MADRID – It is clear that the corona pandemic has changed many things in the world for good. The Spanish housing market is one of those things. As a result, home buyers in Spain have also set different priorities when buying a new home.
A notable difference between now and 2019 is the increased interest in new-build homes. Never in the past seven years have as many newly built homes been sold as in the first quarter of this year. Family homes outside the big cities also became increasingly popular, although this trend is already declining.
High demand for new-build homes
In the first quarter of 2021, real estate transactions were back at the same level as before the corona pandemic. Therefore it could be said that the Spanish housing market has fully recovered. In fact, this is one of the most recorded transactions in the real estate market since 2008. In the first quarter of this year, the new construction market saw an increase of 23.4% compared to December 2020.
The Spanish housing market share
Despite the increased interest in new-build homes, existing homes still have the largest share of the Spanish real estate market. Sales of these homes rose by 11% in the first quarter. But remained slightly below the level of the first quarter of 2020 (101,036 transactions in 2021 versus 103,105 transactions in 2020).
In the first quarter of this year, the number of transactions in the Spanish housing market increased in all regions. But most houses were sold in Andalucia (25,673), Catalonia (20,902), Madrid (19,339) and Valencia (17,496).
Interest in apartments
Over the past twelve months, homebuyers have had a clear preference for the larger single-family homes, while the popularity of apartments declined. This trend leveled off somewhat for the first time in the first quarter of this year and relatively more apartments were sold again.
More living space
The average living area of the houses sold in Spain reached a new record in the first quarter of 102.9 square metres. The largest houses were bought in Extremadura and Castile La Mancha, the regions where house prices in Spain are lowest. In the same period, the average living area of the apartments sold also increased. 53.2% of the transactions involved a living area of more than 80 square metres. It is clear that since the pandemic the home buyer has been looking for more living space, both inside and outside the home.
Sales of houses and apartments in Spain to foreigners fell further in the first quarter, reaching the lowest level since 2013. The travel restrictions imposed in the past year are most likely the cause of this.
Rise in house prices
In the first quarter of this year, house prices increased on average by 4.83% compared to the last quarter of 2020; per square metre an average of €1,781 was paid. Compared to the first quarter of 2020, the average house price increase of 0.9% was a lot lower