Real Estate

More homes bought in 2021 than any year since 2007

Last year, 564,569 transactions were completed in Spain (+34.5%) and 89,112 in Catalonia (+35.2%)

2 min
Molts housing under construction awaits buyers, even though the demand for apartments remains low and financing is lacking.

BarcelonaThe housing market has not only overcome the impact of the pandemic, but soared during 2021 with a growth of 35.2%, the highest figure since 2007, just before the real estate bubble burst, according to data published Monday by the Association of Registrars.

Specifically, 89,112 operations were closed in Catalonia, with an increase of 36.1% in the case of new housing (with 14,862 sales) and 35% in the case of second-hand housing (with 74,250 operations).

In Spain as a whole, 564,569 home sales and purchases were registered, also the highest figure in the last 14 years. Despite this growth, the last quarter of last year saw a slowdown, with a drop of 6.6% compared to the previous three months.

In Spain as a whole, the average price of housing rose by 0.5% between October and December 2021, to €1,853 per square metre, on average. The Balearic Islands exceeded this figure, with average prices at €2,963 per square metre, followed by Madrid (€2,926), the Basque Country (€2,860) and Catalonia (€2,293). In Catalonia, the price increase was 0.8%, with an increase of 3.9% in the case of new housing and a decrease of 0.2% in the case of second-hand housing.

The cheapest regions were Extremadura at €731 per square meter, followed by Castilla-La Mancha (€815), and Murcia (€1,049). In the fourth quarter, the average surface area of transactions was 101.5 square metres, 0.5% less than in the previous quarter. These figures continue to move away from the all-time high of 102.9 square metres for housing as a whole, achieved between January and March 2021.

Foreign buyers return

Home purchases by foreigners recovered during the year from the 9.7% drop recorded in the first three months of 2021 due to the impact of the pandemic. Thus, during the last quarter it rose by 12.6%. The British were the main foreign home buyers in Spain, with 12.4% of the total, followed by the Germans (10.9%), the French (7.8%), Moroccans (5.7%), Belgians (5.5%) and Swedes (5.2%).

Home purchases by foreigners were concentrated in the islands, with 39% in the Balearic Islands and 25.9% in the Canary Islands. Also in coastal areas, such as the Valencian Country (24.3%), Murcia (17.5%), Andalusia (13.1%) and Catalonia (12.7%), according to data from the Association of Registrars.

The data from the registrars show that many buyers are leaving big cities to go to the peripheries or metropolitan areas. As an example, only 48.2% of the sales and purchases in the province of Madrid were in Madrid city, when in 2015 they were 57.7%. The phenomenon also occurs in Barcelona: 24.3% of home purchases in the province were in the city governed by Ada Colau. In 2014 they were 36.1%.