Overview of the Spanish real estate market

Posted on May 9, 2007 · Posted in Lanzarote News

The Spanish property market was incorrectly portrayed as melting down after the share price correction on the Spanish stock market. In reality, the overall market is not falling, though some regional markets are faring better than others. But the stock market jolt has help focus people’s attention on the serious imbalances affecting Spain’s housing market. The big risk to the market comes from over-provision, as Spanish developers build several hundred thousand more properties per year than the market needs. This oversupply is partly due to years of inappropriately low interest rates for Spain once in the EUM. With the Spanish economy now over-dependent upon the housing sector for economic growth and employment, there is a risk that a much-needed fall in housing starts will bring about a construction-lead recession in Spain. If this happens, demand for holiday homes will be hit hard, and house prices will fall in many areas. But even in this worst-case scenario, attractive properties in desirable locations with foreign appeal should hold their value, and recover quickly as economic conditions improve. With the Spanish economy growing at close to 4% – one of the highest rates in the developed world – and with forecast growth of 3.7% in 2007, and 3.4% in 2008, it is difficult to imagine a construction-lead recession at present. Without a recession, the Spanish housing market is more likely to stagnate over the next few years than fall.