Resale Property Prices Increased in Q1

Spanish property market recovering
The Spanish property market is recovering

Property portal Fotocasa have released their Q1 report on second-hand (resale) property prices in Spain. The data shows a slight increase in prices of 0.5% over the first quarter of 2016 meaning a square metre will cost an average of 1,627 Euros. According to the report this is the first quarterly increase in prices since 2007.

The data released by Fotocasa suggests this is the third consecutive quarter of growth following Q3 and Q4 of 2015 which recorded increases of 1.1% and 0.7%, respectively.

Beatriz Toribio, from Fotocasa Studies, said: “The price of housing is stabilizing after eight years in the red. In 2015 we saw how the fall abruptly slowed and how some areas closed the year with price increases. After losing 45.5% of its value, we hope that in 2016 housing prices have bottomed out across much of the country and will begin to recover in the major economic and population centres,”

According to the report, the inter-annual rate showed an increase of 0.6%, the first increase in year-on-year prices recorded since 2007.

Q1 by Region

When comparing to December 2015, eight of the country’s autonomous communities recorded a positive change with the Canary Islands registering the highest increase of 6.3%. The Balearic Islands followed with a 2.2% increase. Valencia and Andalucia registered increases of 2.2% and 1.4% respectively, while Madrid showed an increase of 1%, with Catalonia closing the quarter with a 0.9% rise in property prices.

When we look at the average price per square metre, the Basque Country topped the table with 2,736 Euros per m². Second and third positions were taken by Madrid and Catalonia with €2,225 and €2,064 p/m².

The cheapest region was Castilla-La Mancha where the same space will cost you €1,050. The next two cheapest regions were Extremadura (€1,088 p/m²) and Murcia (€1,143 p/m²).

By Province

Thirty of the country’s provinces showed an increase in prices with the largest recorded rise being in Santa Cruz de Tenerife where prices increased 2.9%. Las Palmas was next with a 2.4% increase.

Of the 779 municipalities looked at by the study, 459 recorded prices increase, while 320 showed a decline in property prices.

NB: I must point out that this is data based on the prices of the properties Fotocasa, a property portal, have for sale on their site. Another property portal, Idealista, also release data based on their listings and that is why, in case any of you noticed, a previous article based on Idealista data, suggested prices had actually fallen in Q1. As with everything, it depends who you ask! If I report on both studies you can get a better idea of what the actual figures are.

Average House Prices Increased in Q1

Property prices saw encouraging growth in Q1
Property prices saw encouraging growth in Q1

According to data released by Tinsa, average house prices in Spain increased by 1.4% during the first quarter of 2016, when compared to the same period in the previous year. This is the second consecutive quarter to finish with an increase, and comes despite the fall in prices for resale property.

As far as regions go, the two clear winner were Catalonia and Madrid who saw year-on-year increases of 8.2% and 7% respectively.

For the first time since the crisis of 2007, more autonomous regions recorded an increase in prices than a fall. Following the aforementioned “winners” other regions that saw significant price appreciation were the Balearic Islands with a 3.8% increase, Castilla La Mancha which saw a 3.5% increase and also the Canary Islands where property prices increased 2.4%.

Only two regions recorded a price fall – Aragon and Galicia – where prices fell by 3.5% and 3.1% respectively. When looking at how prices have or have not recovered since the crisis, property in Aragon is now 51.3% lower than in the peak of 2007. Castilla La Mancha has seen prices fall 51.2%. The smallest shift in prices is recorded in the Balearic Islands where prices are currently 28.9% lower than pre-crisis levels.


By province, the largest quarterly increase was recorded in Barcelona where prices increased 8.9%, followed by Albacete (+7.6%), Madrid (+7%) and Lleida with a 6.5% increase. A further 12 provinces managed increases above the national average of 1.4%. The recovery seems to be continuing and also spreading out across the country.

The provinces that registered the largest quarterly fall were Álava, Teruel and Jaen, with decreases of 7.8%, 6.7% and 6.3%, respectively. Cordoba, Pontevedra, Palencia, Burgos and Zaragoza also saw prices depreciate by more than 3%.

When comparing the provinces to pre-crisis levels, the largest adjustment is in Toledo which has seen depreciation of 55.1% since 2007. Zaragoza and Guadalajara also saw falls of over 50% registering cumulative declines of 54.3% and 54.1%.


When selling a property in Spain, the average time required from putting the property on the market to closing a sale is currently 10.5 months. However, in Cantabria the average time required is 19 months, while sellers in Avila require an average of 17.1 months to close a sale. At the other end of the table Ceuta, Melilla, and the provinces of Las Palmas and Madrid have average selling times below seven months.

As previously mentioned, Barcelona and Madrid have seen increases in value and the demand for property in those areas is also reflected in the time required to sell. In both cities the average time required to sell is less than six months (5.9 in Barcelona and 5.6 in Madrid). In the city of Valencia, the trend is reversed with the average time to sell being over a year, standing at 13.2 months.

Personal Situation

As the rate of decline in property values has been more pronounced than the reductions in wages and the cost of living, the requirement to purchase a property (to afford mortgage payments) during 2015 was 22% of household income, compared to the 33% that was required in 2007. Only Malaga exceeded this average. Buyers in the Andalusian province will require 33% of gross household income to purchase a property.

In both Zaragoza and Valencia, the requirements are well below the national average with 19% and 17% respectively.

The requirement in Barcelona is 23.3%, while Madrileños require 21.5% and those in Seville will need 20.5% of household income. The area with the highest requirements is the district of Sarria-Sant Gervasi (Barcelona), where buyers will need 39.9% of household income to pay a mortgage.

When looking at the requirements in terms of yearly salaries, the current requirement is 6 years’ salary, compared to 8.1 years during the boom years. In Malaga, however, eight years’ salary would be required, while buyers hoping to purchase on the Balearic Islands will have to fork out an average of 14 years’ salary. This is mainly due to the busy residential market on the islands aimed primarily at foreign buyers.

You can see the full report here (in Spanish).


Lucas Fox Q1 and Q2 2012 property market reports

Leading Spanish Luxury Property Agency sees volume of sales transactions nearly triple in the first half of 2012 in key Market Locations

2012 first and second quarterly results published in the Lucas Fox Luxury Real Estate Market Reports suggest continued solid interest in Barcelona, Ibiza and Mallorca, with Lucas Fox reporting almost three times as many sales transactions compared to the first half of 2011.

October 2012 (BARCELONA, Spain): Lucas Fox has released Q1 and Q2 2012 property market reports for:

Each half-year Lucas Fox publishes an analysis of trends within the luxury property markets of Barcelona, Ibiza, Mallorca and Costa Brava, using information collated from buyers and property owners in key luxury market locations.

Commenting on the report Lucas Fox Director Alex Vaughan said, “We have had a strong start to 2012, with almost three times as many sales transactions as in the same period in 2011. We have increasingly seen sellers adjust their prices to reflect the realities of market conditions, attracting new investors to the luxury property market in all our locations.”

Summarising the findings from Lucas Fox’s four key market locations, Alex Vaughan stated:

  • “In Barcelona we have seen a pricing readjustment across-the-board, sparking a new wave of foreign investor interest in some of our most sought-after locations. Many buyers who have been carefully monitoring the market throughout 2011 are realizing that it is a perfect time to snare quality properties in Barcelona’s prime property hot spots”,
  •  “The healthy interest in Ibiza property seen in 2011 has been reflected in the first half of 2012, resulting in another strong year for this market. Ibiza’s image as a party island is giving way to a greater reputation as a luxury Mediterranean holiday destination and this is further reinforced with the recent completion of the stunning Life Marina Ibiza apartment complex.”
  • “The second quarter of 2012 ended with an upsurge in investor interest and luxury property sales in Mallorca. There has been particular interest in seafront properties, country houses and large apartments in Palma Old Town amongst foreign buyers. Interest in prime Mallorca properties is expected to extend through the peak sales season until the end of the third quarter, at least.”
  • “In the Costa Brava, the number of sales transactions remains low, though comparable with 2011 levels. Unique properties in exclusive locations are still attracting a lot of interest and in some cases still exchanging close to asking price. In these cases buyers are investing primarily as a lifestyle decision and many are attracted by the potential revenue from luxury rentals, providing a return on investment whilst the market remains uncertain. Sales transactions are expected to remain slow for the rest of 2012, but we expect an increase heading into 2013 as buyers begin to sense that we are nearing the bottom of the market ”

“At Lucas Fox, we expect to experience strong third and fourth quarters in 2012, particularly in Barcelona, Ibiza and Mallorca, and steady sales activity in the Costa Brava in what is traditionally the peak buying season. Lifestyle investors are carefully watching the local luxury property market and beginning to make their moves as they recognise that prices have neared their lowest points. This has been reflected in a growing trend which has seen investors reacting quickly to the availability of high-class properties in prime locations across each area,” said Mr Vaughan.

Founded in 2005, real estate agency Lucas Fox specializes in offering quality luxury properties, a professional approach and a high level of service. The company has offices in Barcelona, the Costa Brava, Ibiza, Mallorca and Portugal.

Construction of new homes slowing

New home construction still slow
New home construction still slow

According to data released by the Ministry of Public Works the number of new homes completed in the first quarter of the year stood at 30,151, representing a decrease of 31.4%, compared to the same period in 2011.

Private developers accounted for 29,630 of the total, or 98.2%, with the government making up the difference.

Of the private constructions 18,617 were commercial properties showing an interannual decrease f 41.1%. Individuals and communities accounted for 8,005 constructions, down 3.4% on the year. Cooperatives accounted for 2,068, a 10.1% increase and there were also 940 completion certificates granted for other private promoter works.

The liquidation value of the execution of these constructions fell by 18.4% to 3,766 million euros.

Spain has recorded four consecutive years of decline in property construction. Since the peak in 2007 figures show a cumulative fall of 74%. In 2007 there were 641,419 new properties completed, compared to 167,914 in 2011.

Average wage increased 1.2% in Q1

INEIt’s not all bad then – the average salary in Spain increased by 1.2% during the first quarter to an average of 1,841.89€ per month.

This is according to figures released by the National Institute of Statistics who have released their Q1 analysis of labour costs throughout Spain.

Their press releases summarises the results as follows:

  • The labour cost of companies increases 1.1% in the first quarter of 2012, as compared with the same period of 2011, standing at 2,515.04 euros.
  • The wage cost per worker per month increases 1.2%, reaching 1,841.89 euros on average. In turn, other costs increase 0.9%, standing at 673.15 euros per worker per month.
  • The working day decreases 0.3%. This quarter, 3.3 working hours per week are lost on average, almost half of which are due to holidays taken and public holidays.
  • The labour cost per effective hour worked increases 1.4%.

Labour cost by component 

The labour cost per worker per month reached 2,515.04 euros for the first quarter of 2012, indicating an increase of 1.1%, as compared with the same period of 2011.

Of the total cost per worker per month incurred by an employer for the use of the work factor, 1,841.89 euros corresponded to wages and 574.23 euros to obligatory Social Security contributions. The remainder corresponded to compensation for dismissal, social benefits, etc. Therefore, the main cause of the growth in total cost is its wage component.

The wage cost, which comprised base salary, wage supplements, overtime payments, extraordinary payments and delayed payments, measured in gross terms, increased 1.2% in interannual rate and stands from 1,819.62 to 1,841.89 euros per worker per month. If the variable factor is excluded from wages (extraordinary and delayed payments), the ordinary wage cost is obtained, which increased 1.2%.

Other costs (non-wage costs) increased 0.9%. Their main component, obligatory Social Security contributions, increased 0.5%. Within non-wage payments, which increased 4.1%, worth noting the increase of compensation for dismissal, the partial unemployment and other non-wage payment (currency devaluation, wear and tear of tools, acquisition of work clothes, travel expenses and allowances, distance allowance and city transport, relocation indemnities, contract termination indemnities, etc.)

The labour cost per hour increased 1.4%. This increase, greater than that of the cost per worker, was due to a decrease in the number of hours effectively worked.

Labour cost by economic sector

Industry has the highest increase in total labour cost. This sector presented the greatest increases in the total wage cost and in other costs, highlighting compensation for dismissal.

Construction follows the industry for growth of the various components of labour cost. Regarding the other costs, in this sector worth the increases in compensation for dismissal and direct social benefits.

Services presented the lowest total wage cost increase and its components. Of note was the drop in compensation for dismissal and the increase in other non-wage payment.

Working time

During the first quarter of 2012, the average agreed working week, considering full-time and part-time together, was 34.7 hours. Of these, an average of 3.3 hours were lost per week, most of which were due to holidays taken and public holidays.

After adding overtime and subtracting hours lost, the working week was reduced to 31.6 effective hours worked.

According to the type of working day, the wage difference between full and part-time workers was 4.61 euros per hour (13.93 euros/hour for full-time and 9.32 euros/hour for parttime).

Regarding the time worked, full-time workers practically doubled the effective hours worked by part-time workers (33.0 hours for full-time workers as compared with 17.3 hours for parttime workers).

You can download the complete report here: Quarterly Labour Cost Survey – Q1 2012

GDP shows quarter-on-quarter drop of 0.3%

INEThe National Institute of Statistics have released their quarterly report for the Spanish economy showing a 0.3% contraction during the first quarter of the year.

The annual and quarterly figures coincide with that of the advance estimate of quarterly GDP that was previously published on 30 April.

Summary of Main Points

Year-on-year growth stands at -0.4%, seven tenths lower than that recorded the previous quarter.

The contribution of national demand to aggregate growth is three tenths lower than that for the previous quarter, standing at -3.2 points, whereas the contribution of external demand to quarterly GDP decreases four tenths (from 3.2 to 2.8 points).

Employment decreased at a year-on-year rate of 3.8%, half-a-point higher than in the fourth quarter of 2011, indicating a net reduction of 655,000 full-time jobs in one year. In turn, the hours actually worked decrease at a year-on-year rate of 3.4%.

The growth in the unit labour cost remains at -2.5% this quarter, three points below the implicit GDP deflator.

Full Report

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) generated by the Spanish economy in the first quarter of 2012 registered a 0.3% decrease with regard to the previous quarter, this rate being similar to that estimated for the previous quarter.

In quarter-on-quarter terms, the growth rate of GDP was -0.4%, seven tenths lower than that recorded the previous period, due to the greater contraction of national demand, and to a lesser contribution of external demand.

Within the European scope, both the European Union as a whole and the Eurozone registered zero growth (0.0%), as compared with the previous quarter. Considering the performance of the main European economies, Germany (0.5%) and Austria (0.2%) registered positive growth, France recorded no growth (0.0%), and the rest experienced decreases in GDP, which were more moderate in the cases of the Netherlands (-0.2%), the United Kingdom (-0.2%) or Spain (-0.3%), and more intense in the case of Italy (-0.8%).

The quarter-on-quarter growth of Spanish GDP in the first quarter of 2012, analysed from the expenditure perspective, reflected a more negative contribution of national demand, which reached -3.2 points, as compared with the -2.9 points from the previous quarter, and likewise, a positive contribution with regard to external demand, which reached 2.8 points, four tenths lower than that registered the previous quarter.

National demand

The more negative contribution of national demand to aggregate activity this quarter was the sole result of the intensification of the contraction of investment in fixed capital, given that final consumption expenditure, aggregated, registered the same growth rate as that recorded the previous quarter.

Household final consumption expenditure saw a half-point reduction in its negative growth, from -1.1% to -0.6%. Considering the different components of expenditure, consumption of services presented positive growth rates, albeit lower than those from the previous period. Conversely, the consumption of goods continued to register negative rates, though in the case of durable and semi-durable goods, a certain recovery was observed this quarter, which determined the global performance of the aggregate.

Moreover, employee remuneration, the main household resource, experienced an increased contraction, reaching -3.3%, which resulted in a reduction in the savings rate thereof.

Final consumption expenditure of the Public Administrations contracted 1.6 points, reaching -5.2%. The decrease in the total purchases of goods and services by these administrations (approximately 13%) contributed particularly to this result. In turn, employee remuneration also decreased, but much more moderately (approximately 1%).

The gross formation of fixed capital experienced a two-point decrease this quarter, dropping from -6.2% to -8.2%. Considering the different types of assets, tangible assets presented a more pronounced drop than that for the aggregate (from -6.5% to -8.8%), with more significant decreases in the case of capital goods than in construction. Lastly, investment in intangible assets recovered from -0.3% to 2.2%.

Demand for capital goods recorded a 3.3-point contraction, from -2.7% to -6.0%, in line with the evolution of the industrial production indicators, turnover and imports for this type of good. The rate of the decrease in investment in machinery (-5.5%) was less intense than in the case of transport equipment assets (-7.3%).

Investment in construction assets experienced a decrease of two points, dropping from -8.2% to -10.2%. Both dwellings and infrastructures and other construction presented decreasing profiles, which were more intense in the case of the latter (-14.3%) than in the case of the dwellings (-5.8%).

External demand

The contribution of the net external demand of the Spanish economy to quarterly GDP dropped four tenths this period, decreasing from 3.2 to 2.8 points. This result occurred as the joint consequence of a deceleration of exports, linked to a greater contraction of imports, though the latter to a lesser extent.

Exports of goods and services saw a three-point slowdown in growth, from 5.2% to 2.2%, in line with the slowed evolution of the economies of the countries to which these exports were sent, mainly in the European Union. By component, a less intense slowdown was observed in the case of goods (from 2.9% to 1.7%) than in the case of services (from 13.9% to 6.5%). In turn, purchases by persons resident in Spain, customary with a more moderate tourist activity, registered a 1.0% decrease, this being the first negative rate recorded since the first quarter of 2010.

Lastly, imports of goods and services experienced a decrease of 1.3 points in its growth rate (from -5.9% to -7.2%), in line with the lower activity level. All of its components presented drops, of a greater amount in the case of services (-6.9%) than in the case of goods (-7.2%). Finally, purchases of persons resident in the rest of the world registered a decrease of 8.7%.


The analysis of the macroeconomic table, from the supply perspective, presented similar features to those published the previous quarter. Thus, moderate growth was recorded in the added value of the primary branches and of services, and more intense decreases in the added value of the manufacturing and construction activities.

The gross added value of the industrial branches experienced an intensified drop in the first quarter of 2012, going from -0.4% to -3.0%, in line with the contracting evolution of national demand, and the moderation of the exports of industrial goods. In particular, regarding the manufacturing industry, the decrease was somewhat more intense (from -0.1% to -3.9%).

In the same way as the demand for assets linked to construction activity, the gross added value of construction saw a 1.6-point increase in its negative growth, from -3.7% to -5.3%. As commented in the section dedicated to demand, the more unfavourable performance of both buildings under construction and other construction yielded this result.

The added value of the services branches saw a slight decrease in growth this quarter, from 0.9% to 0.8%. Within these branches, those with the best results were those linked to information and communications technologies and to trade, in line with the recovery of household expenditure on consumer goods. At the opposite end of the spectrum, a lesser rate of progress was observed in those activities related to tourism and real estate.

Lastly, the primary branches saw a half-point acceleration in the growth of their added values, reaching 0.8%, in accordance with the evolution of the agricultural and livestock activity indicators.


Employment, measured in terms of full-time equivalent jobs, experienced a year-on-year decrease of five tenths, standing at -3.8%. This result indicated a reduction of more than 655 thousand net full-time jobs in one year. On an aggregated scale, the results of all of the branches activity were worse than those from the previous quarter.

In year-on-year terms, construction lost more than 310 thousand jobs, services almost 245 thousand, industry almost 87 thousand, and finally, the primary branches lost more than 13 thousand.

The contraction of occupied employment was registered with greater intensity en wageearning employment (dropping from -3.2% to -4.2%). In turn, non-wage-earning employment presented a less negative growth rate this quarter (going from -3.9% to -0.9%).

The number of hours actually worked by the persons employed in the economy dropped from -1.7% to -3.4% this quarter. The difference between this evolution and that of full-time equivalent jobs was due to the lesser increase in the average full-time working day, which went from 1.6% to 0.4%.

Using the joint consideration of the growth of quarterly GDP and the occupied employment data, it was possible to deduce that the year-on-year variation of the apparent productivity by equivalent job post decreased two tenths, from 3.7% to 3.5%, whereas the growth of the apparent productivity per hour actually worked increased 1.1 points, from 2.0% to 3.1%.

You can access the complete report including charts and graphs here: Quarterly Spanish National Accounts – First Quarter 2012

Bank of Spain first quarter report

Bank of Spain
Spain in “a renewed recessionary situation” – Bank of Spain

The Bank of Spain have released their Spanish economy quarterly report for the first quarter of 2012.


In 2012 Q1, Spanish economic activity continued on the declining path initiated in the closing months of 2011, in a setting of high financial tension. On the as-yet incomplete information available, the contraction in GDP is estimated to have been slightly higher than that in 2011 Q4, with a quarter-on-quarter rate of change of -0.4%. National demand fell once again (-0.9 pp), as has been the case over the past four years, although the decline was milder than in the preceding quarter, while the contribution of net external demand was positive once more (0.6 pp), but likewise lower than that in the previous three months. After posting rises for seven consecutive quarters in year-on-year terms, GDP fell back to a rate of -0.5% (0.3% in the previous quarter).

Employment fell once more, sharply so, posting an estimated year-on-year decline of close to 4%. And compensation per employee slowed across the economy, leading, in combination with high productivity growth, to a significant reduction in unit labour costs, prolonging the trajectory of the last eight quarters. The considerable sluggishness of domestic spending prompted a slowdown in the year-on-year rate of change of consumer prices from December to March, and the CPI stood at a 12-month growth rate of 1.9% in this latter month. Easing was more visible in the CPI excluding unprocessed food and energy, the year-on-year growth rate of which fell to 1.2%. In terms of the HICP, the inflation differential with the euro area stood in March at -0.9 pp, reflecting a reduction which was extensive to all the main HICP components.

On the international economic front, the situation on euro area markets improved somewhat compared with the stress peaks experienced in the closing months of 2011. Here, the ECB’s conventional and non-conventional monetary policy measures contributed notably, as did the approval of the second bail-out programme for Greece following the restructuring of its debt in private hands and the progress in the ongoing reform of economic governance in the euro area. However, instability returned in the opening days of April, affecting Spain and Italy acutely owing to the doubts arising over the adjustment processes under way in both countries.

The indicators available suggest economic activity in the euro area stabilised – or fell off very moderately – in the opening months of 2012, following the fall in GDP in 2012 Q4; nonetheless, cyclical divergences between the member countries continued to widen. Outside the euro area there was a moderate recovery in the United States, some improvement in Japan and a gradual slowdown in activity in the emerging economies, which nevertheless remain very buoyant. Global inflation continued to slacken, although the rise in oil prices, which peaked at $125 per barrel in February to dip slightly thereafter, poses a risk.

Turning to economic policies, measures in the euro area played a key role throughout the quarter. In terms of European governance, the seriousness of the sovereign debt crisis led control over public finances to be strengthened. This took the form of the signing, on 2 March, of the Treaty of Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union. The Treaty incorporates the Fiscal Compact, under which 25 Member States, including Spain, have committed themselves to transposing into national legal frameworks a balanced-budget rule and an automatic correction mechanism for deviations at national level. Further, to reinforce surveillance of non-fiscal macroeconomic imbalances, the Commission presented in February its first Annual Alert Mechanism Report, designed to detect and correct situations of risk in this area. The report identifies 12 EU countries, including Spain, which should be examined in greater depth to determine whether the degree of severity of the imbalances detected calls for the initiation of an excessive imbalance procedure. As to crisis-prevention and resolution mechanisms, significant headway in setting up the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) was also made. The ESM required amendments to the Treaty on European Union, and its full operationality as a permanent facility has been brought forward one year (to July 2012) and its financial capacity (€500 billion) has been temporarily raised with the resources not used by the European Financial Stability Facility.

The ECB adopted a broad range of measures to restore monetary policy transmission channels and to reduce the likelihood of a traumatic contraction in credit supply that could have ensued given the growing feedback loop between sovereign risk and banking risk in the euro area that became discernible in the closing months of 2011. Among its standard policy measures, the ECB Governing Council held interest rates at an all-time low of 1% for its main refinancing operations, following the cuts made in November and December. This was in a setting in which euro area inflation, at 2.7% in March, was chiefly attributed to increases in the more volatile components, and in which inflation expectations remained anchored over the policy-relevant horizon. As to non-standard measures, in February the ECB approved specific criteria for the temporary acceptance of additional credit claims as collateral and implemented the second three-year longer-term refinancing operation with full allotment. Taken together, the two tenders considerably increased the liquidity buffer available to banks to undertake their refinancing operations, and they proved key to overcoming the moments of peak tension experienced last November.

There is a lot more… you can read the full press release here: Quarterly Report on the Spanish Economy

Bankruptcy proceedings increased in first quarter

INEThe number of companies declared bankrupt in Spain increased by 21.5% in the first quarter as compared with the same period of 2011, according to new figures released by the National Statistics Institute (INE).

Of the companies, 31.3% had construction and property development as their main activity.

During the first quarter of 2012, the number of debtors processed reached 2,224, representing a 21.5% increase, as compared with the same period the previous year.

By type of proceeding, 2,105 were voluntary (22.3% more than the first quarter 2011) and 119 were necessary (9.2% more). Considering the type of proceedings, ordinary proceedings increased 149.6%, and abbreviated proceedings increased 11.7%.

Companies processed, by legal nature and turnover bracket

Of the 2,224 debtors processed in the first quarter, 1,958 were companies (individuals with business activity and corporations). 75.3% of the companies declared bankrupt were Private Limited Companies.

67.1% of the companies declared bankrupt were within the lowest turnover bracket (less than two million euros), and were mainly Private Limited Companies.

87.1% of companies declared bankrupt during the first quarter of 2012 did not belong to any business group. Of the remaining companies declared bankrupt, 12.2% belonged to a Spanish group, and 0.7% to a group under foreign control.

Companies declared bankrupt, by economic activity and number of employees

31.3% of companies declared bankrupt carried out their main activity in Construction and property development, 18.7% in Industry and energy, and 17.7% in Trade.

Regarding the number of employees, 60.6% of the total number of companies declared bankupt were within the bracket of 1 to 19 employees.

Geographical distribution of debtors processed

The Autonomous Communities of Cataluña, Comunitat Valenciana, Comunidad de Madrid and Andalucia accounted for 58.4% of the total debtors processed during the first quarter of 2012.

Cantabria, La Rioja and Extremadura were the Autonomous Communities with the fewest debtors processed.

You can download the full press release here: Bankruptcy Proceedings Statistics – First quarter of 2012

Foreign tourists increase spending in Spain

Tourists still arriving
Tourists still arriving and spending

International visitors to Spain spent 9,010 million euros in the first quarter of 2012, 7.4% more than last year, according to the Tourist Expenditure Survey (EGATUR) drafted by the Institute for Tourism Studies of the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism.

The average daily spend increased by 13.8% to 108 euros, while the average expenditure per tourist rose by 4.7% to 984 euros.

March 2012

In March, international tourists spent 3.609 million euros, 11.9% more than the same month of 2011.

British tourists contributed the most spending 631 million euros representing an increase of 10% compared to the same month in 2011. The second highest spenders were the Germans who spent a total of 598 million euros, a decrease of 0.6%, followed by tourists from the Nordic countries, who spent 507 million euros, an increase of 14.3%.

By region, Catalonia registered the largest increase in spending with a 31.2% rise, and revenues of 754 million euros, followed by the Community of Madrid, which recorded a 22.5% increase in international tourist spending and revenue of 380 million euros.

The Canary Islands registered the most income with 1,080 million euros, an increase of 3.6% over March 2011.

The average daily spend in March grew considerably by 19.3% to 115 euros.

Source markets

For the period between January and March the German market provided the largest income. German tourists spent a total of 1,519 million euros, representing 16.9% of the total, and an increase of 3.7% over the same period last year.

In the same period British tourists spent 1.467 million euros, representing a 5% increase over the same period last year and 16.3% of the total.

The Nordic countries increased spending by 10.6% to 1.243 million euros, accounting for 13.8% of the total.


The Canary Islands was the region with the highest tourist spend for the first quarter with 3.048 million euros received, an increase of 6.2% and representing 33.8% of the total tourist revenue in Spain.

Catalonia accounted for 20.2% of international tourism expenditure, an increase of 17.6% to 1.821 million euros.

The Community of Madrid, was the destination for 11.3% of international tourism expenditure, registering an increase of 14.3% to 1.022 million euros.

Accommodation and travel purpose

The number of tourists staying in hotels was 62.4%. Those tourists increased their spending by 6.5% to 5.621 million euros.

The “package-holiday” tourists spent 3,010 million, up 13.9% on the first three months of last year.

Spain – GDP contracts in first quarter

The National Statistics Institute have released preliminary figures showing the country’s GDP contracted 0.3% during the first quarter, less than previously expected.

The contraction is the same as for the previous quarter and is 0.1% less than the decline predicted by the Bank of Spain a week earlier.

The interannual GDP variation was –0.4%, as compared with 0.3%, for the previous quarter. This was due to the negative contribution by domestic demand, partly compensated by the positive contribution of foreign demand.

Mariano Rajoy’s conservative government are struggling to convince investors that is can meet it’s deficit targets and get hold of spiralling unemployment. It predicts a contraction of 1.7% this year  and growth of 0.2% in 2013.

Economists predict that things are likely to get worse before they get better pushing unemployment to even more dramatic highs.

These are preliminary results. The complete tables and charts of the Spanish Quarterly National Accounts for the First quarter of 2012 will be published by the INE on May 17th.