Decline in house sales in the Balearic and Canary Islands

by Lorraine Williamson
house sales

MADRID – Sales of residential properties in Spain fell 18% in 2020. House sales in tourist hotspots such as the Balearic and Canary Islands have been hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Real estate market

This is evident from figures on the housing market in Spain that INE published earlier this week. A spring lockdown for months and long, sweeping travel restrictions nationally and internationally dealt hard blows on the country’s real estate market. This, just as the market was recovering well from the crisis that began in 2008. 

In 2020, approximately 415,000 homes were sold. That is the lowest number in four years. And the number of real estate transactions fell to a low point not seen since 2011. But in the second half of the year, pent-up demand led to a moderate recovery. 

As soon as the end of the lockdown approached, sales started to increase, said a Fotocasa spokesperson. “The dynamics recorded in the second half of the year indicate that sales figures recovered quickly. But the year itself still ended in the red.” 

People fled the cities

Regions with beaches, lots of nature and a low population density such as La Rioja, Galicia and Cantabria saw house sales increase by rates between 28 – 37% in December, compared to the same month in 2019. People fled the cities towards space and greenery and a low risk of infection, after being locked up for months 

The popular holiday islands of the Balearic and Canary Islands among holidaymakers and international investors lost 20 and 17% respectively of the volume of house sales in 2020, while the local hospitality sector was burdened by the restrictive measures to stop the corona virus. 

Single-family new-build homes with terraces and gardens turned out to be the best match for the downward trend. Buyers were clearly fleeing cramped apartments and looking for a higher quality of life with more space and greenery in the light of possible future lockdowns. 

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