Ministry Of Development: 100,000+ Homes Sold In Q2 2015

25 September 2015 – Cinco Días

Improved access to credit and the increase in employment have been spurring on house sales for almost a year now and the upwards trend continued in the second quarter of the year. In fact, more homes are now being sold than a year ago in 14 of the 17 autonomous regions, when just a few months ago, the increase was being observed in just half of the country. And for the first time in five years, more than 100,000 homes were sold in one quarter, a figure not seen since 2010. (…).

A shortage of new homes

The numbers published yesterday by the Ministry of Development showed that house sales grew by 13.9% during the second quarter of the year compared with the same period in 2014. In total, 104,530 house sales were recorded, the best quarter since 2010, thanks primarily to the boost in the market for second hand homes and the activity in large cities.

By type, 91,499 second hand homes were sold between April and June, an increase of 22.6% with respect to a year earlier. But the most significant result is that second hand properties accounted for 87.5% of the total market in Q2 2015 – the segment continues to gain weight quarter after quarter, as the number of unsold properties in new developments dries up. In fact, the purchase of newly constructed homes increased by just 2.5% YoY in Q2 2015, to 13,031 properties, a volume equivalent to just 12.5% of the total number of transactions closed during the quarter. Nevertheless, it is worth remembering that the classification between new and second hand homes is clouded by the fact that many of the latter are actually new; they are classified as second hand because they come from developments that were included in real estate portfolios owned by banks or Sareb (and were finished more than two years ago). (…).

The other revelation disclosed by the Ministry of Development’s statistics relates to the classification of unsubsidised homes versus VPOs, which confirms the trend that has been observed in recent quarters: increasingly fewer VPO homes were sold in Q2 2015 for two reasons. The first is that the Government’s most recent housing plan tightened the conditions whereby individuals can sell those kinds of homes and the second is because no new VPO developments have been initiated since 2012, since the Executive of the PP has been more focused on (the promotion of) rental housing and renovations. Evidence of all of this is that only 4,590 VPO homes were sold between April and June, i.e. VPOs accounted for just 4.4% of all operations.

By autonomous community, house sales increased in 14 regions, led by La Rioja, where the volume of activity shot up by 44.2%, the Balearic Islands (+30.1%) and Cantabria (+29.4%). At the opposite end of the spectrum, a YoY decrease in house sales was recorded in 3 regions: Navarra (-14.7%), Extremadura (-1.5%) and País Vasco (-0.6%).

Another one of the findings from these statistics is that a few large capital cities behaved like hotspots in the market. Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia were the cities in which the most homes were sold between April and June, with 8,252 homes, 3,590 homes and 1,975 homes sold, respectively.

The housing market also recorded a positive result when we look at the figures for the last twelve months (July 2014 – June 2015), with 382,471 house changing owners, an increase of 13.3% compared with the previous twelve months (July 2013 – June 2014). In terms of the nationality of purchasers, the statistics reveal that foreigners bought 17.7% of all homes sold during the quarter.

Specifically, foreigners residing in the country acquired 17,307 homes, an increase of 17.2%, whilst operations closed by non-resident foreigners amounted to 1,244, up by 5% compared with the same period last year.

The provinces in which foreigners purchased most homes were Alicante (4,141), Málaga (2,517), Barcelona (1,470) and Madrid (1,173).

Original story: Cinco Días (by Raquel Díaz Guijarro)

Translation: Carmel Drake