13 May 2016 – El Mundo
In Q1 2016, house prices maintained the strength that they had shown in previous quarters and consolidated the changing trend, which began back in 2014, according to the House Price Index of Repeat Sales (which is calculated using the Case & Shiller methodology) prepared by the Property Registrars. This statistic shows that house prices increased by 6.9% compared with the same period in 2015.
In this way, and thanks to the appreciation in house prices in recent months, the cumulative decrease from the peaks of 2007 are continuing to moderate. The cumulative decrease since then now amounts to -27.2%.
Moreover, the number of house sales recorded during the first quarter of 2016 increased by 9.8% in YoY terms, to reach 99,427 operations. That number in one quarter is the highest recorded in the last three years.
Moreover, new builds recorded their first QoQ increase in several years, after a long period of historical lows, with 19,385 sales registered, up by 3,566 compared with Q4 2015. Meanwhile, there were 80,042 sales of second-hand homes, up by 11,830 compared with the previous quarter, which is the highest figure recorded in the last eight years.
The number of house sales increased in 16 autonomous regions with respect to the previous quarter, with the Community of Madrid (32.9%), País Vasco (26.6%) and the Canary Islands (26.5%) leading the ranking. At the other end of the scale, the number of house sales in Murcia fell by 4.3% compared with the last three months of 2015.
Purchases made by foreigners accounted for 12.9% of the total, compared with the historical maximum in Q4 2015 of 14.4%. Nevertheless, in absolute terms, such purchases are increasing, giving rise to figures close to 12,800 purchases per quarter. A new historical record has been set in the last year in this regard (13.4%), which translates to annual house purchases by foreigners amounting to almost 48,000 units.
By nationality, Britons lead the ranking, accounting for 21.9% of all purchases made by foreigners. They were followed by French (7.9%), German (6.9%), Swedish (6.3%) and Belgian (6.1%) buyers. These first five nationalities accounted for almost 50% of all house purchases made by foreigners.
Average mortgage of €109,215
After a prolonged period on the rise, mortgage debt per home decreased by 1.6% with respect to the previous quarter, to €109,215. Meanwhile, initial interest rates on new loans, which averaged 2.4% in Q3 2015, having decreased by 0.1 percentage point from the previous quarter, continued their decreasing trend for another quarter.
Variable interest rate products, which take Euribor as the benchmark rate, continued at their usual levels, accounting for 88.7% of all new mortgages granted. Fixed interest rate products increased to account for 9.8% of the market, a new maximum in the historical series according to the Real Estate Registrars’ Statistics.
The average mortgage term increased by 2.2% during the first quarter with respect to the previous quarter, to reach 23 years and 1 month, compared with 22 years and 7 months in the preceding quarter.
Meanwhile, the average mortgage repayment amount in the first quarter amounted to €512.83/month, representing a QoQ decrease of 4.3%, whilst the percentage of that repayment amount over wage cost decreased to 27% (compared with 28.3% in the previous quarter). In both cases, the figures represented the lowest levels in the historical series. (…).
Original story: El Mundo
Translation: Carmel Drake