INE: House Sales Exceeded 40,000 In March

16 May 2017 – Cinco Días

Last week, Spain’s National Institute of Statistics (INE) published data relating to house purchases in March, which revealed that the number of transactions recorded in the property registers amounted to 40,461 during the month. Such a high figure had not seen since February 2011, six years ago; it represents an increase of 26.9% with respect to the number recorded a year ago.

In general, and despite some apathy at the start of 2017, the fact is that March was a good month from the perspective of real estate activity, given that 168,448 properties changed hands, a figure that represents an increase of 17.7% with respect to the same period in 2016.

By type of property, INE highlighted that 89.8% of house sales involved free (unsubsidised) homes and 10.2% were social housing properties. Sales of the former increased by 27.6%, whilst sales of the latter rose by 21.5%.

In addition, 18.2% of the homes sold in March were new build properties and the remaining 81.8% were second-hand. One of the most noteworthy statistics is how month on month, the number of operations involving new build properties is beginning to show greater strength than in the past because the construction and sale of developments that were started two years ago when the market showed its first signs of having bottomed out, are now bearing fruit.

In this way, during March, the number of new build transactions increased by 21.2%, when not so long ago, they were recording negative figures, and the number of second-hand transactions consolidated themselves for another month with an improvement of 28.3% with respect to March 2016.

In the classification by autonomous region, INE’s statistics, which are prepared using data from the property registers, revealed that house sales grew in every autonomous region, with the exception of the Canary Islands, where they decreased by 3.5% YoY. Moreover, it is worth mentioning that the increase in the volume of transactions exceeded 30% in 10 of Spain’s autonomous regions. (…).

The reactions from the real estate portals to this data were not as expected. Fernando Encinar, Head of Research at Idealista, explained that “the data from the month of March exceeded 40,000 operations, which represents a milestone in terms of the normalisation of the market. Although this process is happening at two speeds, the fact that more transactions were signed in March than a year ago in every autonomous region (with the exception of the Canary Islands) is a sign that the markets are moving closer to their natural equilibrium”.

Meanwhile, Beatriz Toribio, Head of Research at Fotocasa, said that (…) “the more than 40,000 transactions that were closed in March brings us back to the levels of 2011 and shows that the pace that is building in the sector. This improvement is having an effect on prices, which have been recording YoY increases for seven consecutive months”. (…).

Original story: Cinco Días (by Raquel Díaz Guijarro)

Translation: Carmel Drake