Housing sales increase by 21.4% in Catalonia in 2010

Compared to 2009, real estate sales increased by 21.4% in Catalonia. The Catalan market’s activity triples the Spanish average. However, forecasts for 2011 are no so optimistic due to the VAT increase and the end of the fiscal deduction for purchasing houses and flats.


February 10, 2011 10:17 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- In 2010, 55,500 flats and houses were sold in Catalonia, according to data released by the Spanish Institute of Statistics. The figure represents an increase of 21.4% in relation to the 45,686 operations registered in 2009. The Catalan figure for 2010 triples the Spanish average, which is a 6.8% increase. The main factor behind the 2010 increase is the end of the Spanish Government’s fiscal deduction for purchasing housing facilities, which is not longer applicable in 2011. In fact, it is expected that sales will decrease this year precisely for this reason. Another factor that helped the real estate market in mid 2010 was the increase of VAT in July; many sales were carried out just before this increase..

From the 55,500 houses and flats sold in 2010, 52,538 were within the free market and 5,478 were within the social housing market. Besides, from the totality of flats and houses sold, 27,967 were newly built and 29,935 were within the second hand market. In comparison to 2009, newly built constructions’ sales increased by 17% and second hand houses sales grew by 24%.

In the entire Spain, during 2010, 441,368 house sales were registered, which represents a 6.8% increase in relation to the year before. From these houses and flats, 391,296 were within the free market (a 5.4% more than in 2009) and 50,072 were within the social housing market (18.5% more than last year’s figures).

Regarding the sales’ geographical distribution in 2010, 58.4% of the total of sales across Spain were carried out in Andalucía, Madrid, Valencian Community and Catalonia.

Taking into account not only the sales but also the rest of real estate transfers (donations, inheritances, permutes, and others, such as parcel and horizontal divisions), urban and rustic, 1,837,931 operations were concluded in the entire Spain in 2010. In Catalonia, the total number of real estate transfers in 2010 was 224,747, 2.63% more than last year.

The magnitude of the tragedy

The dimension of the construction crisis can be observed by studying the 2007 and 2008 figures in Catalonia. In 2007, in the middle of the construction bubble’s expansion, 111,482 flats and houses were sold in Catalonia. The next year, there was already a significant drop in sales with 62,136 operations. Then, in 2009, the figure decreased even more, reaching 45,686 sales, about 40% of the operations registered in 2007. In 2010, the sector took an oxygen balloon, waiting to see the behaviour in 2011.