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Columnist Tancrede de Pola

THE number of homes sold in Spain in January barely increased compared to the same month last year, new figures have shown.

According to the Spanish Land Registrar, some 42,850 homes were sold in the first month of this year, just above the 42,745 sold in January 2018.

Small markets saw strong growth in the likes of Extremadura, Huelva and Teruel, but tourist hotspots, including the Canary Islands, the Balearics, Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca all saw a year-on-year drop in sales.

But what does this mean?

While on a national level there has been an increase in sales, the figures to some suggest that the expansion enjoyed over the last few years could be slowing down.

It is the first time growth has been in the low single digits for three consecutive months since the market turned the corner around the end of 2014.

In fact growth has been consistently lower since May last year.

However, sales were up in the Catalan provinces including Barcelona, the Costa Brava, and Costa Dorada, perhaps because the political problems in Catalunya no longer alarm investors.

This could be a sign of things to come for the Costas when the Brexit fiasco is finally dealt with.

Uncertainty surrounding the UK’s divorce is no doubt having an impact on British buyers, the biggest foreign market for Spanish property by far.

Once some certainty is brought back – and hopefully a soft a Brexit as possible – the pound will likely bounce back strong and buyers will feel more comfortable taking the plunge.

It’s also important to remember the property figures tend to be quite volatile, so we will get more of an idea of how much the steam is running out, if at all, in the next few months.

So while it has been a slower start to the year, don’t panic, things are still looking healthy!

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