian and Basque buyers practically the same percentage established an initial budget of 100,000 to 200,000 euros”, explains Beatriz Toribio, director of studies at fotocasa.

75% of Spanish buyers looking for a primary residence

Almost 75% of Spaniards attempting to buy a property in 2017 were looking to purchase a primary residence. If we look at the data by autonomous communities we see that in Catalonia and Madrid the majority of buyers were looking for a primary residence (80%, 79% respectively).

Additionally, of those people looking for their permanent home 46% of buyers were looking at apartments. However, in the end just over half the buyers (55%) purchased an apartment making it the most sought-after property type in Spain.

Those looking for a penthouse make up only 10% of buyers, against only 5% who ended up buying one. This is the case in Catalonia where 13% looked at a penthouse but only 4% of purchases were for this type of property. In Barcelona those looking for a penthouse made up 16% of buyers but only 1% closed a deal.


77% of buyers searched for a new home in the same city in which they currently reside. Almost 70% of buyers ended up buying in the same town.

This also differs by community. In Catalonia those looking to purchase in the same town amounted to 65% of buyers, with 66% closing a deal. In Madrid there is a greater proportion of buyers seeking a new property in the same town. 81% of buyers wantes to stay where they are. 77% managed to achieve this.


Used Property Prices Up in November

Used property prices up 0.4% in November
Used property prices up 0.4% in November

Used property prices up 0.4% in November

Average second-hand property prices in Spain stood at 1,733 euros/m² in November, a monthly increase of 0.4%, according to data from property portal fotocasa.

The slight increase shows that the price of second-hand housing is stabilising and that we are leaving behind the large price drops witnessed in recent years.

On the annual variation, the price in November 2017 had increased by 4.8% with respect to the same month last year. This makes 14 consecutive months in which the price has increased.

“The real estate market continues to show clear signs of recovery and that translates to prices with increases that we did not see since 2007. Even so, prices are 40% below the highs of the boom years and activity levels and the granting of mortgages are barely comparable,” explains Beatriz Toribio, head of studies at fotocasa.

Regarding Catalonia’s independence troubles, Toribio highlights the slowdown in the growth of prices reflected at the end of October has been mitigated. “Catalonia is still the second autonomous region where prices rise the most, although the pace of growth is still lower than what we were used to,” Toribio says adding that “the effects of the Catalan crisis will take time to be noticed in the statistics.” With elections due this month we will have to wait and see what happens then before anyone can make accurate predictions.

Average Prices

The average second-hand property prices in Spain have accumulated a drop of -41.3% since it recorded its historic peak in April 2007 when it reached 2,952 euros/m². In this sense, 10 autonomous communities have declines greater than -40% since they reached the maximum price ten years ago. La Rioja is the community that has seen the lowest price (-56.3%), followed by Navarra (53.4%), Aragón (-51%), Castilla-La Mancha (-50.5%), Murcia (-48.4%), Asturias (-46.7%), Valencia (-46.2%), Cantabria (-43.5%), Extremadura (-40.9%) and Cataluña (-40.6%).

Prices Increased in 12 Autonomous Communities

In November the average price of second-hand housing increased in 12 communities. The most pronounced increase occurred in Catalonia (2.2%), followed by Murcia (1.6%) and Castilla-La Mancha (1.4%). La Rioja and Castilla y León, both increased by 1.3%.

In Andalucía the average price per square metre is 1,563 euros, an increase of 0.5% over the previous month. The year-on-year increase is 5.9%.

Valencia is the community that saw the prices fall the most in November with a drop of 0.8%. This was followed by Madrid, Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia, all down 0.2%.

The Basque Country remains the most expensive community in Spain, with an average price of 2,723 euros/m², followed by Madrid (2,408 euros/m²) and Catalonia (2,295 euros/m²).

There were price increases in 28 provinces, with increases of 2.8% in Burgos, 2.3% in Cuenca, 1.6% in Barcelona and Murcia and 1.5% in Zaragoza.

On a monthly basis, prices fell in 18 provinces. The sharpest decreases were registered in Huesca (-2.4%), Alicante (-2%), León (-1.3%) and Huelva (-1.1%).

The municipality with the highest price for second-hand housing is Zarautz (4,722 euros/m²). Monóvar, in Alicante, is the cheapest Spanish city, with an average price of 617 euros/m².


Marbella For Sale Recognised for Professionalism

Marbella For Sale Recognised for Professionalism
Marbella For Sale Recognised for Professionalism

Nicolas de Zutter receiving the award

After 10 years of serving our clients to the best of our abilities, it is nice to have our hard work recognised.

Marbella For Sale were honoured to be nominated for, and win, an award from the Institute for Professional Excellence for “Recognition of Professional Work and Commitment to Excellence”.

Our founder and managing director, Nicolas de Zutter, attended the ceremony at the Hotel Los Monteros de Marbella last week to receive the award from Antonio Gabriel Pérez Mateu, vice president of the IEP. The institute presented awards to a number of companies and professionals from all sectors that contribute to the social development of Spain and, specifically, the Costa del Sol.

We would like to thank the institute for recognising our commitment to professionalism and honouring us with this award. We would also like to congratulate the other winners on their success!

Big thanks also to our team, past and present, for making Marbella For Sale what it is: a professional real estate agency with a long list of satisfied clients and a reputation for professionalism. Thank you to our team: Julio Romero, Marc van Hoeke, Job Boersma, Jake Rose, Andy Wynn, Seth Herbert, and our long-suffering office manager, Liz Castelo. Thanks also to past team members whose contributions helped to get us where we are now.

Finally, and most importantly, we would like to thank our clients. Whether buying or selling we wouldn’t be here without you. We thank you for choosing Marbella For Sale to facilitate your Spanish property sale/purchase. Thank you for placing your confidence in us.

To the institute, our staff, competitors, clients and potential clients: Thank you for trusting Marbella For Sale and we hope to help you the next time you choose to buy or sell a property on the Costa del Sol.

About The Institute for Professional Excellence

The Institute for Professional Excellence, founded and chaired by the Ilmo. Mr. D. Ignacio de Jacob y Gómez, is a guarantee and quality brand that recognizes the effort and commitment to excellence of the best companies and professionals, since its inauguration five years ago.

Among the honorary directors of the Institute are: S.A.R Maria Luisa de Prusia, president of the Concordia Association; Mrs. Dña. Lola Herrera, actress; Prof. Mr. D. José Luis Cordeiro, engineer and founding professor of the Singularity University; Mr. Gerardo Seeliger, president of Club Siglo XXI; Prof. Mr. Carlos Jesús Ruiz Cosano, specialist in Pediatrics, Pediatric Endocrinology and President of the Constitution Club; Ilmo. Mr. Luis del Olmo, honorary doctor of the Rey Juan Carlos University of Madrid; Mr. Dr. Don Leandro Plaza Celemín, former president of the Spanish Heart Foundation; the Ilmo. Mr. Prof. Luis Mariano Robles Velasco, professor of Roman Law from the University of Granada and vice president of the Constitution Club; Mr. D. Manuel Santana, ex-tennis player and director of the Masters Tournament of Madrid; among others.