Notaries: House Sales Rose by 7.6% in Q1 2018

16 July 2018 – Eje Prime

There has been a slight cooling off in terms of residential transactions. House sales rose by just 7.6% during the first quarter of 2018, representing a “small deceleration” in YoY growth with respect to previous quarters, which have been exceeding 10%, according to the General Council of Notaries.

House transactions rose in the majority of the autonomous regions, led by La Rioja, with an increase of 22.6%. It was followed by Murcia (+20.9%) and the Community of Valencia (+18.5%). At the opposite end of the spectrum were the Balearic Islands (-8.1%), the Canary Islands (-2.4%) and Extremadura (-1.2%).

As with the volume of operations, prices also showed signs of a decelerating trend, although they did rise by 1.4% on average. The national average price amounted to €1,377/m2, whilst in País Vasco, the Balearic Islands, Madrid, Cataluña and the Canary Islands, prices exceeded the average, at €2,208/m2, €2,157/m2, €2,146/m2, €1,646/m2 and €1,490/m2, respectively.

In addition, the sale of flats grew by 6.9% during the first quarter, somewhat lower than the increases of more than 10% seen in the previous eight quarters.

On the other hand, according to the General Council of Notaries, the “significant” increase in the number of mortgage loans to acquire homes, seen last year, continued at the national level (+10.9%) during the first quarter.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Property Developer Urbas Records a Loss of €354k in Q1

15 May 2018 – Eje Prime

The Urbas Financial Group is in the red. The company recorded a negative net consolidated result of €354,000 during Q1, which represented a decrease from the profit of €1.05 million that it recorded in the first quarter of 2017, according to Spain’s National Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV).

The Group’s total debt with banks decreased by 2.4% in March to €122.6 million. Urbas’s land portfolio spanned 18 million m2 at the end of the first quarter. Of the real estate company’s total surface area, 73% corresponds to rural land, 25% to buildable land and 2% to urban land.

Most of the land bank that the Group owns is located in the Community of Valencia, which accounts for 34.8% of the company’s portfolio. That region is followed by Madrid with 20.5% of the total; Andalucía with 17%; and Castilla La Mancha with 14%, which are the other three regions where the company’s land is concentrated. It also owns plots in Murcia, Castilla y León and several other autonomous regions.

In 2017, Urbas increased its profit by 8.8% to exceed €5 million. The group recorded revenues of €4.2 million, which represented an increase of 40% with respect to 2016, and also generated positive EBITDA.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

INE: House Sales Rose By 1.2% In February

11 April 2017 – Expansión

House sales rose by 1.2% in February compared to the same month in 2016 to reach 35,610 operations, according to figures published yesterday by Spain’s National Institute for Statistics (INE). The increase, which represents the 13th consecutive month of YoY increases, is well below the figure seen in January when the volume of operations rose by 18.1% in YoY terms to reach its highest figure in four years.

Transactions involving second-hand homes rose by 6.1% in February with respect to the same month in 2016, to reach 29,171 operations, whilst the sale of new homes decreased by 16.3% in YoY terms, to 6,439 transactions.

89.3% of the homes processed for sale during the second month of the year were private (unsubsidised) homes and 10.7% were social housing properties. The sale of private homes rose by 1.5% in February in YoY terms, to reach 31,807 transactions, meanwhile operations involving social housing properties dropped by 0.7% to 3,803 transactions.

In monthly terms (comparing February with January), house sales decreased by 7.4%, in contrast to the monthly increase of 8% that was recorded a year earlier.

By autonomous region

House sales decreased in nine autonomous regions in the month of February, in particular in the País Vasco, where sales volumes dropped by 15.7%. Meanwhile, they rose in the remaining eight regions, led by La Rioja, with increases of 14.9%. The highest YoY increases in the number of house sales were recorded in La Rioja (14.9%), Castilla y León (9.9%) and Cataluña (8.7%). At the opposite end of the spectrum were País Vasco (-15.7%), Cantabria (-9.6%) and Galicia (-5.9%), which recorded the highest decreases in February. In terms of the total number of properties sold per the property registers for every 100,000 inhabitants, the highest values were recorded in La Rioja (693), Castilla y León (612) and Navarra (566).

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Bank Of Spain: The Housing Market Is Not Overheating

4 April 2017 – El Mundo

The Bank of Spain (BdE) does not perceive “any signs of overheating” in the housing market, nor does it expect the real estate sector to overheat anytime soon, given that the recovery in the market is happening at the same time as the process to deleverage the economy.

During the presentation of the supervisory body’s macroeconomic forecasts for the Spanish economy (2017-2020), the Director General of Economics and Statistics at the Bank of Spain, Pablo Hernández de Cos, denied that the housing market is showing any signs of overheating.

Hernández de Cos highlighted that the housing market has been enjoying a recovery for several quarters, which is being seen in the number of transactions, the number of new builds started and the trend in prices, although the Bank of Spain does not expect “the market to overheat”.

Despite the fact that the growth rates “may be significant”, the Director of the Bank of Spain said that after a “very significant” adjustment process in the sector in terms of transactions and the correction of prices, the recovery in the market is taking place in parallel to the continuation of the process to deleverage the Spanish economy. “We are not seeing any signs of overheating”, he added.

“Uneven” reactivation

In its forecasts, the supervisory body notes that high-frequency information relating to both the number of new builds started and the number of transactions involving residential properties, indicates a “continuation of the path of gradual improvement in residential investment, whose prolongation during the forecast horizon will be based on the favourable evolution of employment, the expected continuation of propitious financing conditions and the expectation that assets are going to appreciate in value”.

Nevertheless, it forecasts that the recovery will progress in an “uneven” way by region, with the main cities and autonomous regions most focused on tourism experiencing the most intense growth. In any case, it warns that the latter areas may experience a certain moderation in demand as a result of the process for the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union (EU).

Original story: El Mundo 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Idealista: 12% Of Rental Homes Leased In <2 Days In Feb

24 March 2017 – Inmodiario

Rental homes on the market for less than 48 hours accounted for 12% of all rental operations closed in Spain during the month of February, according to a study published by Idealista. More flats than ever are now being advertised on the residential rental platform, however, the extensive demand is still not being fulfilled.

The incidence of immediate rentals is not homogenous across all of Spain’s autonomous regions. The pressure from demand is the greatest in the Balearic Islands, where 19% of the homes that were rented in the islands during the month of February were advertised on Idealista for less than 48 hours. It is followed by the Community of Madrid (18%), Navarra (17%), Cataluña (12%), Euskadi (12%), (the latter two are in line with the national average), and below that are Aragón (11%), Andalucía (9%), the Canary Islands (9%) and Galicia (8%).

The bottom end of the table is propped up by Cantabria, the Community of Valencia, Castilla-La Mancha (7% in all three cases), Castilla y León (6%), Extremadura (5%), Asturias, La Rioja and Murcia (4% in all three regions).

The provincial capitals are the areas where demand for rental properties tends to concentrate, therefore the immediate rental rates there are generally higher.

Orense is the city that recorded the highest percentage of immediate rentals as a percentage of total operations, with 33%. It was followed by Albacete and Málaga, with rates of 27%, and then Pamplona and Palma de Mallorca (25% in both cases). Next came the city of Barcelona, where properties involved in 21% of all rental agreements signed had been on the market for less than 48 hours, followed by Ávila (20%) and Madrid (19%).

Nevertheless, the study revealed that the immediate rental phenomenon does not exist in at least 12 Spanish provincial capitals, namely: Teruel, Segovia, Pontevedra, Palencia, Lugo, Lleida, Huesca, Huelva, Girona, Cuenca, Ciudad Real and Castellón.

Of the provincial capitals that do experience the phenomenon, Oviedo and Córdoba saw the lowest incidence of immediate rentals (4% in both cases), followed by León, Granada and Badajoz (5% in all three cities). Moreover, like in the case of the provincial capitals, the main cities in the country have different immediate rental rates depending on the district in question.

In Barcelona, for example, Sant Andreu is the neighbourhood where the most immediate rentals were signed in February: 40% of all the homes that were rented there had been on the market for less than 48 hours. It was followed by Nou Barris (38%), Horta Guinardó (31%) and Gràcia (27%). By contrast, the lowest immediate rental rates were recorded in Sarrià Sant Gervasi (8%), Sant Martí and Ciutat Vella (21% in both cases).

In Madrid, by contrast, the district most affected by this immediate rental phenomenon was Villaverde (31%), followed by San Blas (29%), Latina (28%), Arganzuela, Puente de Vallecas, Usera and Villa de Vallecas (26% in all four cases).

Analysis of the prices of the homes that are being immediately in Spain reveals that one third (33%) cost less than €500/month, whilst 46% ranged between €500/month and €750/month. (…).

Finally, most of the homes that were rented in a matter of hours had a surface area of less than 80 m2: 11% measured less than 40 m2; 31% measured between 41 m2 and 60 m2; and 30% measured between 61 m2 and 80m2. (…).

Original story: Inmodiario

Translation: Carmel Drake

New Housing Plan Will Include Aid For Renters & Evicted Families

14 December 2016 – El Mundo

On Tuesday 13 December, the Minister for Development, Íñigo de la Serna (pictured above), said that the future Housing Plan 2018-2021, which his department is currently working on, will seek to continue to support rental housing through a specific program of aid, and will add other assistance for families evicted from their habitual residences.

De la Serna emphasised that the draft plan includes financing for a program of aid for families evicted from their habitual residences that find themselves in vulnerable situations, through the constitution of social funds for rental housing.

Similarly, he expressed his intention for the new housing plan to continue to offer support for rental housing thanks to a specific program.

The Ministry of Development has already started the process to approve this new housing plan and to this end, it has invited the Autonomous Regions to a conference, which will be held on Thursday 15 December, where some of the overarching premises are expected to be discussed.

The Minister for Development recalled that last Friday, the Council of Ministers approved an extension of the Housing Plan 2013-2016 to ensure that its beneficiaries will not lose their aid from 1 January 2017 onwards.

In terms of the sale of social housing to vulture funds, De la Serna reminded the Podemos party Senator María Pilar Garrido that the Government will not carry out any sale in this sense because the duties in terms of housing are assumed by the Autonomous Regions.

“We have to comply with the law and not encroach on the regional duties that are not our responsibility”, he added.

He also said that the State can only influence the regulation of economic planning, specifically, the definition of safeguarding actions and the regulation of financing structures through the contribution of state resources.

Based on this, he explained that the Government approves the state housing plans, which are then managed through agreements with the different autonomous regions.

Original story: El Mundo

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ministry Of Development: House Sales Grew By 8.9% In Q3

14 December 2016 – ABC

House sales grew by 8.7% during the third quarter of the year, to 102,216 transactions, whereby reaching a seven-year historical quarterly maximum, not seen since the same period in 2009, according to data from the Ministry of Development.

The increase has been driven by sales of second-hand homes, which accounted for 90.1% (89,014) of house sales during Q3, up by 10% compared to the period between July and September 2015.

By contrast, the number of new home sales decreased by 5.7% during Q3, to 8,912 transactions, i.e. 9.9% of the total. House purchases by foreigners represented another driver of the growth in transactions, given that overseas buyers acquired 18,115 homes in Spain during this period, up by 7.3%, to account for 17.7% of all homes purchased.

Most of these homes were acquired by foreigners who are resident in the country – they purchased 17,296 homes, up by 10% compared to a year earlier. By contrast, the number of homes purchased by non-residents decreased by 31% to 819.

In terms of the behaviour of the market by autonomous region, decreases in house sales were recorded in just seven regions, led by Navarra, with a decrease of 14.3%, Murcia (-12.3%) and the Canary Islands (-10.6%).

At the other end of the spectrum, Asturias, Cataluña and Aragón were the regions where house sales grew by the most between July and September, with increases of 28.4%, 24.5% and 20.6%, respectively.

At the municipal level, Madrid was the city that recorded the most activity in terms of transactions in the residential market, with 6,816 operations in the third quarter alone, ahead of Barcelona (3,870 sales) and Valencia (1,926 operations).

In terms of subsidised housing, the number of sales also grew during the last quarter, albeit in a more moderate way (by 4.2%), to 4,290 transactions.

The Ministry of Development compiles these statistics based on data provided by the College of Notaries, which captures the number of house sales formalised by public deeds in notarial offices.

Original story: ABC

Translation: Carmel Drake

Tinsa: House Prices Rose By 2.4% YoY In September

10 October 2016 – Expansión

House prices are rising at a strong pace, residential sales are recovering and mortgages are coming back, timidly, along with cranes. The residential market has left its worst years behind it and is setting itself up for a robust recovery, without any signs of the excesses that created the real estate bubble.

Statistics published on Friday confirm that the wind is blowing in the right direction for the real estate sector. The average value of free (unsubsidised) homes grew by 2.4% YoY in September, according to Spain’s largest property appraiser, Tinsa. The cumulative increase in prices during the first nine months of the year amounts to 2.9%.

At the same time, sales of unsubsidised homes also rose in August by 19.9% YoY, driven by the strong performance of the second hand segment, which accounted for 82.8% of the market, according to INE. The number of operations involving new homes rose by 3.3%, whilst the number of second-hand home sales rose by 24.6%.

In August, 35,501 residential properties were sold, up by 7.3% compared to July. The cumulative increase during the first eight months of the year amounted to 14.8%.

Nevertheless, the experts warn that “the monthly variation, albeit positive, is not sufficiently high following the decrease registered in the previous month”, said Manuel Gandarias, Director of Research at Why? Because in the house sales figures registered in August included operations outstanding from July, due to a Supreme Court ruling regarding late payment interest, which means that the increase should have been greater. “In September, we will also see quite a bulky increase”, added Gandarias.

“The crisis has left a two-speed real estate market and the behaviour of prices and sales will continue to be very uneven”, warned Beatriz Toribio, Head of Research at Fotocasa. The autonomous regions that have seen the highest increases in house sales are the Balearic Islands (49.2%), Cataluña (+41%) and Navarra (+38.1%) Meanwhile, Murcia (-5.2%), Galicia (+4%) and the Community of Madrid (+10.4%) recorded the lowest increases. “The worst is behind us in Cataluña, Madrid, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands and most of the Mediterranean Coast, but the outlook is not nearly as encouraging in the rest of the country”, said Toribio.

According to Tinsa, prices are growing by more in the Balearic and Canary Islands (+4.4%) than in the rest of Spain, although they are followed very closely by the Mediterranean Coast (+4.3%). In the major cities, prices rose by 2.5% in September. “The worst is behind us, but the recovery will be slow”, summarised Toribio.

Original story: Expansión (by Juanma Lamet)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Registrars: House Sales Soared By 23.7% In Q2

30 August 2016 – Expansión

Between April and June, 107,838 homes were sold, specifically 88,291 second-hand homes and 19,547 new homes. The figure represents the highest number of transactions recorded in a single quarter in the last three years.

(…). According to data published yesterday by the College of Registrars, house prices rose by 7.48% in Q2 compared with the same period last year. Compared with the figures recorded during the first quarter, the rise between April and June amounted to 2.19%. Despite these significant increases, prices have still not returned to their pre-crisis levels. And although the cost of housing is now similar to the level last seen in 2004, the cumulative decrease still amounts to 26% with respect to 2007, when prices reached their highest level before the burst of the real estate bubble.

The data from the College of Registrars also shows that the figures for the second quarter “comfortably” exceeded the 100,000 transaction threshold, after more than three years below that figure. Specifically, 107,838 transactions were signed during the second quarter (representing an increase of 23.7%), of which 88,291 corresponded to second-hand homes and 19,547 to new homes. Nevertheless, sales of new homes recorded their second consecutive positive inter-quarter variation (0.84%), after a long period of steady decline. It is the highest level seen in the last five quarters, proof that this type of housing is now showing its first signs of recovery.

Second-hand homes

In addition, sales of second-hand homes continued their strong upwards trend, already seen in recent quarters. The 88,291 sales recorded represented a QoQ increase of 10.31%, resulting in the highest number of second-hand sales in almost nine years, according to the College of Registrars. We have to go back to Q3 2007 to find such a high level of quarterly second-hand home sales.

Most autonomous regions recorded a QoQ increase in the number of house sales (specificially fifteen), with double-digit increases in six of those. The highest number of transactions were recorded in Andalucía (20,846 homes), Cataluña (17,300), the Comunidad Valenciana (15,734) and Madrid (15,540). In relative terms, the highest increases were recorded in the autonomous regions of the Balearic Islands (31.4%), País Vasco (24.07%) and Murcia (22.2%).

Furthermore, demand for housing from foreigners maintained its traditional strength during the second quarter, to account for 13.38% of all house purchases, up from the figure of 12.93% recorded during the first quarter. The historical maximum was recorded in Q4 2015 (14.38%). British citizens continue to buy the most residential properties in Spain; they accounted for 19.73% of all purchases made by foreigners. They were followed by German (7.3%), French (7.05%), Swedish (6.9%) and Italian buyers (5.9%). (…).

Meanwhile, 11,470 mortgage foreclosure proceedings were initiated during Q2 and there were 2,432 “daciones en pago”, down by 30.8% compared with a year earlier.

Mortgage debt grew by 1.6% during the second quarter, to reach an average of €110,981.

Original story: Expansión (by Calixto Rivero)

Translation: Carmel Drake

INE: 36,856 Homes Sold In June, Up By 19.4% YoY

3 August 2016 – Cinco Días

36,856 homes were sold in Spain in June 2016, which represents an increase of 19.4% compared with the same month last year. According to data published on Wednesday by Spain’s National Institute of Statistics (INE), the volume of house sales have now recorded five consecutive months of YoY increases. The number of operations rose by 1.2% in June compared to May and the cumulative volume of sales during the first five months of the year rose by 16.4%.

90.6% of the homes sold in June were unsubsidised (33,390) and 9.4% were social housing properties (3,466). In annual terms, the number of unsubsidised homes sold rose by 20.6% and the number of social housing properties sold increased by 9.2%. Meanwhile, 17.9% of the homes sold in June were new (6,586) and 82.1% were second-hand (30,270). The number of operations involving new homes rose by 2% and the volume of second-hand house sales rose by 24% with respect to June 2015.

In total, the number of properties sold according to the property registers (based on public deeds signed in prior months) in June was 151,447, which represents an increase of 3.3% compared with the same month in 2015.

By region, according the property registries, the total number of properties sold per 100,000 inhabitants reached their highest values in Aragón (651), La Rioja (634) and Castilla y León (569). The Balearic Islands (+20.2%), Madrid (+11.6%) and Cataluña (+10.2%) recorded the highest YoY growth rates. Meanwhile, Galicia (-15.1%), Castilla–La Mancha (-7.3%) and Murcia (-7.2%) recorded the lowest YoY variations.

On the basis of registered house sales, the autonomous regions with the highest number of sales per 100,000 inhabitants were the Balearic Islands (136), Valencia (128) and Canarias (118). The autonomous regions that recorded the highest YoY variations in house sales were the Balearic Islands (+36.2%), Cataluña (+34.4%) and Castilla–La Mancha (+32.3%), and the most significant decreases were seen in Navarra (-12.7%) and La Rioja (-12.2%).

Original story: Cinco Días

Translation: Carmel Drake