The number of Spanish property transactions have hit a record level since the global financial crisis in 2008.
Strong economic growth and increasing employment levels in Spain saw almost 465,000 property sales or purchases happen in 2017, representing the highest transaction level since 2008, according to the latest figures from Spain’s national property register.
The property transaction level was up by 15 per cent when compared to 2016, as the Spanish property market continues to recover from the financial crisis.
Following a huge property boom in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the global recession in 2008 saw the Spanish economy slow and property prices crash.
The property recovery did not begin again until 2014 but has been gathering pace since then.
National average property prices in Spain rose by 7.6 per cent during 2017 when compared with the previous year, boosted by strong Spanish economic growth of 3.1 per cent in the same period.
Property prices nationally are still 21 per cent below the peak of the boom in 2007 however, so there are still good deals to be had for property investors.
The Spanish property register figures also showed strong interest from overseas property investors.
Around 13 per cent of all property purchases nationally were made by overseas investors rather than Spanish nationals, with the British and French leading the way.
When it came to the traditional tourist areas that figure rose considerably, with overseas property investors responsible for 35 per cent of transactions in the Balearic Islands, and 29 per cent in the Canary Islands.
Ratings agency Moody’s stated: ‘Low interest rates along with a declining (although still-high) unemployment rate, which declined to 17 percent in 2017 from a record 27 percent in 2013, are supporting housing affordability.’
The agency continued: ‘Moreover, although it is likely that housing sales will exceed 500,000 properties during 2018 for the first time in a decade, this is still far from the nearly one million of annual housing sales before 2007,” it said.
‘Construction activity currently is at 40% of pre-crisis levels in 2007, partially correcting the oversupply in place before the crisis.’