10 February 2015 – Expansión
For translation of the first part of this article, refer to: Housing In 2015: More Sales And Higher Prices
Vital statistics about the housing sector in 2015
House sales: +7.5%: House sales have returned to positive growth. After seven years of decreases, in which the end of tax reliefs barely affected the market – only in an artificial way – a real increase in the number of house sales was recorded in 2014 (up 2.6%). According to the Real Estate Heart Rate Monitor (Pulsímetro Inmobiliario) from the Institute of Business Practices (Instituto de Práctica Empresarial), 7.5% more sales will be closed in 2015 than last year.
House prices: +2.5%: The key indicator for buyers is price, which, combined with necessity, is the factor that tips the balance towards the purchase of a home or not. According to the Real Estate Heart Rate Monitor, prepared by the Institute of Business Practices, house prices rose by 6.47% last year and will increase by 2.5% in 2015. The average value of homes sold in 2014 was €141,718 and this year will close with an average price of €145,261, i.e. we will see a return to 2012 levels.
Construction: +7.5%: Timidly, slowly, the cranes will return to the skyline of Spain’s major cities. In 2014, the construction of new buildings began to increase. Specifically, 37,418 new builds were started in 2014, an increase of 20% on 2013. In 2015, the upwards trend will continue, but it will be less pronounced. According to the IPE, at least the first brick will be laid on 40,225 homes, i.e. 7.5% more than last year.
Mortgages granted: +2.53%: The number of urban buildings financed through mortgages will return to positive growth after no less than eight years in decline. This year, 306,639 loans will be signed for the purchase of property, i.e. 2.53% more than the 299,064 recorded in 2014. Last year, the total volume of mortgages amounted to €39,472 million, i.e. 13.8% more than in 2013. In 2015, the figure will increase to €41,840 million, i.e. 6% more.
Average mortgage: +3.4%: The average size of the loans granted by financial institutions to cover the purchase of residential property in 2014 was €131,984, i.e. 15.8% higher than in 2013. This year the figure will continue to rise, to reach €136,477, i.e. 3.38% more than last year. The average mortgage is equivalent to 93% of the average sales price of homes (note, we should remember that mortgages are granted for all kinds of real estate property).
Construction permits: +5%: Having seen the beginning – timid but evident – of the recovery in the real estate sector, professionals in the market are starting to glimpse a more promising future. And so, permits for the construction of residential developments will grow again in 2015, after eight consecutive years of marked decreases. This year 64,591 permits will be granted. That is 5% more than last year and 24,000 more than the number of new homes started.
All properties: +1.8%: The report from the Institute of Business Practice focuses on the residential market in particular, i.e. the housing market, but the real estate sector is more broad. If we consider all urban properties – shops, shopping centres, offices, housing – 717,471 properties will change hands in 2015, i.e. 1.8% more than in 2014, the year in which the increase was similar, boosted by the arrival of vulture funds looking to purchase bargain properties with high yields.
Housing stock: -29.1%: For the fourth consecutive year, the number of surplus homes decreased in 2014, from 777,000 in 2013 to 662,761. That is, 115,000 fewer homes or 14.7% of the total. In 2015, the decrease in empty properties will be even greater. According to the IPE’s forecasts, the figure will drop to 469,708 properties this year, i.e. 29.1% fewer (193,000 homes). Valencia, Castilla-La Mancha and Andalucía account for 54% of the total stock.
Original story: Expansión (by Juanma Lamet)
Translation: Carmel Drake