Spain’s property revival boosted by ‘bad bank’ sales

More encouraging news regarding the Spanish property market revival. Sareb, otherwise known as Spain’s ‘bad bank’, the vehicle established to clean up the country’s real estate collapse, has reported an acceleration in home sales.

Over the first four months of this year alone, it sold more than 5,000 properties to individuals compared with 9,000 for the whole of 2013.

Belen Romana, chairwoman of Sareb, commented: “It’s time to invest in the property market because it is stabilising in terms of price.” New mortgage lending in Spain increased by two per cent in March compared with a year earlier, representing the first annual increase in four years, and providing another sign of revival, according to Romana.

Spanish house prices have fallen by up to 50 percent since their 2007 peak, but after a turbulent few years prices are starting to creep back up in some areas, and people who have been watching the market are snapping up bargains while they can.  

And it appears that British buyers are leading the pack. According to data from the Spanish property register, they accounted for 15.2 per cent of total sales to foreigners in 2013, the highest of any nation, with France and Russia coming next.

In total, overseas investors bought 36,226 Spanish residential properties in 2013, an increase of 35 per cent compared with 2012 and 82 per cent compared with 2010. And they grew to represent 12.85 per cent of the market in the fourth quarter of last year, compared with just 4.24 per cent in 2009.


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