According to data published by the National Statistics Institute on Monday, home sales in Spain fell 12.6% in March compared with the same month of 2012, to a total of 22,086 transactions, the lowest figure since April last year, when these transactions reached just over 21,500.
The March decline comes after three consecutive months of year-on-year increases, and may be a consequence of the end of the tax benefits for home ownership which came into effect on 1st January.
In fact, looking at only the monthly data (March over February), housing sales fell by 37.8%, the worst figure for any month of March in the last five years.
Declines were registered in sales of both new and used homes in March, year-on-year, although the transactions on new homes declined somewhat less.
Specifically, sales of previously owned homes fell 13.2% in March year-on-year, to 11,535 operations, while new home sales fell 11.9%, with 10,551 transactions. In both cases the figures are the lowest since April 2012.
Most of the homes purchased during the third month of the year, namely 87.5%, were private housing. The sale of this type of housing fell 12% to 19,318 operations, while public housing operations totalled 2,768, a decrease of 16.3% compared to March 2012.
By region, El Mundo reported that the total number of property transfers recorded in the property records per 100,000 population in March was highest for La Rioja (756). The regions with the highest annual variations were La Rioja (18%) and Aragon (15.5%).
On the other side, the region that had the highest annual decline was Extremadura (-47.9%). With respect to the number of home sales registered, the region with the highest number of transfers per 100,000 inhabitants was La Rioja (199).
The region with the greatest annual change in the number of house sales in March was again La Rioja (158.1%), while the regions that registered the largest declines were Asturias (-48.9%), the Basque Country (-40.4%) and Navarra (-40.4%).