The Spanish National Institute ( INE) released figures today, Monday 15th February showing that house sales plummeted by 17.7% in 2020 compared to 2019.
The figures showed a total of 415,748 transactions, representing the biggest drop since the start of the economic recession of 2010 and the lowest recorded figure since 2016.
The sharp drop was atributed to the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic which hit most sectors of the economy.
The INE highlights too that during the initial state of alarm between March and June most regional and provincial Public Property Registries were closed which caused a collapse in the numbers of purchases registered though there has been a “progressive recovery” in registeries working normally subsequently.
The volume of home sales had been climbing strongly until stopped in its tracks by the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2015 home sales rose 11.5%, in 2016 by 14% in 2017 by 15.4% and in 2019 by 10.8% in 2018.
The lowest recorded figures were for 2008 and 2009 which saw collapses of 25.1% and 28.8% respectively.
The decline in home sales in 2020 was seen in both new builds and older properties.
House sales experienced its biggest drop in 11 years with 333,205 transactions while flates and apartment sales fell by 11.2%, to 82,543 transactions.
Sales of “special protected homes” for young people and families on low incomes fell by 22.4% to just 37,232 transactions.
Andalusia registered the most number of transactions with 83,760 purchases, followed by Catalonia (65,064), the Valencian Community (58,745) and Madrid (56,723).
The areas that saw the heaviest falls were in resort zones and areas favoured by European buyers especially the Balearic Islands (-23.2%), Comunidad Valenciana (-22.1%) and the Canary Islands (-21.9%), while at the other end of the scale Extremadura saw a fall of -6.5% and Asturias -9%.
There was some improvement for the end of the year which gace hope that with the expected economic recovery the market may rebound in 2021.
In the last month of 2020, the sale of homes grew by 3.7% in relation to December 2019 with 36,109 transactions.
The latest EU Commision´s bullish expectations for the Spanish economy have further fueled industry expectations of a recovery this year.