RESIDENTIAL property sales in August this year were at their highest since 2007, the peak year of the housing market ‘boom’, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INE).
With nearly 50,000 homes shifted in just one month, the difference between August 2021 and the same month in 2020 was almost 60%.
Back in 2007, when home prices were at their highest in history and the buying and selling market was in constant activity – just before the ‘crash’ that came between 2008 and 2010 – a record 58,872 residential properties were bought in the month of August, a figure that has never been seen since.
Fast-forward 14 years, the largest volume of August home sales after the high of 2007 totals 49,884 – the most buoyant yet by a wide margin.
Only 2017, with 44,834, and 2010, with 43,610, came anywhere near the bumper August seen in 2021 – which was even more welcome for the residential property industry, as well as for sellers themselves, when taking into account a lean summer in 2020.
Not the worst year by far – these came in 2011, 2013 and 2014, when sales in August barely averaged 25,000, or about half the figure for 2021 – the first full year of the pandemic, with lockdowns and restrictions on movement and face-to-face contact hitting the homebuying market hard, these transactions totalled just 31,592, or more than 4,000 down from 2019.
By August 2020, movement restrictions had been temporarily lifted and life and business were largely back to normal in Spain, albeit with masks and social distancing – but international travel was still difficult, if not impossible, meaning the usual summer interest for holiday homes among dwellers in colder climates was mostly missing.
It was not completely back to normal even by August 2021, since Spain’s key overseas holiday home-buying markets, such as the UK, France and Germany, still had limitations in place for most of the summer, including, in some cases, the obligation for residents returning from a trip to Spain to quarantine for between five and 14 days.
So a year-on-year hike of 17,292 extra sales was a huge achievement, and is likely to raise confidence in the industry as to what August 2022 might look like, with practically the whole of the western world vaccinated and Covid cases, or at least severe ones, hopefully being very rare.
Types of homes bought and sold
Pre-owned residential property sales were up by 62.6% in August 2021 compared with the same month in 2020, having been rising for the previous six consecutive months, whilst sales of new builds showed a year-on-year increase of 40.9% in what was the seventh month on the trot of ascending figures.
On average, compared with August 2020, the across-the-board spike in property purchases came to 57.9%, according to the INE.
Over the first eight months of 2021, home sales have risen by 37.2% compared with the same period in 2020; new builds seeing the largest growth, at 43.4%, with pre-owned home purchases up by 35.7% from January to August inclusive.
Practically all regions in Spain reported rises in residential property sales.