The latest figures from the National Statistics institute of Spain show that the number of mortgages granted by banks in Spain rose by just under a third in February. Some 21,298 mortgages were taken out in the month, a rise of 29.2% year-on-year.

Most mortgages were taken out in Madrid (4,066), followed by the popular tourist and second-home regions of Andalucia (4,032) and Catalonia (3,214). The biggest annual rises came in the northern regions of Aragon (up 89.5%) and the Basque Country (up 59.5%). The number of mortgages in Andalucia was up 42.9% from February 2014.

Statistics for mortgages taken out in Spain have seen a strong, steady rise in recent months, more recently boosted by increasingly competitive interest rates. Year-on-year comparisons have been in double figures since last summer, showing a sustained growth in home loans across the nation.

Many economists consider this to be a good sign for the Spanish housing market as a whole, as it is quelling fears that cash-rich investors were forming too high a proportion of property sales and preventing conventional buyers from purchasing.