Servihabitat: House Prices Return to Pre-Crisis Levels in Madrid & Barcelona

13 December 2017 – ABC

The real estate market has definitively overcome the crisis in certain parts of Madrid and Barcelona. According to figures from Servihabitat, house prices in some of those cities’ neighbourhoods are now above the levels seen just before the burst of the property bubble. And according to the real estate servicer, this growth is forecast to continue for the next few quarters at least. House sales will rise by 18% next year to exceed 550,000 operations, thanks to a boost from the sale of second-hand homes. Meanwhile, the price of transactions will rise by 4.7%.

Those are some of the forecasts reflected in the fifth edition of Servihabitat’s report about the “Residential Market in Spain”. The report highlights that house sales will close this year up by 17% and will grow by another 18% next year. The real estate company argues that this improvement is due to factors such as the “increase in solvent demand, policies for granting more credit, the increase in investor interest and the progress in the construction of new homes”.

This recovery will be more homogeneous than in previous years. The improvements in Andalucía, Cataluña and Madrid will be accompanied by increases in other regions such as Castilla-La Mancha and La Rioja, which are expected to record increases of 23.8% and 23.1%, respectively. “The differences between the regions are being mitigated. All towns with more than 100,000 residents are recording strong performances”, explains Julián Cabanillas, CEO of Servihabiat. In his opinion, in 2018, “the trends seen in previous years will be consolidated”.

Nevertheless, the great challenge of this recovery is still how to build enough new homes. Cabanillas acknowledges the fact that “some regions suffer from a lack of stock” for reasons such as a shortage of land, which is pushing up house prices in regions such as Madrid and Cataluña (…).

The impact of tourist housing

It is not only house sales that are expected to continue to rise next year, rental prices are also forecast to increase. Servihabitat highlights the “positive trend” in the rental sector, which according to its calculations will see an average increase of 2% during the second half of 2017.

“Rental has become an increasingly more attractive alternative in Spain, taking into account phenomena such as labour mobility and the upturn in house prices”, explains Cabanillas.

According to Servihabitat, the average yield on rental housing is 5.5%. In certain regions, such as Cataluña, the figure exceeds 6%. In this segment, the real estate company highlights the impact that tourist apartments are having on the market since they are leading to two-digit rises in rental prices in certain cities.

“It is a practice that is developing fast and that needs to be controlled somehow”, explains the CEO of Servihabiat, who points out that the rise in the rental market in recent months has not only been caused by the impact of tourist apartments, but rather by a “combination of factors”.

Original story: ABC (by Guillermo Ginés)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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