House prices in Spain are rising at their fastest rate since 2008, official statistics showed yesterday.
Residential property prices climbed by 1.8 per cent in the final three months of 2014 compared with the same period a year earlier, according to Spain’s national statistical office.
For 2014 as a whole, prices were 0.3 per cent higher than a year earlier, their the first annual rise since 2007. It comes after Spain’s residential property prices plunged by 10.6 per cent in 2013.
New mortgage approvals in December were up 29 per cent on the year.
Spain’s property market underwent a huge boom and bust cycle in 2008, resulting in a bailout of one of the country’s biggest banks. Prices remain 30 per cent below their peak in 2008.
The rise could mark another stage in the Spanish recovery story, which has seen it become one of the fastest growing economies in the Eurozone. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy recently announced official estimates for economic growth in 2015 had been upgraded from two to 2.4 per cent.
However, GDP is still below pre-recession levels and the unemployment rate remains above 20 per cent. Elections later this year could also see the country’s reform efforts reversed with anti-austerity party Podemos leading polls. Podemos is labelled as the sister party of the Greek Syriza party, currently making waves in the Eurozone.