Spanish home sales increased last year for the first time since 2010, adding to signs that the property market is recovering from the worst recession in the country’s democratic history.
Transactions rose 2.2 percent from a year earlier to 319,389 units, according to data compiled by the National Statistics Institute. That’s still far below the peak in 2006, when 955,186 properties were sold.
“We are out of the operating room but we are still in the hospital,” said Fernando Encinar, co-founder of Idealista.com, Spain’s largest property website. He said 2013 was “the worst year of all for Spanish real estate sales, so any comparison will look good.”
More than two years since applying for a European Union rescue of its banking system, Spain has become one of the fastest-growing economies in the euro area as exports surge and investment rebounds. The country is poised to have the highest growth since 2007 this year.
Tinsa, Spain’s largest homes appraiser, said today that home prices fell 2.7 percent last year, taking the drop since values peaked in 2007 to almost 42 percent.