Who Bought Homes In 2014?

15 January 2015 – Expansión

Latest official data show that house sales increased during the last few months of 2014 and that the real estate sector is showing real signs of recovery. Who is behind this recovery? What was the profile of the typical home buyer in 2014?

The real estate portal, fotocasa.es, has conducted a survey, which reveals the main characteristics of the people that took the plunge and bought a home in 2014. Details below:

  1. Most finance their purchase with a mortgage

62% of the Spaniards who bought property in 2014 financed their purchase through a mortgage. Notably, 32% paid in cash and another 6% said that they were able to afford to buy their property thanks to other forms of financing (inheritance and gifts).

  1. Aged between 35 and 44 years old

By age group, the fotocasa.es survey shows that the most active buyers fell into the 35 to 44 year-old age group (38%), followed by those aged between 25 and 34 years old (26%) and those aged between 45 and 54 years old (24%).

Lagging somewhat behind, 9% of purchasers were aged between 55 and 65 years old, 2% were over 65 and 1% were under 18.

  1. Bought with their partner

In terms of marital status, the survey reveals that 56% of the Spaniards who purchased a house in 2014 were married, versus 35% who were single and making the purchase by themselves, and 7% who were divorced or separated (2% did not respond to this question).

  1. Have jobs, a determining factor

In terms of employment status, 88% of Spaniards who bought a home last year are currently employed. Clearly, having a source of income that is more or less stable, is a key condition for taking the plunge into the property market.

In fact, only 6% of the people that made a purchase last year were unemployed and on benefit, and a further 6% were unemployed and not receiving any benefits.

The survey also highlights that of the 88% of Spaniards that bought a house and are employed, “15% work in the public sector, 9% work in education and training, another 9% work in IT and telecommunications, and 7% work in healthcare”.

  1. Invest €246,000 in a flat, on average

The fotocasa.es study also reflects the average amount that Spaniards spent last year when purchasing their homes.

Overall, homeowners that bought a flat invested an average of €246,000; those who purchased an apartment paid €142,000 on average; and those opted for terrace and semi-detached houses spent an average of €333,000.

In addition, the analysis shows that there are significant differences in the amount invested according to the age of buyers. Spaniards aged between 45 and 55 invested the most in their homes in 2014, specifically €205,984 on average, followed by those aged between 35 and 44, who spent €189,609, and young people aged between 25 and 34, who last year invested €175,456 on average buying a home.

  1. Primary place of residence

In terms of the use of the houses purchased, the report by fotocasa.es reveals that 67% of homes were purchased to be the buyers’ primary residence; followed by 16% that were bought for investment purposes, with a view to accessing the equity in the future; and 15% who bought property as a second home (2% did not specify).

Original story: Expansión (by B. Amigot)

Translation: Carmel Drake