Statistics Providers Agree That Spanish Housing Goes Stable

19/11/2014 – Expansion

Sector’s observers find themselves snowed under statistics flowing from many sources which often are inconsitent or even contradictory. One one hand, the Notaries said yesterday the housing prices fell by 4% in the third quarter, and on the other, Property Registrars announced a rise of 1.15%.

Is the data reliable? Well, the most important is that they inform us about certain stabilization in the sector and there are many reasons for their divergence.

The methodology used by the sources varies as the notaries base on deeds, more set in the present, while registrars employ the repeat-sales price indice calculated over a two-month data offset (the time needed to complete all proceedings related to a sale). Appraisers usually use the comparative valuation method, and web portals focus on asking prices. As a consequence, they end up in disagreement.

Both the notary and the registry data, ‘although seemingly contradictory at first glimpse, they prove the cost of homes in Spain floats towards stabilization’, says Beatriz Toribio, Research director at portal fotocasa.es. ‘This doesn’t mean, though, that the slump is over. The values still have a long way down ahead in many areas of the country’, she adds.

Manuel Gandarias, Research chief at pisos.com, explains that ‘there are several months left, given that mortgage approval improves step by step, unemployment rate remains high, the Government may surprise us with the new taxation reform and in 2015 there will be the elections’.

When it comes to property sales, just the opposite happens: the notary data are more optimistic than the registries ones. ‘In the third quarter of the year, the purchases went up 8.6% from a year earlier’, assure the Notaries, while the Registrars say the rise was of 3.5%.

The latter claim the real estate market is currently utterly chopped and they see eye in eye with the Notaries on the matter of steadier monthly sales.

According to the Registrars, the advance was triggered by pre-owned home performance (52.127 units sold), practically doubling new properties’ sales (27.434). The Notaries agree that the first see an abrupt increase (up 31.8%), and the other sharp slump (down 32.8%).

Andalusia won in the transactions number with 16.006 deals, followed by the Valencian Community (12.189), Catalonia (11.975) and Madrid’s Community (10.883), say the Registrars, adding that foreigners accounted for 13.1% of the total, led by the British (18.06%), then the French (10.48%), Russians (7.5%), Germans (6.45%), Belgians (6.19%) and the Swedish (6.08%).

In reference to default on mortgages, the number of notices about home foreclosure initiation posted 13.421, by 5.500 (29%) less than in the second quarter.

Finally, both the Registrars and the Notaries attach information justifying why their data are more trustworthy.

 

Original article: Expansión (by Juanma Lamet)

Translation: AURA REE

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