INE: 16-Month ‘Rising House Sales’ Streak Comes To An End

9 March 2016 – Cinco Días

32,417 homes were sold in January 2016, which represented a 2.9% decrease with respect to January 2015, marking the end of a 16-month streak of consecutive house sale increases, driven by the booming second-hand housing segment.

This fall comes after the number of transactions in 2015 increased by 11.1% to 354,132 operations, when this economic indicator recorded two consecutive years of increases.

Compared with a month earlier, house sales recorded a 17.3% increase, according to statistics about the transfer of property rights, published yesterday by the National Institute for Statistics (INE).

Despite this decrease, the number of house sales is at its highest level since July 2015.

80.5% of all house sales registered in January involved second-hand homes, with 26,083 operations recorded in total, representing a YoY increase of 6.6% (23 months of increases). By contrast, the sale of new homes fell by 28.9%, to 6,334 operations and accumulated 21 consecutive months of decreases.

According to the same source, 89.7% of the homes sold in January were free (unsubsidised) with 29,093 homes sold in that category, representing a 2% decrease with respect to the same month in 2015. The sale of social housing (subsidised) homes dropped by 9.9%, to 3,324 transactions.

By autonomous region, nine regions recorded negative YoY variations in the number of house sales, with the most pronounced decreases being seen in La Rioja, with a drop of 25.3% and the Canary Islands, with a reduction of 16.2%.

Navarra, with a rise of 18.4%; Castilla La Mancha, with an increase of 17.9%; and Aragón with a rise of 8.9%, led the other end of the table.

In January, the total number of properties sold according to the property registers and based on public deeds amounted to 136,771, down by 2.8% compared with a year ago.

66,959 properties were sold, down by 4.1%; exchanges decreased by 14.9% (to 526); donations dropped by 12.3% (4,148); meanwhile inheritances rose by 3.8% (30,010).

On the other hand, land consolidations, horizontal divisions, joint and mixed operations of several transfer deeds, transfers without the acquisition right, daciones en pago, mortgages foreclosures and legal repossessions fell by 4.2% to 35,128 operations.

According to INE’s data, in January, the total number of properties sold according to the property registers per 100,000 inhabitants was highest in Valencia (113) and the Balearic Islands (108).

Original story: Cinco Días

Translation: Carmel Drake