Notaries: House Sales Decreased By 10.9% In January 2015

17 March 2015 – El Mundo

House sales decreased by 10.9% in January 2015 with respect to January 2014 and prices fell by 6%.

On the up side, the volume of new mortgages increased by 11.4%.

The real estate statistics published by the General Council of Notaries relating to the month of January 2015, have somewhat dampened the euphoria that the housing market has been enjoying in recent weeks. The notaries report a 10% decrease in sales and a 6% year-on-year reduction in prices. Nevertheless, on the up side, the notaries indicate that during the first month of the year, mortgage lending increased by 11.4%.

According to these house purchase figures, there were 21,320 transactions in January, which represented a year-on-year decrease of 10.9%. “Despite this decrease in the monthly figures, the data actually reflects a stabilisation in terms of sales. This decrease may be explained by the end of the ‘base affect’ due to the normalisation of the figures following the conclusion of the period for tax deductions on purchases”, explain the notaries.

By type of property, the sale of flats experienced a year-on-year decrease of 11.5%, similar to the decline observed for unsubsidised flats (-11.4%). This decrease in the volume of transactions was due, primarily, to the significant decline in the sale of new flats (-31.8%). Meanwhile, the sale of second-hand flats shrank by 7.6% year-on-year. Regarding the sale of detached homes (viviendas unifamiliares), the number of transactions decreased by 8.4%.

Price decreases

In terms of average prices, the cost per square metre of homes purchased in January was €1,234, which represented a year-on-year decrease of 6%. This reduction in the price per square metre of homes was driven by both a reduction in the price per square metre of flats (-5.6% year-on-year), as well as a decrease in the price per square metre of detached homes (viviendas unifamiliares) (-6.4%).

In the flat segment, the price per square metre of second-hand properties amounted to €1,347 (-3.2% year-on-year) and of new homes amounted to €1,624 (-12.5% year-on-year). In terms of detached homes (viviendas unifamiliares), the average cost per square metre amounted to €1,001, i.e. 5.4% lower than in January 2014.

Mortgage lending is on the increase

Meanwhile, the number of mortgage loans granted to purchase homes increased by 11.4% year-on-year, and the average amount of capital loaned amounted to €126,989 (up by +9.2% year-on-year). In this sense, the percentage of home purchases financed using a mortgage amounted to 41.5%. Moreover, for this type of purchase, with financing, the mortgage amount represented an average of 76.2% of the appraisal value of the house financed.

Original story: El Mundo

Translation: Carmel Drake