The Spanish government claims price falls since 2007 mean now is the time to snap up bargains – but many analysts say the country's property crash is far from over and prices have further to drop. The government says:

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■ about one million homes are on sale in Spain, of which 700,000 are empty new-build flats and houses which have never been lived in;

■ some 420,000 of the empty homes are on the Costas;

■ Spanish house prices have fallen an average of 15.4% nationwide but up to 40% in second home areas like Marbella.

The housing minister insists "the market is recovering" and "at the current rate of transactions, after two to three years will reach equilibrium between supply and demand". But many experts disagree and the Madrid government's own figures suggest a different picture.

The government's price index show Costa del Sol values down another 8% in the year to late March, while "recent interest rate rises are likely to put further downward pressure on prices" says Mark Stucklin, a Barcelona-based analyst who writes an online market guide, Spanish Property Insight.

A Reuters poll of economists and property experts shows a strong majority forecasting two more years of price falls. Investment bank Morgan Stanley predicts prices will drop another 10% this year alone, while business consultancy PWC says it could take a decade before the market stabilises.