29 November 2018 – Expansión
The housing market is going to break a record in terms of sales in 2018, by exceeding the 500,000 threshold for the first time since 2008. The strength in demand and the pull of the large capitals is going to translate into 520,000 house sales this year, up by 13% compared to 2017, according to forecasts from the portal Pisos.com.
On the other hand, the dynamism of the market and the shortage of available supply in the areas where demand is greatest will continue to cause prices to increase. They could close this year with a rise of 6%, with a price per square metre of €1,700/m2, and in 2019, flats will cost between €1,750/m2 and €1,800/m2 on average.
In terms of forecast house sales in 2019, the Head of Research at Pisos.com, Ferran Font, explained that “these figures will be maintained, given that the upwards trajectory is close to reaching its reasonable ceiling”. “Over the next few years, we expect the sector to close between 500,000 and 600,000 sales per year. If that figure were to increase to 800,000, it would be a bad sign for the sector”, added Font.
The arrival of investors into the real estate market explains part of the upwards performance of the sector. 25% of house sales were made without the need for financing, “which shows that property is serving as a good refuge for investment during the period of low interest rates”.
Andalucía, Cataluña and Madrid are the autonomous regions where most house sales are taking place. Nevertheless, the entry of the Community of Valencia into the leading regions is worth noting. According to Font, it is a growing market, where there is a lot of activity. As a result, the Community of Valencia is where there are the most sales for every 1,000 inhabitants. Meanwhile, Madrid will close the year with 78,000 house sales, up by 13% YoY to account for 15% of the national total.
In Barcelona, by contrast, “there is a change in the trend”, warns Font. The increase in house prices that the Catalan capital experienced at such high rates during 2016 and 2017 has reached its peak in 2018.
As a result, demand is moving to other towns. “Initially, it was moving towards the outskirts, but now it is moving towards adjoining municipalities” noted Font.
The maximums reached in the Catalan capital and the reorientation of demand are having an effect on the number of sales registered in Barcelona. At the beginning of 2017, Barcelona was growing at double-digit rates. But by the end of last year, sales had started to moderate, and during the first quarter of 2018, they started to register YoY decreases of 17% (…).
Original story: Expansión (by I. Benedito)
Translation: Carmel Drake