HOUSE sales in Spain plunged 18% last year, with some tourist hotspots the hardest hit.
According to the country’s National Statistics Institute, 415,000 houses were sold in 2020, the lowest number in four years – but industry insiders say the recovery is well under way.
Overall, property transactions were at the lowest since 2011 despite a modest recovery in the second half of the year as pre-pandemic demand was finally put through the books
A spokeswoman for property portal Fotocasa, Anaïs Lopez, said: “Once the confinement began winding down, house sales grew.
“The dynamism registered in the second half of the year meant sales data recovered rapidly, despite ending the year in the red.
“The demand for purchase is experiencing an unprecedented boom and many Spaniards have switched from looking to rent to home buying – particularlñy for larger houses. The intention to buy a home has experienced a growth in six months that we had never seen before.”
Lopez said: “The pandemic and confinement has awakened a demand for housing that continues to be very active in our country. If we continue with this rhythm of closing operations, it is possible that the economic crisis will not affect the real estate sector too directly and we will continue to see how it evolves in a positive way.”
In fact, regions blessed with beaches, plentiful natural space or a low population density like La Rioja, Galicia and Cantabria saw house sales soar between 37% and 28% in December compared with the same month in 2019.
But the Balearic and Canary Islands were particularly badly hit , losing 20% and 17% respectively of housing sales year-on-year.
New-build, single-family properties equipped with terraces and gardens held up better against the downward trend compared to older apartments.