June 3, 2020 / 2:19 PM / a month ago

Spain's property transactions slump 40% in April amid lockdown

MADRID, June 3 (Reuters) - The number of property sales registered in Spain dropped by more than 40% year-on-year in April, the first full month under one of Europe’s toughest coronavirus lockdowns, the General Council of Notaries said on Wednesday.

The number of mortgages taken out fell by 15% year-on-year in April, according to the Council of Notaries data.

Mortgages and property transactions had already started to fall in March, the second half of which saw the start of Spain’s stringent confinement to contain the spread of the virus.

The epidemic all but floored Spanish real estate activity - in steady recovery since the country’s 2008 bust - with notaries largely banned from practising, property visits outlawed, and financing for individuals off the table. (Reporting by Clara-Laeila Laudette; additional reporting by Emma Pinedo; Editing by Andrei Khalip and Alex Richardson)

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