Registrars: House Sales Exceeded 134,000 in Q2 2018

4 September 2018 – Expansión

The housing market is performing well, so much so that forecasts indicate that more than half a million house sales will be completed this year (…) whereby returning to pre-crisis levels.

During the second quarter of the year, 134,196 units were sold, up by 12.4% compared to the same quarter in 2017. That is the highest figure recorded in a second quarter since 2008, when 152,630 sales were registered, according to real estate statistics published yesterday by the College of Registrars.

The slight moderation in GDP growth, which is expected to rise by 2.7% in 2018, according to Government forecasts, has not prevented the real estate market from reaching cruising speed. Domestic demand, which is continuing to sustain the Spanish economy, is allowing for a reduction in the unsold stock of homes, thanks to the pull of large Spanish cities. The strong demand that is driving these figures is also having an impact on prices, which rose by 10.7% between April and June.

“The statistics are continuing to reflect the excellent performance of the sector”, said Ferran Font, Head of Research at Pisos.com, given that during the second quarter, the highest volume of transactions for 40 months was recorded.

The drivers of the increase in prices and demand relate to the increase in consumer confidence in the economy, which has boosted private consumption, and the greater weight of housing as an investment alternative, in a volatile environment where interest rates are low. This behaviour is feeding the forecasts of the experts, who expect 2018 to close with house sales of between 500,000 units, according to the ratings agency S&P, and 600,000, as predicted by the consultancy firm Jones Lang La Salle (JLL).

Nevertheless, the market is not evolving in a homogenous way. On the one hand, the sale of second-hand homes is driving the figures, accounting for 83% of total sales, whilst new build homes are more expensive. Thus, second-hand house sales between April and June recorded their highest figure since the middle of 2007, with 111,537 sales, up by 12.2% compared with Q2 2017. Although by volume there were significantly more second-hand house sales in Q2, it is also worth noting the growth rate of the sale of new build homes, which rose by 12.9% to reach 22,659 units sold.

In terms of prices, the situation is different. In general, new build homes are more expensive than second-hand homes. According to a report published by Pisos.com yesterday, the price of second-hand homes amounted to €1,612/sqm in August, up by 5.5% compared to a year ago.

By contrast, the price of new homes in Spain rose by 5.9% in June, according to data from Sociedad de Tasación. Nevertheless, that figure is skewed by the pull of the large capitals. “The average prices of new homes in Spain rose by 5.9%, but that figure decreases to 2.8% if we eliminate the impact of Madrid and Barcelona, which means that prices are in line with other fundamental factors of the Spanish economy”, indicate sources at Sociedad de Tasación.

The average price of a 90 sqm home in a provincial capital is around €205,600, whilst in the other cities, the average price amounts to €1,605/sqm, which represents a rise of 2.9% compared to 2017.

The Spanish market is still growing at several speeds, with the large cities acting as links in a chain pulling up prices and sales. Madrid, Barcelona and Alicante are the provinces where the most homes were sold during the second quarter (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Inma Benedito)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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