Anticipa: House Prices in Madrid & Barcelona Return to their Peaks of the Real Estate Boom

11 November 2018 – El Confidencial

The (real estate) recovery is really heating up. House prices in Madrid are on the verge of returning to their peaks of 2007. What seemed impossible, is now becoming a reality. That is according to a report from Anticipa Real Estate, which forecasts two-digit increases in house prices in the Spanish capital this year and next. Specifically, it predicts that homes will become more expensive by 10.2% in 2018 and by 11.5% in 2019, rises that are twice as high as the percentages that experts consider to be sustainable.

House prices have already been growing at rates of 10% during the last two quarters, according to the Repeated Sales House Price Index, prepared in accordance with the Case & Shiller methodology from the United States applied to Spain, which analyses repeat sales of the same homes. In other words, they are rising at double-digit percentages reminiscent of those recorded at the height of the real estate boom a decade ago.

Despite that, both property developers and banks are insisting that the market is very different to the one seen more than ten years ago and they categorically rule out that we are facing a similar situation to then. On the one hand, access to financing remains very restricted for solvent clients, whilst the recovery in prices is very uneven across the country. Whilst in the cities (and in certain neighbourhoods), prices are skyrocketing, in others, prices are still decreasing.

Although on average, by the end of 2019, house prices in Spain will be 15% below the peaks recorded in 2007, according to the report from Anticipa Real Estate, there are some hot spot areas where those prices have already been exceeded. In Cataluña, another of the hot spots in the Spanish market, increases of around 9% are expected next year and that despite the delicate political situation in Cataluña, which has had a direct negative impact on the real estate market – in Barcelona -, which, until a year ago, was performing extremely well in terms of transactions and prices.

Madrid stands out from the rest of Spain, with an evolution in terms of residential prices that has caused the first alarm bells to start sounding. In certain neighbourhoods, such as Chamartín, Chamberí and Salamanca, second-hand homes now cost the same as they did ten or twelve years ago, whilst in others such as Arganzuela, Centro, Moncloa and Tetúan, prices are close to exceeding those levels. In others, where prices are still well below their peaks of the bubble, the market is rising at rates of 20%, rapidly reducing the gap with respect to 2008.

They are peripheral areas of the city towards which price rises are moving like an oil slick. And that is because prices, both to the purchase and rental markets in the centre of the city have reached such prohibitive levels that much of the demand is moving en masse to more affordable areas, resulting in significant upward pressure on prices.

According to the latest data from Tinsa, in Vicálvaro, Ciudad Lineal and Villaverde, house prices have risen by more than 20% in the last year, compared with rises of 8.5% in Chamartín and 13% in the district of Salamanca. Meanwhile, the municipalities of Barcelona, such as L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Castelldefels, Esplugues de Llobregat and Sabadell, are experiencing a similar phenonemon with increases of more than 15% (…).

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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