Positive development in tourism regions
Following continuous declines in annual sales figures, for 2013 the Spanish Statistics Institute, INE, recorded only a small year-on-year fall of 2.2% in the national real estate market. Overall Spain’s notaries registered 311,414 sales transactions last year (2012: 318,419).
South popular with buyers
While the northern provinces such as the Basque Country or Asturias continued to suffer from buyer reticence with a fall in sales of 18.3% and 24.3% respectively, there has been massive growth elsewhere in the real estate sector, particularly in the southern tourism regions.
The Canary Islands take the lead: a total of 16,277 properties were sold here in 2013, representing a hefty 13.5% increase on last year. Second place in terms of highest increases goes to the coastal province of Murcia, which gained 6.4%, followed by Catalonia which was up by 4.8% on last year.
The figures indicate that Spain’s real estate sector has recovered from the impact of the real estate crisis. The Balearics, whose real estate market has already recorded significant growth in recent years, stabilised last year with a slight increase of 0.5% compared with 2012. Overall, 7,971 houses and apartments changed hands on the Spanish Mediterranean islands in 2013.
Porta Group increases turnover in Spain
The Porta Mondial master franchise partners for Tenerife, Majorca and Ibiza were also able to increase their sales turnover in 2013. Porta Mallorquina which, with eight offices in Majorca, is one of the island’s biggest real estate providers, reported a 21% increase in turnover compared with 2012.
Concrete gold in Majorca and Ibiza
Porta Mallorquina CEO Joachim Semrau says that the increasing demand is due to new types of buyer who are coming to Majorca:
“With returns of 4–6% for holiday lettings, Majorca is becoming an increasingly attractive place to invest, and is thus
also pulling in new target groups.”
For this reason Porta Mallorquina is now also offering a holiday rental service via its new subsidiary, Porta Holiday.
“The clients buy a property with us, and then immediately rent it to holidaymakers.”
The main properties being bought are houses and villas in desirable locations, as well as comfortably appointed fincas that are also well-suited for holiday rentals. The majority of Porta Mallorquina’s clients come from the German-speaking countries, followed by the UK, Scandinavia and Spain.
In Ibiza, British clients still dominate, followed by Germans and Swiss. Porta Ibiza was able to achieve significant increases in turnover compared with 2012, particularly in the luxury segment of € 5 million and over. On average, properties on this island, which is extremely popular with the international jet set, are around 20-30% higher than on its sister island of Majorca.
Holiday properties on the rise in the Canaries
In comparison, real estate prices remain relatively affordable in the Canary Islands. An apartment on the coast can be acquired for under € 50,000 in Tenerife, with holiday houses starting at around € 200,000. Speaking about market development, Porta Tenerife Managing Director Eckhard Bernstorff says:
“Prices bottomed out in Tenerife in 2012. Clients who were observing the market saw that and, since last year, demand from foreign buyers has also been very lively.”
The Canary Islands were the big winners in 2013, with a 13% increase in real estate turnover.