18 May 2018 – El País
In the cities of Madrid and Barcelona, the two main real estate markets in Spain, there are just 4,114 homes in new developments available for sale (9,920 in both provinces), the bulk of which have been put on the market within the last two years. Moreover, there are no longer many finished homes on offer, like during the years of the crisis, but rather mostly developments under construction or units that have not even been started yet, which are being offered off-plan and whose prices have risen by so much since 2016 that the supply of homes for less than €150,000 is currently insignificant.
Given the shortage of construction projects, the supply of new homes may be exhausted within eight months in the case of the Madrid region (nine in the capital) and within just under 14 months in the Catalan province (12 months in the municipal area), something that is going to accelerate the price rises seen in recent months, according to ST (Sociedad de Tasación), which has compiled a census on the developments that are currently up for sale.
Over the last two years, both real estate markets have done an about turn and not only due to the increase in prices. In the Community of Madrid, 93.7% of the stock of new homes has been exhausted since 2016, according to Sociedad de Tasación. The appraisal company registers a current supply of 6,319 homes, which represents an increase of 15.8% with respect to 2016. This calculation includes 346 homes that were already up for sale in 2016 and which have not been sold, plus 5,973 new units.
The rate of absorption in Madrid capital has been more marked, where more than 97% of the homes put up for sale over the last two years have been sold, in such a way that now there are 3,067 homes on the market (3,007 of which are new units), 42.1% with respect to 2016. 98% of this supply comprises properties that have been put on the market over the last two years.
In this new real estate cycle, the supply of finished properties has lost weight over the total, with such homes now accounting for just 7.5% of the total stock in the Community of Madrid, compared with 58.1% in 2014. 60.5% of the supply registered now corresponds to homes that have not been started yet and 32% to homes under construction. Specifically, the current supply of finished homes has decreased by 75.8% with respect to the census in 2016 and the volume of properties under construction has grown by 54%, whilst the supply of homes not yet started has risen by 75.1% (…).
In the province of Barcelona, 89.6% of the stock has been absorbed in just two years. In addition to the 289 homes that are still on the market from 2016, 3,312 new units have been identified, bringing the total current supply to 3,601 homes, 28.9% more than in 2016. And in the Catalan capital, 93.4% of the supply that has come onto the market over the last two years has been sold and today the current supply amounts to 1,047 homes. 93.2% comprise homes that have been put up for sale within the last two years.
Here too there has also been an increase in the weight of homes under construction (50.9%), at the expense of the supply of finished homes, which account for 12.4% of the total stock in the metropolitan area, compared with the 29.9% that they represented in 2016. Specifically, the current supply of finished homes has decreased by 53.6% with respect to the 2016 census, and the supply of homes under construction has grown by 65.7%, whilst the volume of homes not yet started has increased by 54.8% (…).
Larger and more expensive homes
Another feature of the new real estate cycle is that the homes for sale are larger and also more expensive than they were two years ago. In the Madrid region, homes with surface areas of between 100 m2 and 150 m2 are gaining weight, and now represent 62.2% of the total, compared with 45.8% in 2016. By contrast, homes measuring less than 100 m2 are losing weight, down from 36.1% in 2016 to 22.1%.
In terms of prices, there are increasingly fewer homes that cost less than €150,000, which have gone from accounting for 25.6% of the supply to just 15.2% in the Madrid region and from 13.6% to 9.7% in the Spanish capital. By contrast, the proportion of homes costing between €150,000 and €300,000 has increased, according to ST.
In the Barcelona metropolitan area, homes costing less than €150,000 have gone from accounting for 15.9% of the total supply to just 4.8%. And in the city itself, the appraisal company has not been able to identify any units on the market for less than €150,000. What’s more, homes costing more than €500,000 have grown from representing 24% of the total in 2016 to 39% in 2018.
Original story: El País (by Sandra López Letón)
Translation: Carmel Drake