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Spanish property sales reached over half a million in 2018, for the first time in a decade.

A total of 515,000 residential properties were sold in Spain last year, representing a 10.1% increase on 2017 figures and the first time in 10 years that sales figures have risen over the 500,000 mark, according to latest data published by the government’s central statistic unit.

A total of 33,831 residential properties were sold in Spain during December, representing a 3.8% increase on the same month the year before.

During 2018, there were year-on-year sales increases every month, apart from March when an early Easter distorted figures.

Sixteen out of Spain’s 17 autonomous regions reported a rise in sales figures, with the only exception being the Balearics where sales dropped by 2.9%. Property sales continued to rise in areas where property prices are still below the nation average; Murcia (24.3%), La Rioja (18.9%) and Castilla-La Mancha (18.1%) saw the biggest rise in property sales.

Meanwhile, the usually strong property markets of Madrid and Catalunya only saw sales figures grow by 4% and 7.7% respectively.

Sales activity is now 75.6% higher than when the market bottomed out in February 2014, data shows.