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House sales fell by almost 18% during the year of the pandemic, according to the INE
16 February 2021 @ 15:16


Unsurprisingly, the COVID health pandemic has held back the housing market over the past year. According to INE data, 36,109 house sales were registered in December.

Despite the fact that the number of operations represents an improvement of 3.7% compared to the last month of 2019, it is the lowest figure since August and leaves a balance for the whole of 2020 with double-digit declines (-17.7 %). It is the biggest drop in the last nine years, although it has not been as steep as was predicted during the first wave of the virus.

According to Francisco Iñareta, spokesperson for the website Idealista, “the market has managed to end 2020 with more than 415,000 homes sold, which represents a fall of 17.7% over the figure registered a year earlier. Even so, the decline is significantly lower than expected by many experts and the volume of sales is higher than that produced in 2016, which implies that the announced collapse of the sector has not been such. In addition, during the last two months, we have been observing a higher number of sales than that of the same month a year before. The announcement of the vaccination process seems to be behind this data, and it is possible that the start of it in early 2021 will continue to push sales. If the vaccination system continues smoothly over the next few months, an even greater increase in sales operations cannot be ruled out ”.

Returning to the data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), the annual drop in home sales by 17.7% is explained mainly by the decline in the second-hand market. As the experts predicted, new-build housing has managed to better overcome the coronavirus crisis and has gained market share: it now accounts for more than 20% of residential property transfers.

Data from the INE place the Valencian Community (132), La Rioja (120) and Cantabria (119) as the regions with the most house sales per 100,000 inhabitants in the month of December.

However, by total number of operations, the ranking is led by Andalusia (with 7,323 housing transactions in the last month of 2020), followed by Catalonia (5,685), Valencian Community (5,261) and Madrid (4,572). In regions such as Aragón, the Canary Islands, Castilla y León, Castilla-La Mancha, Murcia and the Basque Country, more than a thousand house sales were registered in December, while Navarra and La Rioja are the autonomous regions with the fewest operations (below 400 in both cases).

Regarding the interannual evolution for the month of December, there are several communities that have registered strong decreases. While in the whole of Spain the sales registered in the property registers have risen 3.7% compared to December 2019, in the Balearic Islands the number of operations has fallen by 20% and in the Canary Islands, by 16.5%. Navarra (-7.6%), the Basque Country (-6.6%), Madrid (-1.6%) and the Valencian Community (-1.3%) are also negative. Murcia, for its part, has registered more transactions than in December 2019, although the increase is lower than the national average (2.8%).

At the other end of the table are Castilla y León, Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura, Galicia and La Rioja, with year-on-year increases in December of over 25%. Andalusia and Catalonia have remained above the average, although with increases in the single digits.




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