Spain: Biggest Annual House Price Drop in Europe

February 5th, 2013

In the third quarter of 2012, the price of housing in Spain registered a drop of 15.2% year-on-year, which is the biggest drop recorded among all the European Union countries, which experienced an average decrease of 1.9% compared to the same period in 2011.

These results are taken from data published by the European statistical office, Eurostat, which has published, for the first time, homogeneous data on the evolution of housing prices between the 27 member countries. This negative percentage rises to 2.5% in the Eurozone countries.

According to Eurostat’s data, the year-on-year drop in Spanish house prices accelerated throughout the year, reaching 12.5% in the first three months 2012, and 14.4% in the second quarter.

In quarterly terms, house prices in Spain dropped by 3.7% in the third quarter, above the average decline of 0.7% in the Eurozone and 0.4% in the whole of the EU, coming only behind the declines of 4.2% and 3.7% experienced in Romania and the Netherlands, respectively.

Specifically, among the States for which data was available, the largest year-on-year increases in house prices were registered in Estonia (+8.4%), Luxembourg (+7.1%) and Finland (+2.1%), while the largest declines were recorded in Spain (-15.2%), Ireland (-9.6%), the Netherlands (-8.7%) and Portugal (-7.7%).

Regarding the second quarter of 2012, the largest increases in house prices were recorded in Estonia (+2.6%), Latvia (+2.3%), United Kingdom (+1.7%) and Ireland (+1.6%), while the largest decreases were registered in Romania (-4.2%), the Netherlands (-3.9%) and Spain (-3.7%).

El Mundo reported that, with the announcement of the data on the evolution of housing prices in the EU in the third quarter of 2012, Eurostat is “responding to the demand for reliable and comparable statistics” on developments in the housing market nationally and in the EU.

The statistics agency said: “The evolution of housing prices is important for the purposes of our economy and monetary policy, particularly to monitor macroeconomic imbalances and risk exposure of the financial sector, and well as being relevant for households, to measure changes in prices of the most important component of families’ expenditure and wealth”.

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  1. 05/02/13 13:24   Campbell D Ferguson, Chartered Surveyor in Spain

    Any house price analysis that depends upon the Spanish national statistics is incorrect. It’s affecting the Spanish economy and attitude of investors to the country. There is no easy answer as the ‘hidden’ actual prices including ‘B’ money can never be available. Previously it was a large % of the price, say 30%, but with the money laundering rules its now much less, say 10%. So registered prices will appear to rise, but the actual price paid has not. The fall of 50% in true prices paid will appear to be only 30%. Even analysis of asking prices, as Kyero does conscientiously, is misleading as buyers paid the asking price when the market was strong, but now pay 10 to 20% below that when there is so much supply and little demand. The asking price stats will therefore show a 30% reduction in asking prices, but the real reduction in true sale prices is 40 to 50%.

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