INE: Home Foreclosures Drop By 6.5% To 17,800 In Q1 2015

8 June 2015 – Cinco Días

During Q1 2015, 30,952 mortgage foreclosures (i.e. procedures to force the sale of properties resulting from unpaid mortgages) were recorded in Spain’s property registries. Of those 30,952 procedures, 17,780 related to homes, i.e. 6.5% fewer than during the first quarter 2014. The foreclosure of individuals’ primary residences amounted to 8,802, i.e. 6.9% fewer, according to data from INE.

The statistics institute highlights that not all mortgage foreclosures are the result of the legal removal (eviction) of owners from properties, and that in some cases, a single property is subject to several foreclosure procedures. The Bank of Spain has other statistics relating to evictions.

In general, non-payment results in foreclosure after a period of between six and 12 months, therefore the foreclosures completed during Q1 2015 related to mortgages that stopped being paid during the first half of 2014. Moreover, in addition to the 17,780 home foreclosures, INE recorded 10,316 other (foreclosure) processes involving premises, garages and offices and 1,361 relating to rural properties.

Most of the mortgages that result in the seizure of homes were signed during the last few years of the real estate bubble: 21.1% were signed in 2007, 15.2% in 2006 and 11.8% in 2008. Mortgages signed in those three years account for 48.1% of all foreclosures, although we should take into account that at that time, more than 100,000 mortgages were being granted per month, compared with current volumes of 20,000 per month. In relative terms, the worst year is still 2007, with 0.3% of the mortgages that were signed that year being foreclosed during Q1 2015, followed by 2008, 2009, 2013 and 2012 (between 0.21% and 0.25%).

By region, the effect of the real estate bubble is also leaving is mark: the highest rates of home foreclosures form a rainbow in the shape of the Mediterranean Coast. Andalucía leads the ranking (with 0.29% of the mortgages foreclosed last quarter), followed by Murcia (0.25%), Valencia (0.25%), Cataluña (0.23%). In the País Vasco, the rate is 0.02%.

Original story: Cinco Días

Translation: Carmel Drake