Residential property sales across Spain increased by 14% in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018, the latest official figures show.
As a proportion of total sales, they increased from 17.7% to 19.5%, according to the data from the National Institute of Statistics. However, this is still a long way from that of the first quarter of 2007, when new homes represented 41% of total sales.
The biggest growth in sales was in Madrid with a rise of 34%, followed by Valencia, up 24% and then Barcelona with a rise of 12%.
The improvement in sales is also reflected in the latest report from estate agency Lucas Fox which shows that sales of new homes in the prime market more than tripled between January and April 2019.
It says that the upsurge in new homes transactions is largely due to a significant increase in sales by Lucas Fox’s Barcelona office with the number of transactions completed during the first four months of 2019 almost eight times more than in the same period in 2018.
The firm adds that this is mainly down to the fact that a number of projects that were in the construction phase during 2017 and 2018 have now been completed. The average price of a new home sold by Lucas Fox rose from €868,909 during January to April 2018 to €1,068,992 in the same period this year, up by 23%.
‘Scores of sales in Barcelona that had been in the offer stage finally completed in the year’s first quarter and regions such as Girona, Sitges and Marbella will also see a good end to the year where many deals will finally be signed off. We are currently commercialising around €1 billion worth of new development product across Spain,’ said Joanna Papis, head of new developments.
The agency also reports a surge in the numbers of buyers from the Middle East and the United States, who tend to prefer contemporary ‘lock and leave’ homes. Interest from the British is still high and the number of Spanish buyers is on the up, reflecting growing confidence in the market from locals.
The motivation of buyers is also changing from secondary residences to investment, as they take advantage of Spain’s steadily growing property prices and good rental returns. This, combined with Spain’s high quality of life, has assured that the trend of the ‘lifestyle investor’ will continue to grow.
As well as a change in nationality and motivation, buyers of new homes are being more demanding about features and amenities in 2019. ‘Buyers are looking for secure neighbourhoods with plenty of high class services. The type of product is changing as the expectations of clients becomes higher. They want home automation systems, porterage, a gym, a spa and a heated pool, all of which is now becoming the norm in new projects. Energy efficient and sustainable homes are also very much in demand,’ Papis explained.