Eurostat: 78.2% Of Spaniards Own Their Homes

21 March 2017 – El Mundo

78.2% of Spaniards own a home, a figure that puts Spain amongst the countries with the highest percentage of home ownership in the whole European Union, according to data from Eurostat corresponding to February 2017, compiled by the Institute of Economic Studies (IES).

The percentage of Spaniards that own a home is almost nine points higher than the EU average, which stands at 69.5%.

Nevertheless, some countries in the EU have an even higher ownership rate than Spain – all of them are recent accession countries.

Romania leads the ranking with 96.4% of people owning homes. It is followed by Croatia (90.5%), Lithuania (89.4%), Slovakia (89.3%), Hungary (86.3%), Poland (83.7%), Bulgaria (82.3%), Estonia (81.5%), Malta (80.8%) and Latvia (80.2%).

Countries that fall below the average include the Netherlands (67.8%), France (64.1%) and the UK (63.5). Those countries with the lowest home ownership rates include Germany (51.9%), Austria (55.7%) and Denmark (62.7%).

Original story: El Mundo

Translation: Carmel Drake

Servicers, Banks & Sareb Fuel Madrid With New Homes

15 April 2016 – El Mundo

The four servicers, Altamira Asset Management (which was created by Banco Santander), Servihabitat (La Caixa), Solvia (Banco Sabadell) and Anida (BBVA) currently have a portfolio of 2,277 new homes up for sale (or about to come on the market) in the Community of Madrid alone. This supply is spread across 30 residential projects (10 in the capital), all launched in 2015 and 2016. These high figures make these companies the main sellers of new homes, along with cooperatives, investment funds and a small group of private property developers.

The three large independent servicer platforms (Altamira, Servihabitat and Solvia) have managed to accumulate a juicy showcase of new homes thanks to the fact that they are selling products from the main financial entities, in other words, the major land owners; and from Sareb, which took ownership of the real estate assets previously owned by the banks that received state intervention. In other words, these platforms own the majority of the country’s new homes. All of these projects are characterised by having been studied in detail in accordance with three key parameters: locations in demand, prices that reflect the market and homes and common areas tailored to suit buyers.

In terms of their ways of working, each servicer is different, although their modus operandi involves the complete management of property developments, on behalf of their clients and themselves. Their activities range from the submission of projects to after-sales services, as well as the search for developers and construction companies (if they don’t have in-house teams), requests for permits and the sale of properties. A comprehensive service that they offer by themselves and in partnership with other firms. In return, these companies generate profits through commissions, from both the construction and sales processes.

As such, the servicers (some of which are owned by funds) are rising up as major players in the new build market, where traditional property developers are unable to get started due, in particular, to a lack of financing. (…).

Why are the servicers turning their hand to the sale of new homes?

“This business, which focuses on satisfying the needs of its users, is and will be long-lasting and profitable”, says Fernando López, Commercial Director at Altamira, who is convinced that the residential market is taking off again after seven years of almost no activity. “During that time”, he says “pockets of unsatisfied demand has been growing”. (…).

In total, Altamira has 217 developments under construction across the whole of Spain – many of which are sold out – and it expects to hand over almost 8,000 homes between now and 2018, figures that make it the largest property manager in Spain and one of the largest in Europe.

Juan Carlos Álvarez, Director General of Servihabitat’s Real Estate Business, also extols this product. (…). Only one of the six developments that his company put up for sale in Madrid in 2015 has units still for sale (in Cuatro Vientos, where apartments are going for as little as €212,000). It will put another six projects on the market soon.

According to Francisco Moreno, Director of Business Development at Altamira, the new developments “respond to and better satisfy the real needs of potential buyers in terms of design, quality and price”. He adds, “Now, most homes have three bedrooms, and there is also demand for four bedroom properties”. These types of homes dominate the supply of the servicers and banks in the Community of Madrid, which include high-rise flats and detached houses with asking prices from €120,000.


Francisco Pérez, Director of Promotion and Development at Solvia says that “all of his company’s developments offer customisation options to future owners. They also offer large common areas, green spaces and most have a swimming pool”. Meanwhile, Solvia does not predict any aggressive rise in prices, but rather a slight increase of 3.3% in 2016. (…).

Original story: El Mundo (by Jorge Salido Cobo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Notaries: House Sales Rose By 7.3% YoY In November

19 January 2016 – Expansión

According to statistics from the General Council of Notaries, 34,918 house sales were recorded in November, which represents an increase of 7.3% with respect to the same month one year before and means that sales have now recorded 18 months of uninterrupted growth.

Although the increase amounts to just 3.3% in the seasonally adjusted figures, the notaries highlight that the trend towards recovery is still maintained, even though the volume of transactions still falls “well below” the figures seen before the crisis.

By type of home, sales of apartments increased by 6.2% YoY in November, more than double the rise in October, driven by the sale of both free (unsubsidised) homes (+8.3%) and second-hand homes (+12.2%). New home sales continued to decrease (by -18.6%) for the tenth consecutive month.

In the same way, sales of single-family homes continued to grow in November (by +11.4%) to record nine consecutive months of double-digit increases.

In terms of prices, the average price per m2 of homes purchased in November amounted to €1,219/m2, which represents decrease of 1.1% in YoY terms, driven by reductions in the price of both flats (-0.6%) and single-family homes (0.8%). Within the flat segment, the price per m2 of second-hand homes dropped by -0.7% in YoY terms (to €1,320/m2), whilst new home prices recovered by 5.9% YoY (to €1,666/m2).

Mortgages are also on the rise

In terms of the mortgage market, the number of new mortgages granted increased by 7.3% YoY in November, to 25,681 operations, which represented the same (percentage) increase as the number of house sales. Nevertheless, that increase amounted to just 2.4% YoY in the seasonally adjusted series, the lowest rise in a year and a half.

Meanwhile, the average amount loaned amounted to €144,223, which represents an increase of 5.5% with respect to the same month one year earlier.

Loans granted to acquire properties have continued to increase at the highest rate. They rose by 17% YoY, to 16,404 new operations, to record 23 consecutive months of increases, driven by an increase in the number of mortgages granted to purchase homes (+16.7%) as well as to buy other properties (+21.3%).

Nevertheless, the significant growth in the number of operations was not reflected in the amount of average capital granted, which grew by 2.3% YoY in November. According to the notaries’ statistics, that was due to the decrease in the average amount loans to acquire homes (-1.5%), after 14 months of continuous increases; meanwhile, the average capital granted for the acquisition of other properties grew by 28.2%, in line with the increase in October.

Finally, the percentage of home purchases financed through mortgage loans amounted to 43.3%, and therefore continued its rising trend. For this type of purchase (i.e. with financing), the loan amount represented 77.6% (of the value of the property) on average, in line with the data registered in recent months.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Aguirre Newman Profiles Madrid’s Newest Homes

26 October 2015 – El Mundo

After seven years of continuous decreases, the prices of new homes for sale in Madrid (capital) are on the rise once again. Specifically, they have increased by 8.96% with respect to last year. Or at least, that is one of the findings of a report prepared by the consultancy Aguirre Newman, which studied homes for sale in 242 (unsubsidised) new developments (excluding cooperatives and homeowner associations) in the capital (149) and the Community of Madrid’s 23 main municipalities (122), between July and September 2015. According to the study, this increase is due to the price rises recorded in the most exclusive areas of the centre and north of the city, where demand is highest.

The capital

The report describes the profile of the average new home for sale in the municipality of Madrid: it has a surface area of 109 m2 and a final price of €320,405, i.e. costs €2,937/m2.

The most expensive developments are located in the neighbourhoods of Almagro (Chamberí), El Viso (Chamartín), La Piovera (Hortaleza), Goya and Castellana (Salamanca) and Justicia (Centro), where average prices currently range between €6,500/m2 and €7,000/m2. At the other end of the scale, the cheapest homes in Madrid are found in the districts of Villaverde, Villa de Vallecas and Carabanchel, with average prices of between €1,600/m2 and €1,800/m2.

Another important statistic reflected in the study is that the volume of new homes purchased in Madrid increased by 3% during the first half of 2015, in comparison with the same period last year. Specifically, 1,411 new homes were sold between January and June 2015. This rate of sales is associated with a significant decrease in the average sales periods, which, for a 60-home development have decreased to 17.2 months from 33.2 months last year. (…).

Other municipalities

In contrast to the capital, in the metropolitan area, the average price per m2 of high-rise homes (flats) decreased by 3.46% to €2,310/m2, well below the peak of 2009 (€3,367/m2). Sales in this area also decreased during H1 2015, by 13% with respect to those recorded during the same period in 2014.

The profile of the average home being sold in these municipalities has an average surface area of 130 m2 and a final price of €300,000. In the case of detached homes, the average price is €1,895/m2 with an average surface area that increases to 275m2.

The municipalities located along the A-1 and A-6 motorways are the most expensive, both in terms of multi-family homes and single family homes. Pozuelo de Alarcón is the most expensive town of all, where the average price of flats reaches €3,944/m2 and of detached homes reaches €3,123/m2. At the other end of the spectrum, the municipalities with the cheapest new homes for sale are Móstoles and Pinto, where flats cost no more than €1,400/m2 and detached homes cost €1,000/m2, almost three times less than in Pozuelo de Alarcón.


Aguirre Newman considers that in the areas with the greatest level of activity in the centre and north of the city, where demand is greatest and continuing to grow, prices of new developments will increase by 5% over the next 12 months; whilst in the least popular areas, prices will continue to decrease, although at a more moderate rate than before (by around -5%).

Aguirre Newman also believes that the rate of sales of the new projects that are coming onto the market will continue to be high, “and that most, if not all, homes will be sold off-plan”. (…).

Original story: El Mundo (by Luis M. De Ciria)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ministry of Development: Housing Permits Up By 27% YoY

30 September 2015 – El Economista

According to the latest information from the Ministry of Development, the number of permits granted by the college of technical architects for the construction of homes shot up by 27.5% during the first seven months of the year to 28,870, the best figure recorded during that period since 2011.

Housing permits started the year (2015) with an increase of 37% to 3,466 in January. In February, the YoY growth rate shot up to 57%, before decreasing in March by 13.5%. In April, the number of permits increased again by 50%, then by 22% in May, 48% in June and 12% in July.

This growth in the number of permits comes after a slight increase (0.003%) was recorded during 2014 to 34,873, the first rise in the construction sector indicator after seven years of decreases.

Despite the increase recorded during the 7 months to July, the total number of housing permits still falls well below the maximums registered in 2006, during the height of the boom in the real estate sector, when 496,071 permits were issued during the first seven months of the year, 94% more than this year.

New builds, renovations and extensions

The total number of permits granted for new builds, renovations and extensions during the seven months to July was 45,345, which represents an increase of 20.3% with respect to 2014.

By type of property, permits to construct blocks of housing increased by 31% (to 20,184 licences), whilst the number of permits for detached homes rose by 19% to 8,671.

In terms of surface area, the average size of detached homes was 202 m2, whilst the average size of flats was 112 m2.

The number of housing permits began to decrease in 2007, when it fell by 24.8%, since when the downwards trend continued to record its lowest ever annual figure last year.

Since the Ministry of Development began compiling these statistics in 1991, the number of permits reached its historical minimum in August last year, when just 1,585 permits were granted. The historical maximum was recorded in September 2006, with 126,753 permits granted.

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake

Housing Permits Increase By 28% During 5M To May 2015

31 July 2015 – El Economista

The number of permits granted by the Colleges of Technical Architects for the construction of homes soared by 28% during the first five months of 2015 to 19,134 – the best figure to be recorded during that period since 2012, according to the latest data published by the Ministry of Development.

Permits started the year with a 37% increase, to 3,466 in January. In February, the YoY increase soared to 57%, whilst in March, the trend was broken with a 13.5% decrease in the number of permits granted with respect to the previous month. The number then grew again in April and May, by 50% and 22%, respectively.

The growth in the number of permits granted between January and May comes after a timid increase of 0.003% in 2014, to 34,873 – the first year of growth in the sector after seven years in decline.

Despite the increase recorded during the first five months of the year, the number of housing permits being granted is still well below the peaks recorded at the height of the boom in 2006, when more than 217,000 permits were granted in the real estate sector during the first three months of the year, i.e. 94% more than during the first five months of this year.

In total, 30,140 permits were granted for new builds, renovations and extensions during the five months to May, which represents an increase of 20.5% with respect to 2014.

By type of property, permits granted for the construction of housing blocks increased by 35% (with 13,585 licences), whilst those granted for single-family homes grew by 13%, to 5,537 permits.

In terms of surface area, the average size of single-family homes was 201 m2 and the average for flats was 112 m2. The number of housing permits granted began to decrease in 2007 (which saw a 24.8% reduction) and since then have followed a downwards trend until last year’s tiny increase.

According to the Ministry of Development, which began compiling these figures in 1991, permits reached their historical minimum level in August last year, when only 1,585 permits were granted. The historical maximum level was recorded in September 2006 when 126,753 permits were granted in a single month.

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake

Notaries: House Sales Increased By 12.3% In March

19 May 2015 – El País

House sales increased by 12.3% in March, but average prices decreased by 7.5%.

House sales soared by 12.3% in March, with 34,736 transactions, a new inter-annual increase that reflects the stabilisation of monthly sales, according to the real estate statistics published by the General Council of Notaries.

Conversely, average prices experienced a further drop, of 7.5%. The price per square metre of homes sold was €1,202, which represents a cumulative decrease of 36.3% since the start of the crisis in 2007. “The reduction in the price per square metre is due to decreases in the price of flats (-6.1%, YoY) and unifamiliar homes (-10.2% YoY), explain the notaries.

By type of property, the sale of flats increased by 11.3% in March with respect to the same month a year earlier. This increase in the volume of transactions involving flats was supported by the increase in the sale of second hand properties (+19.8% YoY), whilst the sale of new builds declined again, by 32.6% YoY.

Meanwhile, the sale of unifamiliar homes grew by 16.3%.

The number of new mortgage loans taken out for the purchase of new homes increased by 27.6% in the month of March (14,755 were signed) and the average amount was €118,587, up 0.5%. The percentage of homes purchased using mortgages amounted to 42.5%. Moreover, for this type of purchase, the loan amount represented 77.7% (of the value of the purchase) on average.

Original story: El País

Translation: Carmel Drake

House Sales Increase By 14% YoY But Prices Fall By 1.5%

20 January 2015 – El Economista

31,576 homes were sold in November 2014, an inter-annual increase of 14%; this figure rises to 18.5% per the seasonally adjusted series, according to the Notarial Statistics published this morning by the General Council of Notaries.

The figures reflect a clear stabilisation in monthly sales. Between January and November 2014, the average number of transactions amounted to 29,016 per month, i.e. 17.5% higher than during the same period in the previous year (24,697).

By type of property, flat sales recorded year-on-year growth of 14.4% (19.1% per the seasonally adjusted series), similar to the increase in free market flats (13.9%). This increase in the number of flat sales was due to a strong rise in the sale of existing flats (21.5%), whilst the purchase of new flats declined by 21.0% year-on-year. Meanwhile, sales of family homes increased by 12.3% year-on-year.

In terms of average prices, the cost per m2 of homes purchased in November was €1,194, reflecting a YoY decrease of 1.5%. This reduction in the m2 cost of homes was driven by a decrease in the price per m2 of flats (-3.1% YoY). The price per m2 of family homes increased by 4.1% YoY.

Within the realm of flats, the price per m2 of existing flats amounted to €1,287 (down 1.3% YoY) and the price per m2 of new flats was €1,506 (down 6.4% YoY).

Finally, 7,568 other property-related transactions were closed in November (up 3.8% YoY); 38.0% of which related to land and plots. The average price per m2 of these transactions amounted to €258 (down 12.0% YoY).

Thus, the sector’s monthly figures continue to show that the Spanish property market is stabilising.


The evolution of the mortgage market for the purchase of homes also reflects the stabilisation observed in the real estate sector, having recorded, for the sixth consecutive month, an increase in overall credit, in both absolute and seasonally adjusted terms.

The number of new mortgages taken out during the month of November amounted to 23,264, which represents a strong year-on-year increase of 10.3% (14.7% per the seasonally adjusted series). The average amount borrowed in this case was €126,525, reflecting a minimal increase of 0.1% year-on-year.

Meanwhile, the number of mortgage loans taken out to acquire a property rose by 35.1% year-on-year in November (to 13,857 loans), due mainly to the increase in lending to purchase a home (la concesión de créditos para la adquisición de una vivienda) (37.3% YoY), whilst an increase of 12.5% was recorded for other properties. The average amount borrowed for acquisition amounted to €113,093 (down 0.6% YoY). For homes, average equity was €109,022 (down 0.4% YoY) and the average loan for other properties amounted to €159,533 (up 0.7% YoY).

In turn, the number of mortgages taken out to finance construction rose by 46.8% in the year to November, to 345 new loans. The average amount borrowed amounted to €255,841, representing a year-on-year decrease of 25.7%, driven by a significant decline in the average capital of loans used to construct non-residential buildings (down 50.7%).

Similarly, the number of mortgages taken out to finance business activities increased by 0.7% year-on-year, whilst the amount borrowed decreased by 21.0%.

Finally, the percentage of homes purchased using mortgage financing amounted to 40.6%. In addition, for this type of purchase with financing, the amount borrowed represented an average of 74.9%.


Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake