16 August 2016 – Expansión
House sales grew by 19.6% during the first half of the year, to amount to 225,551 transactions, thanks to a boost from second hand flat sales, according to statistics published by the General Council of Notaries. In other words, there were 1,239 transactions per day during H1 2016. These results represent the highest increase since the historical series was first compiled, back in 2007.
Moreover, these figures exceed the official ones, provided by INE last week, which reported 207,116 transactions between January and June, with an increase of 16.4% with respect to 2015 levels. This discrepancy is due to the fact that the General Council of Notaries obtains its sales data from the public deeds signed by notaries, whereas INE waits until sales have been recorded in the registry, which means a delay of one or two months.
In this way, 153,631 second-hand flats were sold between January and June, which represents a 19.29% increase compared with last year; such properties accounted for a third (68.1%) of all homes sold during the period. This data contrasts with the sale of new homes, which amounted to just 15,675 units during the first half of the year, representing a decrease of 13.6% compared to a year earlier.
The rest of the market was completed by other assets, such as plots of land, whose sales volumes rose by 12.1% YoY. It is worth highlighting that sales of buildable land grew significantly (by up to 33.2% in certain months), which shows the interest from property developers in starting new projects, as they sense a significant recovery in the real estate market.
Similarly, there is another trend: second hand homes are forming an increasingly larger part of the market. Thus, during the first half of the year, the sale of second hand homes accounted for ten times the sale of new homes, according to data from the notaries. This trend was maintained in June, when overall house sales rose by 7.1%, boosted by an 11.2% increase in second-hand home sales (29,052 units), compared with a drop of 33.4% in new homes sales (2,751 homes).
Price may be a key factor behind these differences, given that many owners of second-hand homes are still being forced to make large discounts, whilst those selling new homes (banks and property developers, in many cases) are able to wait a while before selling. (…).
At the end of June, the average price of a second-hand home stood at €1,418/sqm, which represented an increase of 6.1% compared with a year ago (€1,336/sqm). Meanwhile, in the case of new homes, at the end of the first half of the year, the average price amounted to €1,886/sqm, up by 12.7% compared with June 2015 (€1,673/sqm). As such, the average variation in house prices amounted to 7.5%. (…).
Finally, according to the statistics published by the notaries, 44.7% of the homes sold in June were financed using a mortgage with an average loan of €128,480, up by 0.4% compared with last year. These figures represent an increase of 13.3% in June with respect to the same month last year, with 18,904 new loans granted during the month.
Original story: Expansión (by P. Cerezal)
Translation: Carmel Drake