INE: House Sales Accelerate Overall And Fall In 4 Regions Only

9 March 2015 – Cinco Días

The recovery in house sales is strengthening slowly, month after month, according to the statistics prepared by the National Institute for Statistics (INE) – refer to article published on Friday for high level data. (….).

(….). The sale of second-hand homes accounted for 73.1% of all sales recorded in January, whilst the sale of new homes accounted for 26.9% of transactions, heavily influenced by the scarce construction of developments that still afflicts the market. During the first month of the year, just 9,003 new homes were sold, 37.1% fewer than 12 months earlier.

Unsubsidised housing

As INE highlights in its notes, the data released on Friday relates to sales recorded in property registries for transactions closed in the months leading up to the month of January. In any case, even through there is a certain timelag, the statistics prepared by the notaries and the Ministry of Development (using the figures of the former), which lack this mismatch in terms of dates, show exactly the same trend towards a clear increase in the volume of sales. The recovery of employment and the re-opening of the funding tap, together with significantly lower prices, explain the increased volume of transactions.

By type of home, the majority of the homes sold during the first month of the year, specifically 88.8%, were unsubsidised. The sale of this type of home increased by 10.4% in year-on-year terms, to amount to 29,667 transactions. By contrast, 3,749 subsidised (VPO) homes were sold during the month, an increase of 3.3% with respect to January 2014. Another way of assessing whether this recovery is sustainable or not is to look at how this trend is evolving across the country. Although at first, only a minority of autonomous regions recorded positive annual rates in terms of house sales (those with a higher income per capita and with a higher percentage of tourist homes), now the situation has turned around (with only a minority of autonomous regions recording negative annual rates). In absolute terms, Andalucía continued to lead the ranking in terms of house sales in January, with 6,114 transactions, followed by Madrid (5,282), Cataluña (5,219) and Valencia (4,630).

Nevertheless, in relative terms, the regions that saw the highest increases in house sales were the Canary Islands (+56.7%), La Rioja (+48.3%) and Extremadura (+30%). Only four regions recorded annual decreases: Cantabria (-17.3%), Navarra (-17.2%), Galicia (-7.3%) and Castilla-La Mancha (-3.9%)

Original story: Cinco Días (by Raquel Díaz Guijarro)

Translation: Carmel Drake