The price of urban land plummeted throughout Spain in the first quarter of 2021, according to data published this Wednesday by the Ministry of Transport and Urban Agenda. The fall is not only with respect to the same period last year – which could be altered by the state of alarm, declared on March 14, 2020 – but also with respect to 2019, the year before the pandemic.
Thus, a square meter of land is currently at 136.4 euros, compared to 164.1 euros in 2020 and 159.7 euros in 2019. It is the lowest registered price of the entire series, which begins in 2004, when an average of 206 euros was paid for one meter of urban land.
The fall in the price of land occurs in practically all the provinces of Spain. Only Palencia (+ 73%), Ourense (+ 54%), Jaén (+ 30%), Álava (+ 30%), Cantabria (+ 23%), Cádiz (+ 19%), Lleida (+ 17%) are saved ), Huelva (14%), Asturias (+ 9%), Badajoz (+ 8%), Seville (+ (5%) and the Balearic Islands (+ 1%). The most pronounced falls are those of Burgos, Zaragoza, Granada and Teruel, where land prices are today up to 50% cheaper than a year ago and 30% cheaper than in 2019, the figure that best fits the pre-pandemic reality.
In large urban areas they also fall. Madrid registers a year-on-year fall of 6%, although it rises slightly compared to 2019. A square meter today costs an average of 270 euros, compared to 309 two years ago. In Barcelona, the square meter costs 186 euros, less than in 2019, when it cost 214 euros. In Malaga it has dropped from 249 euros to 195 euros. In Valencia, from 190 to 143.
Transactions go up in all communities
Despite the drop in prices, land transactions increased in almost all provinces compared to the same period in 2019. In the first quarter of the year, there were 6,631 transactions throughout Spain, compared to 4,743 two years ago. The transactions of natural persons increased (from 3,189 to 4,569) and also those of legal persons (from 1,554 to 2,062), although without reaching pre-financial crisis levels.
The combined value of the transactions fell compared to 2019: if at that time there were transactions worth 878 million euros, now, although there are more, they have a combined value of 856 million. The transacted area also increased, from 5.7 million square meters in the first quarter of 2019 to 8 million in 2021.
In short: more land is being sold (more surface area and in more operations), but cheaper.
In the housing market, the data takes time to reflect the current reality. Thus, the latest reports from real estate portals still show slight year-on-year increases in sales prices, much lower than those of previous years but without falling. The plunge in land prices can serve as a leading indicator of a potential drop in property prices.