Figures published by the Spanish Statistics Institute (INE) confirm that market recovery is well under way and that sales activity now lies at levels on a par with those at the start of the crisis.
In Málaga province last year, 24,705 properties were sold, the highest figure since 2008. 2015 saw an increase of 11 per cent in sales and was the third consecutive year of growth. The Málaga property market has been growing since 2013 while national and regional recuperation did not start until 2014.
The rise of 11 per cent for last year in Málaga does, however, mark a slight slow down in recovery when compared to the 14 per cent growth in 2014. But experts point out that this is because high increases are easier when initial figures are very low.
The number of sales last year brings Málaga to the top of the Andalusian tables. The province accounted for almost 35 per cent of all properties sold in the region and more than twice as many as those sold in Seville (11,536). However, pre-crisis levels such as those seen in 2007 when 42,000 properties changed hands in Málaga are a long way off.
Another indicator of property market recovery are the sales of new builds and these still lie far below pre-crisis figures. The Málaga market continues to be made up essentially of resales – eight out of every ten properties sold are resales.
The number of new-build homes sold in 2015 was the lowest ever and 37 per cent below the figure registered in 2014. The new-build total does not reflect the sales of bank-owner properties since these are counted as resales for statistical purposes.
There are signs that the market for new homes is changing, however, particularly at national level. Homebuilders and developers in Spain believe that 2016 will be a busy year for new construction. Their estimates point to at least 100,000 new starts this year with possibly as many as 350,000 new builds throughout the country.
Even the conservative prediction of 100,000 is well ahead of the last two years. 35,000 new builds were started in 2014 and around 50,000 last year. However, once again, these figures fall well short of those seen in the pre-crisis years when Spain built upwards of 760,000 new properties a year.