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

Optimism Abounds Amongst Spain’s Hotel Chains

10 April 2017 – Expansión

Meliá, Barceló, RIU and other groups are hanging the “No vacancy” sign up in top destinations and are increasing their prices, thanks to the pull of the overseas market and the recovery in domestic tourism.

The tourism sector is on a roll and the main Spanish chains – Meliá, Barceló, Iberostar, RIU, Grupo Piñero and Palladium – are getting ready to break records once again. The positive trend in demand, the pull of international tourism in both archipelagos, and the recovery in the domestic market in regions such as Andalucía are allowing the hotel groups to hang the “No vacancy” sign up in some of their destinations, such as in the Canary Islands, and achieve occupancy rates of between 80% and 90% in the Balearic Islands and Andalucía.

Despite the uncertainty generated by Brexit, the British market remains a mainstay for the hotel chains, alongside Germany and Central Europe, in addition to the recovery in domestic demand.

For example, Meliá forecasts growth of more than 6% in its average occupancy rate in vacation hotels in Spain, as well as an improvement in prices with respect to 2016. The markets with the greatest pull for the chain owned by the Escarrer family are the British and Central European, whilst demand from domestic tourists continues its upwards trend.

Meanwhile, Barceló forecasts growth of 6% in its occupancy rate at hotels in the Balearic Islands, with an average occupancy rate of 81% and an average room rate of €110, which represents an increase of 13% with respect to the previous year. In terms of Andalucía, the volume of reservations corresponds to forecast occupancy rates of more than 90% and an improvement of 26% in prices, according to the company.

In the case of Iberostar, the hotel chain owned by the Fluxá family forecasts an occupancy rate of almost 100% over the Easter holidays. Iberostar highlights the good performance of the United Kingdom, Benelux and Germany, compared with countries in Eastern Europe, where demand is “more stagnant”.

In terms of room rates, Iberostar states that prices have improved moderately, by between 2% and 3% on average.

For RIU, the economic situation in the Canary Islands, with very high occupancy rates, means it has little margin for growth, however, there is still scope for increases at the hotels on the Costa del Sol, which have been completely refurbished this season. (…). In terms of the best markets, RIU highlights German tourists, as well as a considerable improvement in the number of reservations from Scandinavian and British clients, plus a 5% increase in domestic tourism.

Meanwhile, Palladium highlights the sweet moment that Ibiza is enjoying. “The season has opened early on the island, with a large volume of tourists visiting in April. This has been made possible by hotels opening early and new flight connections”. Overall, hotel occupancy rates have risen by 4%, whilst prices have increased by 2.5% YoY, for the time being, in line with the annual forecast increase of 7%.

Finally, Grupo Piñero says that its three hotels in Tenerife area already full, with an improvement in prices of between 4% and 8%.

Optimism

And the euphoria of the hotel chains extends beyond Easter. The large hotel groups expect to set new records in 2017. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

INE: Overnight Hotel Stays Reached 46.4M In August

26 September 2016 – Expansión

Overnight stays rose by 3.8% and revenues increased by almost 9% in August 2016, boosted by visits from overseas tourists. Nevertheless, domestic demand only increased in Cataluña.

Although the summer season does not officially end until October, Spain’s hotels can already say with some satisfaction that the summer of 2016 has been one of the best of their lives. The average occupancy rate reached 79% in August, the best figure since analysis of this data first began back in 1999, according to a report published on Friday by the National Institute of Statistics (INE).

In the eighth month of the year alone, 46.4 million overnight hotels stays were recorded, up by 3.8% compared with August last year, thanks to a 6.3% increase in stays by foreign tourists; overnight stays by Spanish tourists decreased by 0.3% YoY.

But it was not only a quantitative increase, given that establishments also increased their revenues. They obtained €79.57 for each available room, compared with €73.10 in August 2015. The Hotel Price Index (IPH) carried a lot of weight in that YoY increase of 8.8%. The IPH is prepared on the basis of prices that businessmen in the sector receive from all of their clients: households, companies, tour operators and travel agents. The IPH stood at 6.9% in August, which represents 1.9 points more than a year ago.

Over the last twelve months, revenues have increased by 5.2% on average, with the most acute increases being observed for three-star (9.01% YoY in August) and four-star accommodation (6.97%).

INE’s information reveals that overnight stays in July and August grew by 5.4% compared with the same two month period in 2015, thanks both to record levels of international tourists (9.6 million visited in July, up by 9.3%) as well as the gradual recovery of domestic demand. In this aggregated period, overnight stays by foreigners and Spaniards rose by 7.2% and 2.4%, respectively (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Yago González)

Translation: Carmel Drake

House Prices Rose At Fastest Pace In Over Six Years In Q4

9 March 2015 – Reuters

Spanish house prices rose at their fastest pace since the beginning of 2008 at the end of last year, official data showed on Monday, the latest sign that the country’s real estate sector is turning a corner.

House prices rose by 1.8% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, according to the National Statistics Institute, compared to a 0.3% rise a quarter earlier.

Spain’s decade-long property boom went bust in 2008, triggering a prolonged economic downturn and an unprecedented surge in unemployment, which only began to abate in the second half of 2013.

The country’s economic output is expected to grow by as much as 2.5% this year after registering the first noticeable annual expansion for five years in 2014, boosted by growing domestic demand.

As interest returned to the property market, prices rose 0.3% in 2014 from a year earlier, their the first annual rise since 2007 and following a 10.6% drop in 2013.

House prices have fallen by almost 40% since the beginning of the economic crisis.

Original story: Reuters (Reporting by Paul Day; Editing by Sarah Morris and Catherine Evans)

Edited by: Carmel Drake