Registrars: House Prices Rose By 5.7% In 2016

15 February 2017 – Expansión

House prices rose by 5.6% in 2016, according to data published yesterday by the College of Registrars. In QoQ terms, this means that homes became 1.9% more expensive during the last three months of the year, whereby recording their ninth cumulative quarter of increases. These findings come from the Index of House Prices for Repeated Sales (IPVVR), prepared using the Case-Shiller methodology, which analyses only those homes that have been sold at least twice during the period under analysis, i.e. since 1995. This methodology is considered to be one of the best ways of measuring the true evolution of house prices and is the benchmark that is used in the USA.

The other key finding from the Registrars’ statistics is that the volume of homes sold increased by 13.9% last year, to 403,742, up by 49,205 compared to 2015. In this way, house sales exceeded the psychological barrier of 400,000 transactions, something that has not happened since 2010. (…).

The data from the College of Registrars in terms of house sale volumes is almost identical to that published last week by Spain’s National Institute of Statistics (403,900 operations and an increase of 13.7%). As such, the really interesting findings from the Registrars’ statistics relate to prices.

For example, the index shows that since the peaks of 2007, average house prices have recorded a cumulative decrease of just over 25%. By contrast, with respect to their minimum levels (recorded in 2014), average house prices have registered a cumulative increase of 13.3%. House prices rose by 6.6% in 2015 and by 2.55% in 2014.

Prices return to 2004 levels

Although the Registrars do no specify the average cost of homes per m2 in absolute terms, they do report that house prices are now at similar levels to those recorded in the middle of 2012 and at the end of 2004 (…).

These figures “seem to indicate the future trend to the extent that it seems reasonable that house prices will continue to grow, normally by more than 1% per quarter, giving rise to YoY increases of around 5%”. In other words, house prices are expected to continue to grow at rates similar to last year. (…).

Increases across the board

The breakdown in house sales shows that price increases were recorded in every autonomous region in 2016 with respect to 2015. The greatest rises were observed in the Balearic Islands (+30%), Cataluña (+21.1%) and Asturias (+17%). Moreover, growth rates reached doubt digits in twelve autonomous regions. For example, the rate in the Community of Madrid was 13.85%, in line with the national average.

Forty-nine of Spain’s 52 provinces have now left price decreases behind. In fact, the sales volumes of second-hand homes increased in every province in 2016, led by Madrid (58,752 transactions), Barcelona (46,415), Alicante (29,688), Málaga (26,436), Valencia (21,963), Baleares (13,811), Sevilla (12,900), Murcia (11,972), Las Palmas (11,272) and Cádiz (10,288).

The fourth quarter of the year closed with the highest percentage of purchases by foreigners in 2016, representing 13.57% of the total, giving rise to the third highest figure ever. (…). During the year as a whole, overseas buyers accounted for 13.25% of the market, with almost 53,000 purchases.

Original story: Expansión (by Juanma Lamet)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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