Sales figures lowest since 2005

Property sales fell in the third quarter of 2011 by 31.9% (84,852 transactions) compared to the same period of 2010, representing the lowest figures recorded by the Association of Property Registrars since 2005.

The agency noted that the decline was influenced by the ongoing economic crisis and record unemployment, despite reductions in house prices and mortgage availability.

Of the total number of residential properties sold between July and September less than half (41,734) were resale properties.

New home sales figures stood at 43,118. This is slightly higher than the figures for the previous quarter, which showed a record low, partly due to the reduction in VAT for new home purchases from 8% to 4% which was introduced in August

All the autonomous regions experienced a drop in sales figures, with the best results seen in Andalusia with 17,170 sales, followed by Madrid with 12,241. Valencia and Catalonia followed with  11,743 and 11,220, respectively.

La Rioja saw the biggest fall with a 58.6% drop. Galicia also fell by over 50%.

Many regions were below the national average including Basque Country (31.1%), Catalonia (30.4%), Madrid (29.7%), Extremadura (29.5%), Valencia (28.8%), Andalusia (28.6%), the Balearic Islands (27.7%), Cantabria (25.6%), Navarra (14.5%) and the Canary Islands (13.6%).