Barcelona was the only city in Spain to post an annual increase in home prices during 2014, according to Spanish property website fotocasa.es, with prices in the city rising 2.8%. Madrid’s market fall of 4.9% last year was better than the 5.7% that Spain suffered overall.
“You have to look at Spain as if it were two countries,” Fernando Rodríguez de Acuña of real-estate consulting firm R.R. de Acuña & Asociados told The Wall Street Journal. “There’s the Spain that’s recovering. That’s the Spain that has the big cities and wealthy coastal areas. Then there’s the Spain where we went crazy during the housing boom, and that’s not going to recover for at least 10 years.”
Some experts believe the signs are there that the Spanish market is in a position to recover. The latest available data from Spain’s Ministry of Public Works showed new housing permits in greater Madrid were up 26.4% in the first 10 months of last year compared with the same period in 2013. The country’s economy—the fourth-largest in the European Union—is expected to grow more than 2% in 2015.