Spanish house prices dip 2.4% in Q3, property portal says

MADRID, Oct 6 (Reuters) - The price of residential property in Spain sagged 2.4% in the third quarter compared with the same period last year, online property portal Fotocasa said on Tuesday, as a second wave of coronavirus contagion froze a timid economic recovery.

Beyond the year-on-year decline, prices fell 1.7% in September compared to August and 1.5% in the third quarter compared to the second, Fotocasa said in a statement.

Some of the sharpest drops occurred at the heart of once-buzzing national and regional capitals, reflecting changing priorities as real estate demand shifts to more space and nature.

Homes in Madrid’s leafy Ibiza neighbourhood and Barcelona’s recently remodelled Navas district lost 8.1% and 9.3% of their respective value compared to second quarter prices.

“We predict that in the final months of 2020 we’ll see decreases in line with those we’ve seen in recent months, and even starker ones, between -3 and -5% in Spain,” said Fotocasa communications director Anais Lopez.

It was the first time Fotocasa has recorded an interannual drop in quarterly house prices in three years, underpinning the economic ravages COVID-19 has wrought.

The country experienced one of Europe’s deepest economic contractions in the second quarter when GDP shrunk by almost 18%. Early indicators anticipate a weak recovery in the third quarter. (Reporting by Clara-Laeila Laudette; Editing by Inti Landauro and Andrew Cawthorne)