What’s the latest on property trends and prices in Spain?

If you’re struggling to keep up with the fluctuating and unpredictable nature of Spain’s property market, we’ve gathered the latest data from industry experts to give you the lowdown on price drops and property trends this autumn.

What's the latest on property trends and prices in Spain?
Cudillero, one of the most beautiful coastal towns in Spain. Photo: Ramón Perucho/Pixabay

Americans are hunting for property in Spain

Data from Spain’s leading property search engine Idealista reveals that from June to September the highest foreign demand for Spanish properties on the coast came from the United States.

This bucks the usual trend of British and German buyers topping the foreign property tables, although in this case the stats refer to online searches for properties in Spain rather than actual purchases.

As Idealista’s map shows, there is a keen interest by Americans for properties along practically all of Spain’s coastline, with the only exceptions being the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands, where German (and to a lesser extent British) house hunters made up most of the foreign demand.

US house hunters also represented the largest portion of foreign nationals looking for properties in Italy and Portugal during the summer period.

Could it have been that many feared that Donald Trump would be re-elected and preferred instead to move to Europe? Q4 should hopefully shed some light on that.

READ ALSO: 11 burning questions from Americans who want to move to Spain

Spain’s popular spots haven’t lost their allure among foreigners

According to figures from Spain’s College of Property Registrars, the Balearic Islands (27.1 percent), the Canary Islands (26.3 percent) and the Valencia region (24.1 percent) were the regions where most foreigners bought properties in Spain during this year’s third quarter.

The average mortgage price for properties during the third quarter was €136,895.

Where are property prices falling the most in Spain?

According to real estate valuation group Tinsa, Spain’s Mediterranean coast has seen the biggest property price drops in the past year, down by 6.7 percent on average since November 2019 after months of fluctuations.

Capitals and big cities across Spain have experienced the second largest price fall – down by 2.6 percent – whereas prices in the Canary and Balearic Islands are at virtually the same levels as they were a year ago.

Spain’s luxury homes remain unscathed

Despite a GDP drop in 2020 of roughly 12 percent according to the IMF and Morgan Stanley, Spain’s property market is yet to reflect the price drops many forecast and hoped for.

Spain’s ‘standard’ real estate market is expected to see falls of around 10 percent in the sale price of second-hand homes and up to 30 percent in the more disadvantaged areas.

But when it comes to luxury properties, prices have so far hardly changed, with sellers reluctant to let Spain’s unstable economic situation affect their decision.

“Faced with the fear that inflation could occur due to the excessive injection of money by the ECB and the Federal Reserve, tangible assets emerge as a good way to have capital in a safe place,” Manuel Romera, Director of the Financial Sector at IE Business School, told El País.

Plenty of property sales in September

After a terrible summer for Spain’s tourism industry, with the resurgence of Covid-19 and ensuing travel restrictions destroying the country’s most important industry, the Spanish property market actually bounced back in September.

New data released by Spain’s National Statistics Institute (INE) reveals how property sales in September 2020 were only 1.1 percent lower than for same month in 2019.

In total, 37,839 properties were bought during September of this year, representing a 20.5 percent increase when compared to August’s figures.

As for the provinces where most properties were sold in September, they were Madrid (5,498), Barcelona (3,395), Alicante (2,638), Málaga (2,346) and Valencia (2,053).

On the other side of the spectrum were the usual suspects – the ‘empty’ provinces of Spain’s interior: Soria (61), Teruel (87), Palencia (101), Ávila (103) and Zamora (104).

Spaniards’ living habits are changing

Spain continues to be the European country with the highest number of apartment and flat-dwellers, but things started to change when a nation which spends plenty of time outdoors was forced to stay at home for months of lockdown at the start of the pandemic.

Whereas previously living in a central location took precedence over having a garden, the desire for space (even if it means living on the outskirts) is growing like never before.

According to figures from Spain’s College of Property Registrars, the sale of single-family homes continues to gain strength.

Third quarter stats show a historically high rate of these bigger properties, representing 20.4 percent of total operations, to the detriment of flats, which sank to a record minimum. 

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EXPLAINED: What you need to know about locksmiths in Spain

If you get locked out, have a break-in or need to change or fix the door lock at your home in Spain, here are the rates and advice you need before calling a Spanish locksmith (cerrajero).

EXPLAINED: What you need to know about locksmiths in Spain

Like anywhere, locksmiths are generally expensive and the price can vary greatly depending on the service you need and where you are.

It also depends on when you need them, as it’ll cost much more to call them out on a Saturday night than a Monday morning, for example.

Nor would it cost the same to open your front door as it would a reinforced security door.

But locksmiths don’t just make copies of keys and bail you out when you’re stuck outside your flat.

They also offer a whole host of different services including, but not limited to, opening safes, creating master keys, installing security doors, anti-drill doors, cutting specialist locks that reject copied keys, and even unlocking the boot of your car.

How much does a locksmith cost in Spain?

Given all these variables, the price can range massively.

According to Cronoshare, the average price for a nationwide call out in Spain can start from €80 anywhere up to €400.

On average, for a basic service, you can expect to pay anywhere between €40-€70 an hour for the labour, with the price of changing or installing a basic lock anywhere between €80-€200. 

For basic door openings, it depends on the situation you find yourself in: for doors locked with a key, which is a more complex task, prices average around €200, and for doors that are jammed or slammed shut, slightly cheaper in the €80-€100 range.

For an armoured or security door, prices can start at around €300.

In short, a general rule is that the more complex the task is, the higher the prices.

And as always, prices can vary depending on where you are in Spain, the quality of the locksmith, the time of the day and week you need his or her services, and if its a public holiday or not. 

So, as always, compare prices to try and find the most economical solution without skimping on quality.

As such, the following rates are estimations taken from average prices from locksmith.

Weekend/holiday rates

Where prices can really start to add up, however, is when you have an emergency situation requiring a locksmith’s assistance at the weekend, on a public holiday, or outside of normal working hours.

And if you live in Spain, you probably know there’s quite a few of those days throughout the year.

If you really need a cerrajero on a public holiday or during non-working hours (usually defined as anything between 8pm-8am) prices can reach €300 or €500 due to the fact you’ll have to cover the cost of travel, which starts from around €40 plus the increased rate.

Then you must also include the price of labour to the flat rate, which is usually somewhere between €40 and €70 an hour regardless of when you call them out.

Key vocabulary 

We’ve put together some of the basic vocabulary you might need if you find yourself needing a locksmith while in Spain.

el cerrajero – locksmith

la llave – the key

la llave de repuesto – the spare key

la puerta – the door

la cerradura – the lock

la bisagra – the hinge

día festivo – public holiday

cambio de bombín – change of cylinder lock

puerta blindada – armoured door

coste de mano de obra – labour costs

quedarse afuera – get locked out 

puerta cerrada de un portazo – door slammed shut

puerta cerrada con llave – locked door

Tips relating to choosing a good locksmith in Spain 

If you’ve just started renting a new place or have bought a property, it’s advisable to change the lock as you don’t know who has keys to your front door. If you’re a tenant, try to negotiate this with your landlord as it’s in both of your interests that only you two have keys to the property.

If there has been a burglary in your property while you’re living in it and there’s no sign of forced entry, then there’s a very big chance that the burglars had a copy of your keys, and you should definitely change the locks. 

If you’ve lost your keys and you think it happened close to your home, again it’s advisable for you to change the locks.

One of the best ways to avoid being locked out and having to cough up a hefty sum is to give a spare set to someone that you trust that lives in your town or city in Spain. 

When it comes to choosing a locksmith in Spain, you should make sure he or she is a reputable one. Asking friends and family first can be your first port of call.

If not, make sure you read reviews online if available to get any insight beforehand.

In order to avoid any nasty surprises, ask them on the phone for a budget (presupuesto) for all the costs attached to their services before accepting.

Be wary of cerrajeros that automatically want to change the whole lock when a simpler and less costly option is possible. 

Usually they should offer you a contract for you to read carefully before signing. It should include a three-month guarantee for the potential new lock or at least a breakdown of the costs.

Make sure that they are not charging you an excessively high price if it’s an emergency, as this is not actually legal.

There’s also asking them to prove their accreditation with the Unión Cerrajeros de Seguridad (UCES).

Weekend and holiday rates can be higher nonetheless, so consider your options and if it’s worth staying with a friend or family member for a night to save some money. A trustworthy and honest cerrajero will let you know about the money you could save if you choose to wait as well.