AGV: Almost One Third Of Madrid’s Citizens Think More New Homes Are Required

20 November 2017 – Observatorio Inmobiliario

Almost one third of Madrid’s citizens believe that there is not sufficient housing in the city to meets their needs in terms of prices and features. This perception increases as the respondents’ annual salary and age decrease. Similarly, more than half of future buyers believe that there is not sufficient supply to allow them to choose the most appropriate home and almost 45% think that more housing needs to be built. Those are some of the findings of a study conducted by the Association of Housing Managers (‘Asociación de Gestoras de Viviendas’ or AGV) amongst citizens of the capital, which reveals the needs of house buyers in the city of Madrid.

The people surveyed, of whom 3 out of 4 were buyers aged between 31 and 39, revealed that buying a home or apartment in a building is their preferred option. The vast majority confirmed that they would choose to buy a private home (rather than a subsidised property). In fact, almost 80% stated that they are most tempted by that type of home; 90.5% of them are aged 40 or over (86.3%), compared with the younger population, where only 56.7% said that they would be able to buy a private home.

The youngest people who do not own their current homes stated that they will invest less than €160,000 in the purchase of a home as they cannot afford more expensive properties. Moreover, only 11% of the respondents said that they would spend a maximum of €300,000 to buy a property in Madrid.

Price and location are the top priorities

Both price and location stood out as the main factors to take into account when it comes to buying a home. More than half of Madrilenians (63.4%) rank price as one of the most important considerations, along with the characteristics of the home. The study confirmed that price and the lack of help or tax incentives are the main obstacles preventing the majority of Madrileños from affording to buy a new home.

In terms of the housing market, potential future house buyers claim to be those who have planned their savings (29.6%), have good prospects in terms of employment (23.9%), and monthly earnings that allow them to afford the expense (35.7%). Of the latter, the population aged between 31 and 39 stands out, with annual earnings of more than €36,000.

Limited information and a sensation of complexity when accessing social housing

The survey confirmed the existence of a firm interest in social housing properties in the city of Madrid, even though only 30% of those surveyed said that they were informed about subsidised housing, and 61% consider that the application procedures are too complex. In fact, almost 60% of women and 63.3% of young people (under 30) consider that they will have to go down this route.

Juan José Perucho Rodríguez, President of AGV, declared that “we are facing a critical situation given that demand from citizens is clear and the situation is not adapting to reflect what is happening in Madrid. The construction of social housing properties is vital for citizens, who have seen their purchasing power diminish, to be able to afford to buy a home. In this sense, we think that starting to discuss the option of creating more homes is necessary to cover the needs of the citizens who demand them”.

Original story: Observatorio Inmobiliario

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ministry Of Development: Finished Homes Rose By c.40% In YTD August

11 November 2017 – Don Piso

The house building sector is continuing its upward trend in 2017 in a solid way and is confirming its position as one of the main engines of the Spanish economy. And the studies that multiple bodies and private companies issue on the subject are increasingly reporting double-digit YoY increases in the sector. It is clear that in the short term, there is going to be more available new build products for Spanish house buyers.

In this sense, according to data presented in the latest monthly report from the Ministry of Development, between January and August, 35,993 homes were built in Spain, a figure that represents an increase of 39.7% compared to the first eight months of last year. In this way, 2017 is confirming the good trend of the construction sector, which started in January this year, putting an end to nine consecutive years of decreases (2008-2016). In this sense, since the maximum recorded in 2007, when a total of 641,419 homes were finished, the cumulative figure represents a decrease of 94% with respect to the full year 2016.

By type of property, 97.8% (35,150) of the homes finished during the eight months to August corresponded to projects backed by private developers, whilst the remaining 2.2% (783) were constructed as part of initiatives led by public administrations. In YoY, the construction of homes by private property developers grew by 38.4%, whilst in the case of public administrations, the number of completed homes rose from 322 to 783 this year. Finally, the value of the liquidation of the execution material of the construction network rose by 44.8% during the first eight months of the year to €4,736.5 million.

Original story: Don Piso

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

INE: Mortgage Lending Reaches 5 Year High

28 November 2016 – Expansión

The month of September 2016 was the best for the residential mortgage market in the last five years. In total, lenders granted €3,018.5 million to borrwers to acquire homes, the best figure since 2011, which represents an annual increase of 12.5%, according to Spain’s National Institute of Statistics (INE).

In total, 26,667 mortgages were constituted over homes, up by 10% compared to September 2015. The average mortgage loan amounted to €113,193, up by 2.2% YoY. The value of mortgages constituted over urban properties in general amounted to €4,848.6 million, up by 3.7% compared with September 2015.

Interestingly, the percentage of fixed rate mortgages continued to gain in popularity during September; they accounted for 30% of all mortgage loans, almost one third of the market, compared with 28.3% in August (…).

These loans “are very attractive for potential house buyers given their current conditions and because they protect borrowers against possible increases in interest rates, such as the rise being considered by the ECB”, said Beatriz Toribio, Head of Research at Fotocasa.

The mortgage lending market has been on the road to recovery for more than two years now and that upwards trend was broken only in July 2016, when lending decreased by almost 15% YoY following a suspension in the inscription of some contracts for legal reasons.

Normalisation of the market

The Director of Research at, Manuel Gandarias, expects that, as we head towards year end, “mortgage lending will continue to grow as political stability takes hold and above all, the confidence and expectations of the most solvent buyers rises”. “We have have seen two months of adjusted increases in comparison with what the statistics had previously been showing”, he said. For Toribio, the data shows that “mortgage financing is consolidating as a result of low interest rates and the liquidity that exists in the market” and that “the real estate sector is moving towards normalisation”.

In addition, in her opinion, “in 2016, in addition to a significant increase in the number of loans, we have also seen growth in the average amount loaned as a result of the behaviour of prices, which are recovering in the large cities, such as in Madrid and Barcelona, as well as along certain parts of the Mediterranean Coast.

By autonomous region

By autonomous region, the areas that recorded the highest number of mortgages constituted over homes were: the Community of Madrid (5,086), Andalucía (4,788) and Cataluña (4,631).

Nevertheless, the regions that recorded the highest YoY variations in terms of the number of mortgages granted were: La Rioja, with an increase of 59.6%; the Canary Islands, with an increase of 45.2%; and Cantabria, with an increase of 38.5%.

Finally, the regions that lent the most capital for the constitution of mortgages over homes were Madrid (€772 million), Cataluña (€616 million) and Andalucía (€470.1 million).

Original story: Expansión (by J. M. L.)

Translation: Carmel Drake