College of Registrars: House Prices & Sales Rise in Q3 2017

11 December 2017 – Registradores.org

According to the Real Estate Statistics from the College of Registrars, which took the temperature of the housing market in the third quarter of 2017, house prices continued to strengthen during the period. The House Price Index of Repeated Sales (IPVVR) increased by 2% with respect to the previous quarter, to record a cumulative YoY increase of 6.8%. Since its most recent minimum levels, recorded in 2014, the index has increased by 18.6%, which means that the reduction since the maximum prices of 2007, has moderated, to 22.4%.

Between July and September, more than 119,000 house sales were registered in the Property Registries, up by 15.6% compared to the same period in 2016. That volume of operations, like the level recorded in Q2, has not been seen since 2011 and exceeds the volumes recorded in certain quarters of 2010, 2009 and even 2008.

Over the last twelve months, 445,725 operations have been registered, the highest YoY figure for the last six and a half years, and representing a YoY increase of 13%.

The latest report from the Registry Statistics also shows an incipient change in the trend, given that new homes are also showing their first signs of recovery. In fact, they recorded the highest QoQ increase, of 4%, whilst the sale of second-hand homes decreased by 1%. Even so, second-hand sales still account for more than 80% of all operations.

The distribution of operations by autonomous region retained its typical structure, with Andalucía, Cataluña, the Community of Madrid and the Community of Valencia recording the most sales, whilst, by province, the list was led once again by Madrid, Barcelona, Alicante, Málaga and Valencia.

Purchases by foreigners

After more than a year with overseas demand exceeding 13% (of the total), the figure decreased slightly to account for 12.8% of all house purchases. In absolute terms, that means more than 15,300 operations per quarter and 59,200 per year are being closed by foreigners. According to the report from the Registry Statistics, “in a scenario of growth in the absolute number of house sales, it is normal that in percentage terms, foreign demand would tend to stabilise in the best of cases, and decrease slightly under normal conditions, without that meaning that interest from foreign citizens in house purchases in Spain is decreasing”.

By nationality, Brits maintained their traditional position of leadership, although with a slightly lower percentage than in Q2, followed by the French, Germans, Swedes, Belgians, Italians and Romanians.

The Balearic Islands, Canary Islands and Community of Valencia were again the regions with the highest foreign presence, in such a way that foreign citizens account for between one third and one quarter of all purchases in those regions. They are characterised by their high tourist appeal, primarily in terms of their “sun and beach tourism” offerings. The same thing happened in the classification by province, which were led by Tenerife, Alicante, the Balearic Islands, Málaga and Girona.

Original story: Registradores.org

Translation: Carmel Drake

Fitch Warns Of RE Bubble In The Centres Of Spain’s Large Cities

25 October 2017 – El Mundo

The ratings agency Fitch is warning that a real estate bubble is now visible in the centre of Spain’s large cities, although it does not anticipate a widespread bubble in house prices across the country as a whole in the short term, due to the high volume of stock that still needs to be absorbed and the restrictions facing people wanting to access a home.

Those were the findings of analysis performed for the Housing Sector in Spain report published by the entity, which explains that bubbles involving these types of localised assets are now very evident: the strong demand and limited supply of housing in the country’s main cities are leading to extreme price increases that are becoming increasingly “unsustainable”.

According to the agency, in the central neighbourhoods of Madrid and Barcelona alone, prices have recorded an annual increase of between 15% and 35%.

For Fitch, this demand is being influenced by quantitative easing, purchases by foreigners and investment decisions, given that investors are looking to benefit from the appreciation in asset prices and rental yields. Nevertheless, the agency forecasts that these “ingredients” will not influence the overall real estate market in the short term.

Similarly, the ratings agency asserts that it is “highly unlikely” that the problems in the real estate market are correlated with the economic recovery in general and it forecasts that the average discounts being applied to sell foreclosed homes are going to continue to be very high and stable over the next few years.

This situation will continue for as long as the banking sector continues to have an excess stock of housing and for as long as buyers insist on significant discounts to acquire foreclosed homes, said the ratings agency.

According to data from the company, the discount on the sale of foreclosed homes is still “high”, up to 60% on average, compared to the initial valuation, whilst discounts can range from between 50% to 75%.

In this sense, the dispersion of the discounts on the sale of foreclosed properties is decreasing. In fact, the gap between the range of discounts decreased to 25 percentage points at the end of 2016 from 35 percentage points during the period comprising 2010 and 2011. Nevertheless, it says that this reduction is not widespread.

Problems accessing housing

On the other hand, Fitch explains that access to housing will continue to be complicated because the velocity of the house price index is exceeding wage variations.

In this way, the families’ capacity to save is increasingly reduced, also due to the labour market that favours temporary contracts over permanent ones, which makes it hard for would-be buyers to save enough to make the initial down payment of 20% necessary to buy a home.

The report also underlines that access to housing over the long-term may be limited by the gradual elimination of monetary stimuli in the market and the likely scenario of higher interest rates.

Original story: El Mundo

Translation: Carmel Drake

Another RE Bubble? S&P Forecast House Price Rises Until 2020

3 August 2017 – Cinco Días

After years of crisis, the Spanish real estate market is now growing again year after year. That is according to analysis prepared by Standard & Poor’s, which estimates that house prices will rise by 4% in 2017 and by 4.5% in 2018, with respect to the previous year.

The report also forecasts a reduction in inflation. Currently, prices are rising at 1.5% p.a. but that figure is expected to decrease to 1.3% in 2018. Moreover, economic growth in Spain is expected to lead to a reduction in unemployment, down to 15.7%. And that percentage is forecast to fall to 13.6% by 2020.

Despite the positive outlook, the risk measurement entity warns of the risk that Brexit, the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, could have, given that currently, Brits account for 19% of foreign house buyers in Spain.

House sales are growing to both domestic and international buyers. In 2016, the total volume of transactions rose by 13.7% to reach 404,000 homes sold in Spain. During the 12 months to April 2017, 416,000 homes were sold, up by 11.8%.

Sales to foreigners grew by 13.8% in 2016. In total, 53,500 of the 404,000 homes purchased were transferred into foreign hands. The main buyers were British, who accounted for 19% of purchases by foreigners; followed by the French (8.05%) and Germans (7.69%). Moreover, the report points out that the so-called golden visas, which grant residence permits to those foreigners who invest more than €500,000 in real estate, excluding taxes, have led to an increase in acquisitions by Russian and Asian citizens.

Standard & Poor’s also expects that the European market will continue to grow. The ratings agency forecasts that house prices will rise in many of the neighbouring countries, such as Germany, where they are expected to increase by 6% next year. Nevertheless, in the main countries that the buyers in Spain come from, in other words, the United Kingdom and France, prices are expected to decrease by 1% or remain stable, respectively.

This growth in sales has meant that house prices have not slowed down. According to the real estate appraisal company Tinsa, house prices rose by 3% during the second quarter of 2017 compared to June last year. Currently, according to the same firm, the average price of homes per square metre in June 2017 amounted to €1,245/m2, well below the peaks of 2007 (€2,047.69/m2).

Sources at Standard & Poor’s expect that the Spanish economy will continue to grow in 2017, by 3% for the third consecutive year. The creation of 2 million jobs since 2013 and the increase in exports are the main drivers of confidence that the firm is using to justify the rise in house prices, although it also warns of the need that Spain has to reduce its deficit, which is one of the highest in the Eurozone.

Ultimately, economic growth will be reflected in real estate growth over the next three years. The slow reduction in the stock of housing accumulated during the years of the bubble and the slow, albeit inexorable, rise in interest rates (the first rise is expected to happen in 2019) will limit the rise in house prices. Standard & Poor’s also questions the effect of Brexit on the real estate market.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Fernando Cardona and Eduardo García)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Tinsa: Residential Land Prices Rose By 4.1% In Málaga In Q2

17 July 2017 – Diario Sur

The housing sector in Málaga is continuing to grow. The price of residential land in the province rose by 4.1% during the second quarter of this year compared to the same period last year, to reach €1,399/m2, which is €154/m2 higher than the national average, according to data from the appraisal company Tinsa. It represented the highest increase in Andalucía and the sixth highest in Spain as a whole; and it consolidates the upward trend seen over the last two years, a situation that has generated concerns about the possibility that the sector is heading towards a new real estate bubble.

The Director General of the Institute of Business Practice (IPE), José Antonio Pérez, said that, for the time being, the growth is “sustainable”, although he warned that the lack of buildable land on the Costa del Sol to meet the current demand from property developers and investors will limit this trend and may lead to a disproportionate rise in prices in some enclaves. Pérez attributes the lack of supply to “restrictions” imposed by the general urban planning orders in certain municipalities and the slow pace of urban planning procedures. (…).

Tinsa’s report also reveals that the average mortgage granted to Malagan households amounts to €126,815, the seventh most expensive in the country, with a monthly instalment of €592. The percentage of household income spent on paying the first year of a mortgage is 27.6%, almost eight points above the national average (19.9%). The appraisal company highlights that this statistic makes Málaga the province where families spend the highest percentage of their income on mortgage repayments, above the Balearic Islands and Barcelona (21%).

Málaga also leads the list of provinces with the highest number of house sales closed in the last four months, with respect to the size of its housing stock: 32.1 for every 1,000 homes. It was followed by Alicante and the Balearic Islands, which also have “a clear tourist component”, said the report. The appraisal company reminds its readers that the province is home to “a large number of high-end homes” aimed primarily at foreign buyers, which put upward pressure on average house prices.

By contrast, the IPE considers that it is “a mistake” to draw conclusions at the provincial level “because you cannot compare the situation in Villanueva del Trabuco, for example, with that of Marbella”. The institute, which specialises in the real estate sector, highlighted the sea fronts and golden triangle formed by Marbella, Estepona and Benahavís as the areas where demand for residential land is highest, as well as the capital, where Limonar and Valle del Guadalhorce are positioning themselves as the new enclaves for future urban development.

House sales

The Real Estate Pulsometer compiled by IPE confirms that Málaga is seeing one of the strongest recoveries in the sector, together with Madrid, Barcelona and the Balearic Islands. Investors, savers, funds and individuals comprise current demand, which caused house sales to grow by 6% last year; and a similar rise is forecast this year. Currently, half of all purchases are paid for in cash and the other half are financed through mortgages (…).

Original story: Diario Sur (by Alberto Gómez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Swedes Are On A Mission To Buy Homes In Spain

17 July 2017 – Economía Digital

Foreigners are buying more homes than ever in Spain. Last year saw a new historical high, with more than 53,000 purchases by overseas buyers, despite a decline in acquisitions by the Brits and the French and a stagnation in purchases by the Germans. Instead, the Swedes have arrived and with them, Swedish real estate companies.

Swedes have risen to fourth position in the ranking of house purchases by foreigners. In its latest statistical annual, the College of Property Registrars in Spain highlights that overseas buyers are showing the “greatest strength”. According to the annual, Britons continue to occupy first place in the ranking, accounting for 19% of total sales to foreigners, although that figure has decreased with respect to 2015 (21.3%). They are paying for the effects of Brexit. The French have also lost strength, to account for 8.05% of the total, compared to 8.72% a year earlier. The Germans remained at 7.69%, just a few tenths more than in the previous year. By contrast, the Swedes increased their share to 6.72% from 5.89% a year earlier, which means that they purchased almost 4,000 homes in 2016.

When analysing this data, it is worth taking into account the demographic weight of the respective countries. Sweden had a population of 10 million in January, whilst Germany has a population of 82 million, France 67 million and Great Britain 58 million. And so, although the population is much smaller, Swedes are buying almost as many homes in Spain as the Germans and French.

The strength of the krona compared to the euro

Sources at the Swedish agencies attribute this interest in Spain to several reasons: the exorbitant prices of properties in their own country; the strength of the krona with respect to the euro; the desire of their compatriots to own a second home near a sunny beach; and, also, the publicity campaigns being carried out.

The most well-known of the Swedish real estate companies is Fastighetsbyrán, which forms part of the Swedbank group, the country’s main bank. It has a dozen franchises in Spain. Its CEO, Daniel Nilsson, said that it sold 1,050 homes in Spain to Swedish compatriots last year for a total amount of €250 million. Its market share in the housing segment for Swedes in Spain is almost 25%.

In terms of location, Swedes concentrate their purchases along the coasts in the south of the peninsula – preferably between the province of Alicante to the Portuguese Algarve – as well as in the Canary and Balearic Islands. (…). Investment funds have also arrived, such as Catella, which is headquartered in Stockholm and which last year closed four operations amounting to €84 million: two residential buildings in Madrid, another one in Barcelona and a retail park in Vinaroz (Castellón)

The Swedish real estate companies are unique in that the vast majority of the personnel and clients of the franchised offices come from the same country. (…).

The second largest Swedish real estate company in terms of sales is Bjurfors, with half a dozen franchises in Spain. From their offices in Marbella, they explain that they are open to clients from everywhere, but they acknowledge that, for the time being, all of their clients are Scandinavian, and most of them are Swedish.

Homes with sunny terraces

All of the employees consulted agreed that there is increasingly more demand. Scandinavian clients want homes with outdoor space: they have to have large sunny terraces or patios. Otherwise, they are not interested.

According to a study conducted by the Svenskar i Väriden organisation in 2015, more than 90,000 Swedes live for most of the year in Spain. According to data provided by the Swedish embassy in Madrid, in June 2016, there were 27,000 Swedes registered (empadronados) in Spain and two million travelled here for tourism last year. It is expected that 2.2 million will come this year.

Original story: Economía Digital (by Josep María Casas)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Registrars: House Prices Rose By 7.7% YoY In Q1

18 May 2017 – El Mundo

Homes are becoming increasingly expensive. House prices rose by 7.7% during the first quarter of 2017 in YoY terms, according to the real estate statistics published by the College of Property Registrars. With respect to the last quarter of 2016 – i.e. looking at the QoQ variation – the increase amounted to 4.1%. With these new increases, the cumulative adjustment since the peaks of 2007 continue to fall and now amount to 22.8%.

On the other hand, 113,738 house sales were recorded between January and March, representing the highest quarterly figure since the first three months of 2011. The increase amounted to 21.8%, with respect to the previous quarter. In interannual terms, the positive trend continued: prices rose by 14.4% with respect to the same quarter in 2016.

On this occasion, contrary to the trend seen in recent years, new house prices performed in line with the general increase, accounting for 18% of the total number of sales, with a significant QoQ rise of 27.5% (20,490 sales), whilst the sale of second-hand homes rose by 20.6% compared to the previous quarter, to reach 93,248 operations.

Purchases by overseas buyers reach peak levels

The weight of house purchases by overseas buyers remained relatively stable during the first quarter of the year to account for 13.1% of all registered sales. That corresponds to sales of around 15,000 properties per quarter. In cumulative YoY terms, foreigners accounted for 13.3% of all purchases, a historical maximum, and corresponding to more than 55,000 house purchases per year by overseas buyers.

By nationality, the British continued to lead the ranking, accounting for 14.5% of all purchases made by foreigners, although their continued fall over the last few quarters (during the previous quarter, they accounted for 16.4% of all purchases made by foreigners) has brought the figure to a new historical low over total purchases by foreigners. The French rose to second place with 9.6%, followed by the Germans (7.7%), Belgians (6.9%), Swedes (6.3%) and Italians (6.1%). These first six nationalities accounted for more than half of all house purchases by foreigners.

Average mortgage amounted to €116,182

Mortgage debt to buy a home increased by 3.6% compared to the previous quarter, to reach €116,182, whilst the number of fixed rate mortgages continued to rise sharply, in line with previous quarters, to account for 38.7% of all new contracts, compared to 31% in the previous quarter, a new maximum in the historical series.

This situation leaves variable rate mortgages at their lowest figure to date, especially, Euribor, which was the reference rate for just 60.3% of all mortgages. The average initial interest rates on new loans decreased slightly to reach 2.3% from 2.4% in the previous quarter.

The terms of new mortgage loans remained relatively stable, recording a slight increase of 0.7% compared to the previous quarter, and an average term of 23 years and four months.

Access to housing saw a slight deterioration: the average monthly mortgage repayment during the first quarter amounted to €536, representing a QoQ increase of 2.2%, whilst the percentage of that repayment over wage costs rose to 28.3% from 27.6%.

Original story: El Mundo 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Taylor Wimpey To Invest €20M In Mallorca

24 March 2017 – Inmodiario

The island of Mallorca has proved attractive to the British property developer Taylor Wimpey ever since it launched its business in Spain. Currently, the property developer Taylor Wimpey España has almost half a dozen operations underway on the Balearic Island. The climatic conditions there and the island’s ever improving infrastructure, mean that it is still a location of choice for the British property developer.

On this occasion, Taylor Wimpey España has announced the development of two new urbanisations in Cala Vinyes and Nova Santa Ponsa, in the west of the island of Mallorca, which will benefit from the significant investment that will accompany the creation of jobs and improvements in the environment. In this way, the budgeted investment for the Serenity urbanisation amounts to €16 million, whilst the amount earmarked for Cala Vinyes Hills stands at €4.4 million.

Specifically, in Cala Vinyes Hills, Taylor Wimpey plans to construct 15 exclusive and spacious homes in an urbanisation comprising five completely independent buildings. The asking price for these homes will start at €375,000.

The second development is Serenity, an urbanisation that will see the construction of 65 homes, which will be completed in two phases and which will adhere to the highest quality standards and services that are so integral to Wimpey Homes España’s business. These homes will be put on the market for prices starting at €545,000.

According to the Director of Sales and Marketing for Taylor Wimpey España, Marc Pritchard, these are not the only investments that the property developer plans to make in Mallorca. (…). He said “the current economic environment is encouraging both Spaniards and overseas residents alike to invest in property before prices start to rise again”, as reflected in the data offered by the most recent report from Tinsa, which states that the average price (of a home) per square metre has increased by 1.8% p.a.

Cala Vinyes Hills is located in the area of the same name in the south-east of Mallorca, in Calviá, and just a few minutes away from the exclusive marinas of Portals and Port Adriano. Palma airport is 25 minutes away. The 15 homes at Cala Vinyes Hills will be constructed in five independent buildings with private terraces, a communal swimming pool, gardens and private parking. The homes are expected to be ready by July 2018.

In the case of Serenity, Taylor Wimpey España expects the homes to be finished by October 2018. (…).

The first phase of Serenity will commence immediately. During this first stage, three of the seven buildings will be constructed, comprising 28 homes in total. The second phase will involve the construction of another 37 homes in four separate buildings. The residential development will boast gardens, swimming pools and parking areas.

Original story: Inmodiario (by Carmen Durán)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Aguirre Newman: RE Inv’t In Barcelona Amounts To €2,500M In 2016

19 December 2016 – La Vanguardia

The real estate market in Barcelona is on course to break records again this year. It is expected to end 2016 with total investment operations amounting to €2,500 million, compared with €1,978 million last year, according to data presented by the real estate consultant Aguirre Newman on Thursday.

2016 will also be a “historical” year for Spain as a whole, with investment figures once again exceeding the level recorded in 2007, the year before the outbreak of the crisis. Investment operations worth almost €14,000 million are forecast to be closed.

Cataluña accounts for 20% of Spain’s total investment in this sector, although that figure is set to increase to 25% in 2017, given the significant potential of Barcelona.

The Director General of Aguirre Newman in Barcelona, Anna Gener, explained that; demand in Barcelona is still very active; there is still a lack of available land for sale; international demand is very active; and the real estate market is regarded as an attractive sector for investment.

Of the total investment volume expected this year, €860 million correspond to offices, down by 2.8% compared to last year, given that 2015 was a year of “blossoming”, when several major corporate operations were recorded after years of crisis.

The residential market will reach €120 million this year, shopping centre investment will amount to €865 million, retail investment will reach €100 million and investment in the industrial sector will amount to €144.1 million, up by 61%, due to the scarcity of land.

Around 80% of the investment volume has been made by international buyers; and domestic investors “are back again” after years away, according to Hipólito Sánchez, Director of Investments.

57% of the investments were made by funds, 26% by Socimis, 10% by private equity firms, 3% by institutional investors and 2% by insurance companies.

The leasing of office space continues to be a very active market; the availability rate has been decreasing since 2012 and now stands at 9.9%.

Construction activity is continuing to recover, with a 40% increase in the number of new construction permits compared to 2016.

The average price of free (unsubsidised) housing increased by 9% in Barcelona this year and by 4.5% across Cataluña. There was also a great deal of interest in renovation projects and in changes of building use status towards high standing residential properties in the centre of Barcelona, where more than 60% of buyers are foreign. (…).

The retail sector has continued to receive interest from investment funds and private equity firms in the main areas of the centre of Barcelona.

La Diagonal has established itself as an area of expansion following its renovation, with a 30% increase in rental income in just two years and the opening of megastores by certain brands, such as Massimo Dutti, Zara, Uniqlo and H&M.

The most important operation in the shopping centre sector was the sale of Diagonal Mar to Deutsche Bank for €495 million.

Another sector that continued to attract investors was logistics, whose investment volume increased by 60% with respect to last year, due to the shortage of land. (…).

The hotel sector has also continued to perform very well, given that prices per room have increased, thanks in part to the fact that there are no new competitors.

The forecasts for 2017 indicate that the real estate sector will continue to attract international investors, demand will continue to be very active, and products will continue to be scarce, although prices are not predicted to rise by very much.

Original story: La Vanguardia

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

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