28 April 2016 – Expansión
The signing of new mortgages to purchase homes increased by 15.9% in February, up from the 10.6% increase recorded in January, but well below the rises seen in years gone by. In total, 24,887 mortgage contracts were signed, according to the provisional data published yesterday by Spain’s National Institute of Statistics (INE).
Experts in the sector point to a slight slowdown in the recovery, given that although the data is positive and growth remains in the double digits, it is significantly lower than the rate of growth recorded just a year ago, according to Fernando Encinar, Head of Research at the real estate portal idealista.com.
In the same vein, Beatriz Toribio, Head of Research at fotocasa.com, notes that we have seen a moderation in the growth of mortgage lending in Spain in January and February, and that this has come despite the broad and competitive range of mortgage products that the banks are offering. Nevertheless, Toribio points out that we have now seen 21 consecutive months of increases “and that tells us that mortgage lending is now normalising in our country”.
In her opinion, for the real estate sector to recover completely, the lending figure has to be consolidated because without financing, there will be no recovery.
Meanwhile, the Director of Research at pisos.com, Manuel Gandarias is more optimistic. He thinks that “the annual variation will continue to grow in a significant way, and if it does so throughout the next quarter, then we will be talking about continuous growth in mortgage lending for two consecutive years”.
During 2015, and so far in 2016, the number of homes purchased using financing has grown stronger as a percentage of the number of total purchases to account for three out of every four acquisitions.
The value of mortgages constituted over homes in February amounted to €2,699.2 million, up by 14.4% compared with the same month in 2015 and by 9.7% compared with the previous month. This type of loan, for the acquisition of homes, accounted for 54.2% of the total in February. One of the main findings to emerge from INE’s data relates to the interest rates being applied to loans.
Original story: Expansión
Translation: Carmel Drake