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Further 2 Year Spanish Property Price Slump Expected

Tue 11th Jan 2011

Spain's National Institute of Statistics (INE) has reported how property prices are falling as vendors are slowly coming around to the idea that they must be more realistic with the market value of their homes.

The study reveals that the prices of residential property declined 2.2% in the third quarter of 2010 compared with the same period the previous year. The price of both new properties and re-sales are falling, down 2.6% and 1.8% respectively year on year.

Madrid was the only region to see an increase in prices in the third quarter of 2010, up by 0.9% compared to 2009. Andalucía saw a drop of 2.2%, The Balearics fell by 2%, the Canary Islands by 2.9%, however, the largest slump of all was seen in Cantabria, which fell by 6.7%.

One of Spain's leading property portals - Idealista.com - reports how vendors are lowering their prices in record numbers. A total of 26,188 vendors advertising their homes for sale on the portal reduced their asking prices during November alone - 15% more than in October. When compared with the same period for 2009, 80% more vendors reduced their prices.

But is this enough? - The Spanish media has recently reported that are as many as 45,000 currently for sale in the Balearics alone, with 15'000 of these being vacant properties in Palma de Mallorca.

Spanish property expert Mark Stucklin of Spanish Property Insight, suggests that prices will continue their downward trend for a futher two years. He points out that the latest economic data from the Bank of Spain shows the full brutal extent of the country’s real estate crash.

The report illustrates how the supply of new homes outstripped demand for most of the last decade leading to a massive oversupply, which the bank estimates to be between 700,000 and 1,200,000 homes. The worst problem areas being Valencia, Murcia and Cantabria, representing over 6% of the housing stock. Andalucia is in the second group with a glut of 3.6%.

The Bank of Spain data also reveals how official house prices have fallen back to 2005 levels. ‘That is not to say they won’t fall further. In reality, official figures belie the true extent of the crash as prices have fallen significantly more than they suggest,’ said Stucklin.

The report also suggests that the largest falls in prices have been in areas favoured by foreign owners of holiday homes, the Balearic, Canaries Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca, showing average price falls in excess of 15%.

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