The number of unsold properties built in Spain during the boom housing years prior to the 2008 crash is steadily falling, ending 2016 with 388,000 unsold properties, almost half of the 650,000 left unsold at the peak in 2009.
Previously considered unsaleable for reasons such as poor location, lack of infrastructure and simply lack of demand, data from the real estate services firm Servihabitat, reveals a 20% fall over the last year and is predicting similar results in 2017 bringing the amount of unsold homes to around 315,000.
In the more popular areas such as the Costa del Sol very few such properties remain and are almost non-existent in Madrid and the Balearics, whereas the number of difficult to sell properties in the La Rioja region, Castille-La Mancha and Valencia remain high.
Further research from Servihabitat, part of the Caixa Bank Group, predicts the number of home sales to increase by 12% in 2017 from the 445,000 property transactions in 2016, itself a 26% increase on those sold in 2015.
The company also predicts average Spanish property prices will increase 4.3% over the coming year with the largest growth expected in Madrid, Barcelona and those areas popular with overseas buyers.
The return of overseas buyers seen in 2016 is forecast to continue into 2017, however British buyers are expected to be less dominant with a more even spread of home hunters from France, Scandinavia, Germany and the rest of Europe. Home buyer numbers from outside Europe are also set to increase as Spain’s golden visa scheme which grants residency to non-EU members for an investment of 500,000€ or more in real estate proves more popular. Slow to take off when first introduced in 2013, the scheme has now issued some 24,500 visas. Largely coming from China and Russia, the most popular locations for such investors are Madrid, Barcelona and Malaga (Costa del Sol).