10 February 2015 – Expansión
Sales of second hand homes drove overall house sales to increase by 2.2% in 2014, with respect to the previous year, to reach 319,389 transactions, resulting in a return to positive growth after three years of decline.
House sales rose by 2.2% in 2014 after three years of decline, thanks to a boost from second hand properties, according to the provisional data published today by the National Institute of Statistics (Instituto Nacional de Estadística or INE) regarding the Statistics on the Transfer of Property Rights (Estadística de Transmisiones de Derechoes de la Propiedad or ETDP).
The second hand market was the driver behind this annual growth, the first positive trend since 2010, when house sales grew by just over 6%. That year represented a respite for the real estate market, which had been hit hard by the economic downturn.
The increase in the sale of second hand homes was notable last year with a rise of 18.4%, to reach 199,943 transactions. By contrast, the number of new homes sold decreased by 16.9%, to amount to 119,446.
25,998 houses were sold in total in December, an increase of 15.7% on the same month last year – the fourth consecutive monthly increase – and 3.2% more than in November.
After three years of decline, house sales have returned to positive territory in the context of a strong price correction. In fact, since their peak in 2007, house prices in Spain have decreased by more than 40%.
During the crisis, the worst years for house sales were 2008 and 2009, when the number of transactions plummeted by 28.8% and 25.1%, respectively. Double-digit decreases were also recorded in 2011 and 2012 (-18.1% and -11.5%, respectively), however, the decline eased in 2013 to 1.9% as the tax relief for house purchases ended.
89.7% of homes sold last year were unsubsidised (free housing) and 10.3% were subsidised (protected). In total, sales of unsubsidised homes increased by 3.2% in 2014, whilst sales of subsidised homes decreased by 6.2%, a smaller decline than in previous periods.
Andalucía leads the ranking
By autonomous region, Andalucía recorded the highest number of house sales last year (64,349 transactions were closed there), followed by Cataluña (47,113), Valencia (46,678) and Madrid (44,231).
The autonomous regions that recorded the fewest number of transactions were La Rioja (2,263), Cantabria (3,917) and Navarra (4,403).
In relative terms, the number of house sales rose in eleven autonomous communities in 2014 and decreased in six. The regions that experienced the highest increases in terms of the number of transactions were the Balearic Islands (+18.5%) and Navarra (+13.9%), whilst the ones with the largest decreases were La Rioja (-25.1%) and Castilla-La Mancha (-12.6%).
Original story: Expansión (by )
Translation: Carmel Drake