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

Home Sales Increase 4.7% in May

Sales of new homes increased by 9.2%
New home sales increased by 9.2%

Sales of new homes increased by 9.2%

The number of transferred properties written in the property registers (from public deeds) in the month of May is 183,748, which represents a 9.8% increase over the same month of 2017.

Of the total transfers, 93,366 were property sales, representing an annual increase of 4.1%, according to the latest figures from the INE.

Nicolas de Zutter, owner of Marbella For Sale, says “This upward trend has continued for a few years with monthly  and annual increases in sales figures and there seems to be no obvious slow down on the horizon. The question of whether the Spanish real estate market has completely recovered seems to have been answered by recent figures.”

Buying and Selling

86.4% of the purchases registered in May correspond to urban properties, and 13.6% to rural. In the case of urban properties, 58.5% were for home purchases.

The number of purchases of rural properties decreased by 0.6% in May, on the annual rate. Meanwhile, purchases of urban property increased by 4.9%, annually. Within the latter, home sales recorded an annual increase of 4.7%.

The monthly variation in May was 12.3%, which is 26.9 points less than the previous year.

Of all the home sales in May, 17.6% were for new property, while 82.4% were sales of used property. The number of operations on new homes increased by 9.2%, and sales of used property increased by 3.7%, when compared to May 2017.

Results by Autonomous Communities

In May, the total number of transferred properties registered in the property registers per 100,000 inhabitants reached its highest values in La Rioja (906), Castilla y León (755) and Aragón (687).

La Rioja (31.9%), Murcia (30.8%) and Galicia (20.2%) recorded the highest annual variation rates.

On the other hand, Catalonia (-5.1%), the Balearic Islands (-4.5%) and Aragón (-3.6%) present the lowest annual rates.

Looking only at the sale of homes, the communities with the highest number of transactions per 100,000 inhabitants are Valencia (201), La Rioja (166) and the Balearic Islands (156).

The communities with the highest annual increases in the number of home sales in May are La Rioja (53.6%), Foral de Navarra (27.5%) and Murcia (20.0%).

The Balearic Islands (-26.4%), Asturias (-15.1%) and Cantabria (-10.9%) registered the lowest annual variation rates in May.


Eight Million Tourists Chose Spain in May

May saw a 1% annual increase in international visitors
May saw a 1% annual increase in international tourists

May saw a 1% annual increase of tourists

Spain received 8.1 million international tourists in May, 1% more than in the same month of 2017, according to figures from the INE.

The UK was the main country of residence for almost 2 million of those visitors, representing 24.6% of the total, but falling by 3.9%, when compared to May last year.

Germany and France were second and third in the raking of source country, with 1.2 million Germans and 1.2 million French visitors. These figures represent a fall of 1.8% in the amount of German visitors and an increase of 6.9% in the number of French visitors.

Other source countries to show significant growth are Portugal (+21.6%), USA (+12.3%), and Russia (+10.4%).

Destinations (Autonomous Communities)

Catalonia received the largest chunk of visitors in May, with 23.2% of the total. The Balearic Islands accounted for 21.1%, while Andalucía took 14.8% of international visitors.

Catalonia received close to 1.9 million international visitors, 2.4% lower than in May last year. The main country of residence for visitors to Catalonia was France (23.1% of the total).

The number of tourists visiting the Balearic Islands decreased by 0.5% and exceeds 1.7 million. 35.4% came from Germany and 27.5% from the United Kingdom.

The third largest destination community by number of international visitors is Andalucía, with almost 1.2 million tourists and an annual increase of 1.8%. The United Kingdom is the main country of origin (with 30.1% of the total), followed by France (12.0%).

In other communities, the number of tourists increased by 5.3% in Madrid, but decreased 0.6% in Valencia and 2.6% in the Canary Islands.

Jan to May

Cumulatively, over the first five months of the year, the number of international tourists visiting Spain has increased by 2% to reach around 28.6 million.

The main emitting countries so far this year are the United Kingdom (with about 6.3 million tourists, a decrease of 2.3% compared to the first five months of 2017), Germany (with more than 3.9 million of tourists, a decline of 2.7%) and France (exceeding 3.9 million tourists, 0.6% more).

In the first five months of 2018 the communities that received the most tourists was Catalonia (with more than 6.5 million and a decrease of 2.1% with respect to the same period of 2017), the Canary Islands (with about 5.8 million and a decrease of 2.0%) and Andalucía (with more than 4.1 million and growth of 2.4%).


Used House Prices Up 2.7% in Second Quarter

Compared to Q2 2017, the increase is 7%
Compared to Q2 2017, the increase in second-hand house prices is 7%

Compared to Q2 2017, the increase is 7%

Second-hand house prices in Spain increased 2.7% during the second quarter of 2018. This rise puts the average cost of a square metre at 1,644 euros, according to the latest figures from idealista.

Looking at the annual variation, the increase is 7%. Madrid, Barcelona and the Islands lead the ranking.

“The recovery of the economy and employment act as engines of the sector. It is inevitable to continue talking about two speeds, but practically the whole country has rising prices. This price data is accompanied by increases in both the number of purchases and the granting of mortgages. But unlike what happened in other cycles of bullish prices, the granting of loans on this occasion has had nothing to do with the increases”, says Fernando Encinar, head of studies at idealista.

Autonomous Communities

Four autonomous communities have seen house prices fall during the spring: the largest decrease being in Extremadura, where owners are now asking for 1.2% less than they were three months ago. Castilla-La Mancha saw prices fall by 0.8%, in Cantabria prices fell 0.3% and in Asturias prices fell by 0.2%.

In all other communities, prices increased. Madrid saw the biggest increase (+7.3%). The Canary Islands saw prices rise by 5.3%, while in Catalonia the increase was 4.2%. Also significant were increases of 3.6% in La Rioja, and 2.5% in Andalucía.

Madrid remains as the most expensive autonomy with an average price per square metre of 2,868 euros. They are followed by the Balearic Islands (2,653 euros/m²), Euskadi (2,528 euros/m²) and Catalonia (2,236 euros/m²).

The cheapest communities were Castilla-La Mancha (906 euros/m²), Extremadura (920 euros/m²) and Murcia (1,027 euros/m²).


28 provinces experienced price increases for second-hand property during the second quarter. The increases were most significant in Madrid (+7.3%), Las Palmas (+6.4%) and Barcelona (+5.2%). They were followed by Santa Cruz de Tenerife (4.4%), Malaga (4%) and La Rioja (3.6%).

The biggest provincial decreases were seen in Ávila (-4.4%), Zamora (-3.6%) and Lleida (-2.4%).

The ranking of the most expensive provinces is headed by the provinces of Madrid and Barcelona, with 2,868 euros/m² and 2,787 euros/m² respectively. The next most expensive provinces were Guipúzcoa (2,783 euros/m²) and the Balearic Islands (2,653 euros/m²).

Ávila is the cheapest province (786 euros/m²), followed by Toledo (789 euros/m²) and Ciudad Real (846 euros/m²).


Number of New Mortgages Increased in April

New mortgages up 34.2% in April
New mortgages up 34.2% in April

New mortgages up 34.2% in April

There were 27,724 new mortgages for home purchases in April, 34.2% more than in the same month of the previous year.

The average amount of the new mortgages was 123,256 euros, according to the latest figures from the INE. The average amount showed an increase of 9.1%. when compared to April 2017. Compared to the previous month, the increase was 11.9%.

The total value of all mortgages taken out on urban property increased by 27.2%. For housing, total capital increased 46.5% year-on-year.

Interest Rates

The average interest rate at the start of the term for new mortgages taken out in April was 2.66%, registering a fall of 14.1%, when compared to the previous year.

Most new borrowers opted for variable rate loans (62.3%), with only 37.7% choosing a fixed rate.

The average rate at the start of variable rate mortgage terms, for home purchases, was 2.38% (20.5% lower than in April 2017). For fixed rate loans the average rate was 3.31% (1.3% lower than last year).

For all property loans, the average interest rate at the start of the term was 2.42% for variable rate loans (a decrease of 22.3%), and 3.15% for fixed rate mortgages (6.1% lower).

The average term for new mortgages was 22 years.

Results by Autonomous Communities

The communities with the largest number of new mortgages for home purchases in April were Madrid (6,018), Andalucía (5,154) and Cataluña (4,700).

When we look for the highest annual variations, at the top of the list we find the Balearic Islands (66.7%), Madrid (62.4%), and Castilla-La Mancha (54.2%).

The most capital for home mortgages was borrowed in Madrid (997.6 million euros), Catalonia (708.1 million) and Andalusia (531.8 million).

Looking at the monthly variations by autonomous community, the highest rates were seen in the Balearic Islands (+39.6%), Murcia (+37.9%), and Madrid (25.4%).

Aragón (-18.0%), La Rioja (-14.9%) and Cantabria (-14.8%) recorded the lowest monthly variations.


House Prices Much Higher Than Buyer Budgets

Buyer budgets falling short of prices
Buyer budgets falling short of prices

Buyers budgets are falling short of prices

The average Spanish property buyer has a budget of 166,000 euros, a figure that falls short of the average house price in Spain, which is currently 241,145 euros.

This means there is a 69% gap making it hard for Spaniards to get on the property ladder.

The average Spanish buyer is looking for a property in the periphery of cities and for a second-hand apartment that does not require reform.

The study, by Century 21, also shows the average Spanish buyer is looking for a property with an area between 76 and 120m². They are looking for a property with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. As for prices, on average Spaniards are looking to spend 166,000 euros to buy a property.


In the case of rentals, the average Spaniard is looking to spend around 559 euros per month. When comparing the average rental prices among those who have rented, or plan to do so, there is an upward gap of 41 euros, with the average rental price standing at 600.82 euros. For 44% of those who currently rent, the monthly cost represents more than 30% of their family income.

In this context, the supply of rental housing of up to 500 euros per month (41%) is 11 points below demand (52%). For homes with a monthly rental cost between 501 and 600 euros, there is a surplus of two points (20% vs. 18%). From this amount up, the price versus demand ratio is very tight, until we reach homes of more than 1,200 euros per month, where stock is more than 5 points higher than demand.


As for characteristics of the homes, there is a small deficit between the demand for apartments from 51 to 75m², with 23% of stock matching the requirements of 22% of tenants. A similar situation is seen for properties from 76 to 90m², where the demand is 28%, and supply amounts to 26%. We see the most notable gap in homes from 91 to 120m², which 26% of buyers are looking for, while properties of this size make up only 18% of the supply.


With regard to distribution of houses, it is noted that supply and demand are not in line. Thus, demand for three-bedroom houses (49%) exceeds the supply by more than 13 points (36%). The supply of homes with more than three bedrooms (31%) is much higher than demand, which only reaches 19%. In the case of bathrooms, the demand for homes with two bathrooms (53%) exceeds the supply by more than 8 percentage points (45%).