INE: House Sales Grew By 16.8% In March

11 May 2016 – El País

House sales increased by 16.8% in March with respect to the same month in 2015, to reach 31,925 operations, according to statistics about the transfer of property rights published by Spain’s National Institute of Statistics (INE). As such, sales recorded two consecutive months of YoY increases, as they also rose in February, by 15.8%. However, the number of transactions in March decreased with respect to the previous month, when 34,771 agreements were signed, and also deteriorated with respect to January (32,417).

Fernando Encinar, Head of Research at Idealista, explained that “the data shows that the normalisation of the market is a reality and seems to be strengthening, with the volume of house sales exceeding 30,000 units each month. However, we will have to wait and see what happens over the next few months, as this easing of the growth rate may indicate that we are approaching the natural sales figure for our sector”.

Once again, INE placed the focus on what it regards as second-hand homes, figures that include new unsold properties that have been on the market for more than two years. In this segment, the volume of transactions increased by 24.2% in YoY terms in March, to reach 25,765 operations, compared with a decline of 6.6% in the sale of new homes during the month, to 6,160 units. Overall, 19.3% of the homes that changed hands were new builds and 80.7% were second hand properties.

There was no variation in terms of the split between unsubsidised and subsidised homes. Just like last month, unsubsidised homes accounted for 89.2% of all sales, whilst the latter represented 10.8%. In annual terms, the number of unsubsidised homes sold rose by 16.5% and the number of subsidised homes sold increased by 18.9%.

The regions with the highest number of sales per 100,000 inhabitants were the Canary Islands (127) and the Balearic Islands (108). The regions that reported the highest YoY variations in terms of the number of house sales were the Canary Islands (52.7%) and Extremadura (34.6%). Meanwhile, La Rioja and Galicia (both with decreases of -3.1%) recorded negative annual growth rates.

Original story: El País (by Sandra López Letón)

Translation: Carmel Drake