The recovery of the real estate market in the province of Alicante during the first quarter has two main characters: the capital of Alicante and the city of Elche. Both are positioned at the top of the provincial ranking in terms of number of operations during the months of January to March 2021, and in fact, they do so by improving not only the data of the previous quarter (the fourth of 2020), when many pending purchases and sales were formalised since the confinement of spring, but also that of the same period of 2020, just before the pandemic broke out.

Thus, the city of Alicante registered 1,480 sales and purchases in the first quarter of the year, according to the quarterly statistics of the Ministry of Mobility (formerly Fomento), which represents 16% of the total number of transactions recorded in the province during the period. This volume of transactions equals the figure for the fourth quarter of 2020 and is the best figure since the end of 2019. Compared to the same period last year, the city of Alicante registered 9% more sales and purchases. In turn, Elche registered 712 sales in the first quarter, 8% of the provincial total, well above the previous quarter (when there were 666) and 26% more than in the same period of 2020, just before the coronavirus.

In contrast, the other two cities in the province with the highest number of sales, Torrevieja (in second place between Alicante and Elche) and Orihuela, in fourth place, are losing weight and although they are among the first in the ranking, they are doing so with worse data than in 2019, which means that in the case of the Vega Baja the ‘covid gap’ in the real estate sector has not yet been closed. In Torrevieja, 826 properties were sold (9% of the total), which is 15% less than in the first quarter of 2020. As for Orihuela, another of the historical leaders in the sector, 578 homes were sold, 23% less. These four cities accumulate, all in all, 40% of all transactions carried out on the Costa Blanca up to March.

The ‘top ten’ of sales are completed, in this order, by Denia, Benidorm, Santa Pola, Alcoy, Xàbia and Pilar de la Horadada.

Of these six cities, only Alcoy and Xàbia have improved on the figures for the same period in 2020, while the rest of the towns have recovered with respect to confinement, but without closing the gap. In this way, in Dénia, 352 properties were sold, 1.4% less; in Benidorm, 274 sales were registered, 18% less than in 2020; in Santa Pola, there were 246 operations, 25% less; and in Pilar de la Horadada 198 operations were closed, 8% less. On the other hand, in Alcoy, there was a 3% increase in sales and purchases (232 transactions) and in Xàbia the same number of transactions were closed as a year ago, 204.

Across the province, as Alicante Plaza reported on Friday, 8,900 home sales and purchases were closed between January and March 2021, which is 2.7% more than in the same period of 2020, when the second half of March was impacted by the home confinement decreed by the Government to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The recovery brings the first quarter figure closer (although it still remains far) to that recorded in the same period of 2019, two years ago, when the number of sale and purchase transactions was 10,200.

In terms of turnover generated by the real estate market, turnover rose to €1.21 billion, 7.5% more than in the first quarter of 2020 (€1.125 billion) and just 3% below turnover in the same period of 2019, when it was €1.25 billion. The increase in property prices, therefore, means that with 1,300 fewer transactions, almost the same volume of business is achieved. In terms of the type of property, used properties continue to account for 85% of the total, a specific weight that has hardly changed since the recovery from the previous crisis began in 2014.

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