Housing sales experienced another debacle in February. Spain´s National Institute of Statistics entered meagre 25.717 transactions based on data from the ownership registry. Compared to the same month a year before, the slump was equal to 27.6%, the poorest in last 2 years and continuing as the 10th consecutive month of decline. Seeing such numbers one may ask whether the market recovery has really come.
Well, as all experts know, an improvement is never reflected in numbers immediately (…) and the February statistics are closely related to the previous months, like December and earlier on, that only began to show better scores.
(…) Undoubtedly, very few houses are sold nowadays. Great majority of them, 90.4%, is free, while subisidized houses represent mere 9.6%. Moreover, the sales of the first declined by 24.3%, while of the other by 48.6%.
Another significant gap noticed in the sector concerns the sales of new and pre-owned houses. Used houses are back in fashion with 55.1% rate compared with 44.9% at the beginning of the recession. To illustrate, in February, sales of new housing declined by 37.4%, while the pre-owned houses dropped ´only´ by 17%.
Logical explanation for that phenomena is that the available offer range of used houses is much wider (as almost every day new offers are published) than the new construction homes as additionally, very few of them have been built over the past 5 years. Moreover, there exists greater possibility to haggle over the price and to pay less taxes than in case of new homes. Still, the ownership tax issue remains uncertain. (…).
Original article: Cinco Días (by R.D.G.)
Translation: AURA REE