INE: One Third of House Purchases in León in 2018 were Financed by Cash

2 March 2019 – Diario de León 

According to Spain’s National Institute of Statistics (INE), 3,128 homes were sold in the province of León in 2018, of which one in three were paid for in cash. This is a growing trend in the real estate market, as savers look for investment alternatives in the face of instability in the financial markets and the high returns being offered by property, due to house price rises and rental price increases.

In the province of León, 2,024 mortgages were signed in 2018, up by 4% YoY, whereas 11% more house sales were recorded compared to 2017.

Original story: Diario de León (by María J. Muñiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

INE: The Number of Mortgage Signings Soared by 34% YoY in April

27 June 2018 – Expansión

The number of mortgages constituted over homes in Spain amounted to 28,724 in April 2018, which represents an increase of 34.2% compared to the same month in 2017.

According to data published today by Spain’s National Institute of Statistics (INE), the increase with respect to the month of March was 9%. In terms of the cumulative numbers so far this year, the increase amounts to 11.6%.

Meanwhile, the capital loaned rose by 46.5% in April 2018, compared to April last year, to €3.5 billion. Moreover, the average amount loaned in April of this year amounted to €123,256, up by 9.1% in YoY terms.

By nature of property, mortgages constituted over homes accounted for 64.7% of all the capital lent in April.

For mortgages constituted over homes, the average interest rate in April 2018 was 2.67% (16.7% lower than in April 2017) and the average term was 24 years. 60.6% of mortgages over homes were constituted at floating rates and 39.4% at fixed rates. Fixed rate mortgages experienced a 30.7% increase in YoY terms.

The average interest rate at the beginning of a mortgage term is 2.42% for floating rate mortgages over homes (a decrease of 22.3%) and 3.15% for fixed rate mortgages (6.1% lower).

Fernando Encinar, Head of Research at Idealista, considers that the “significant increase in the volume of mortgages registered in April with respect to last year should be adjusted for the effect of Easter, although even taking the sum of March and April in both years, the increase is still a healthy 12%”.

According to him, “the banks are still willing to grant mortgages, they are opening their hands slightly, but they are not the motors behind the rise in house sales. Fixed rate products are rising slightly with respect to floating rates, and so are the prices of them, undoubtedly the result of more expensive financing. Even so, more mortgages are still being repaid than registered”.

For Ferran Font, Head of Research at, these data confirm “that in March, we were not looking at a change in trend, but rather the effect of Easter, which fell in April in 2017. That percentage strengthens the growing trend in recent months, after a month of negative YoY growth”.

By region, the autonomous regions with the highest number of mortgages constituted over homes in April was the Community of Madrid (6,018), Andalucía (5,154) and Cataluña (4,700).

Meanwhile, the highest YoY variation rates were recorded in the Balearic Islands (66.7%), the Community of Madrid (62.4%) and Castilla-La Mancha (54.2%).

The autonomous regions where the most capital has been loaned for the constitution of mortgages were the Community of Madrid (€997.9 million), Cataluña (€708.1 million) and Andalucía (€531.8 million).

In total, 40,005 mortgages over properties were signed in April, up by 36.5% with respect to a year earlier. Of the total, 1,350 corresponded to rural properties (+21.4%) and 38,655 to urban assets (+37.1%).

Original story: Expansión 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sevilla’s Municipal Gov’t To Boost Social Housing Stock By 1,000 Over 3 Years

5 October 2017 – Emvisesa

Last week, the mayor of Sevilla, Juan Espadas, together with the delegate for Social Welfare and Employment, Juan Manuel Flores, and the manager of Emvisesa, Felipe Castro, presented the “Strategy for the urgent expansion of the public housing stock (for Sevilla)”, which is aimed at securing at least 1,000 extra homes for rent over the next three years.

These actions will be carried out immediately, whilst the new Municipal Housing Plan for 2018-2024 is being finalised (…).

“We find ourselves with a dismantled Housing Company and an abolished Housing Plan, without any alternatives. We have worked for two years to take different measures and now we are advancing with a housing strategy for Sevilla for the next eight or nine years”, explained the mayor of Sevilla, Juan Espadas.

In this way, the Housing Company, together with the department for Social Welfare and Employment and the Urban Planning team, has designed some immediate steps to expand the stock of public rental homes by 1,000 units over the next three years. This is expected to involve a global budget of around €100 million.

First of all, the Program will be developed through rental housing initiatives (the current tender will be strengthened) and house purchases (a new tender will be held soon). The hope is to obtain around 470 homes through this route.

Secondly, the envelopes for the tender of the Ramón Carande plot will be opened in October. The plan is to obtain resources, land and homes relating to 400 properties in this way in total.

Thirdly, properties owned by the Town Hall and land owned by the Municipal Land Company have been identified for the construction of 520 homes on land in the following areas: Sur, Torreblanca, Macarena, Norte and Carretera de Carmona. Almost all of these sites are available for construction work to be started in the short term.


To finance this whole operation, as well as resorting to typical bank loans, like for the construction of any other of housing development, the Town Hall of Sevilla is going to make contributions and 230 homes are going to be built, within the same Program, which will go up for sale.

In this way, although 1,215 homes will be constructed in total, 230 will be sold (whereby responding to the demand from 40% of the applicants on the public housing register) to contribute to the financing of the operation as a whole (…).

The strategy will be presented during the first half of October to Emvisesa’s Board of Directors; it will be enriched with any constructive and positive proposals presented; and it will be boosted to begin construction of the homes and the programs to acquire homes in the short term.

Original story: Emvisesa

Translation: Carmel Drake

BBVA: RE Sector Has Positive Outlook In 2017

18 January 2017 – La Vanguardia

BBVA thinks that the outlook regarding the real estate sector is “positive” and that this trend will continue into 2017, according to its report “Real Estate Situation in Spain” and the activity of its ‘BBVA Valora’ users.

For the bank, the progress in 2017 will be “very heterogeneous” across all autonomous communities. Specifically, Madrid and Barcelona currently lead the searches on ‘BBVA Valora’, for both the customer and non-customer categories. They are followed by Valencia, Sevilla, Alicante and other provinces such as Málaga and Cádiz.

At ‘BBVA Valora’, users can find information about house prices. Upon entering the address of the property, the tool returns the purchase and rental price, as well as what would be a “well negotiated price” for the buyer.

In terms of surface area, users tend to be most interested in purchasing properties that measure between 80 m2 and 130 m2, which account for half of the searches registered in the app

Original story: La Vanguardia

Translation: Carmel Drake

Alquiler Seguro’s Socimi Makes Its First Purchases

23 January 2017 – El Mundo

The Socimi Quid Pro Quo Alquiler Seguro Socimi, constituted last September by the company Alquiler Seguro, has just announced its first capital increase and the completion of its first home purchases.

QPQ Alquiler Seguro Socimi was the first Socimi constituted in Spain to specialise in rental homes.

Antonio Carroza, CEO at Alquiler Seguro, explains that during 2017, the new company is going to focus on “securing investors to undertake several capital increases and to continue buying properties”. According to Carroza, at the end of the year, the company will decide “whether to debut on the MAB or on the main stock market”.

The Socimi’s aims are ambitious. According to comments made by company’s Chairman, Gustavo Rossi, to this newspaper in July, “the business plan involves raising €500 million over a five year period and for the company to own around 6,000 homes”.

Original story: El Mundo

Translation: Carmel Drake

Servihabitat: House Prices Will Rise By 3.8% In 2016

2 June 2016 – Expansión

The increase in demand, the reactivation of investment activity and the improvement in access to mortgage financing are some of the factors behind the marked improvement in the residential market.

In its report entitled “The Residential Market in Spain”, Servihabitat, which is jointly owned by TPG and CaixaBank, says that “the positive trend experienced in house prices/values in Spain during 2015 will be consolidated this year”. The largest price rises are forecast in the Balearic Islands (+6.8%), the Community of Valencia (+4.6%), Cataluña (+4.4%) and the Community of Madrid (+4%).

The average price rise across Spain is expected to amount to 3.8%, which is 2.4 points below the figure (6.2%) forecast by Servihabitat in November. This lowering of expectations may be due to the fact that prices actually accelerated at the end of last year. In addition, “there is a certain amount of volatility because the realities of the sector are very different by area”, said Julián Cabanillas, CEO at Servihabitat.

The report predicts “that this year, the rate of growth will continue” in terms of the sale and purchase of residential properties, driven “by pressure from increased demand”. Specifically, in 2016, the number of operations is expected to grow by almost 10% YoY, which means that more than 440,000 homes will be sold in total.

The autonomous regions where sales activity is expected to increase by the most this year include: Asturias, Cataluña, País Vasco, the Community of Madrid, La Rioja and the Community of Valencia, as well as in the Canary and Balearic Islands, all of which have a forecast YoY variation of more than 10%. The only region where sales are expected to decrease is Extremadura (-0.6%). (…).

The report also forecasts YoY growth of 12.5% in terms of the number new homes that will be completed this year, to reach 50,800 units.

The volume of new build stock will continue to decrease by approximately 25%, from 492,000 homes last year to 367,500 by the end of 2016, according to the study. (…).

Boom in the rental sector

The study points out that, according to Eurostat, the rental market in Spain has grown significantly in recent years. “More than 21% of Spaniards live in a rented home, a figure that brings Spain ever closer to other European countries with more tradition in this regard. In addition, the forecast until the end of the year shows that the number of rental operations will remain stable or increase with respect to the number of sale and purchase operations, at the same time as rental prices are forecast to stabilise”

On the other hand, the company highlights that more than 17% of purchases in Spain were made by foreigners in 2015, who acquired more than 69,000 homes in total, for both residential and holiday use. “The concentration in just eight provinces is noteworthy: Alicante, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the Balearic Islands, Málaga, Girona, Las Palmas, Murcia and Almería”, adds the report.

Original story: Expansión (by Juanma Lamet)

Translation: Carmel Drake

INE: Mortgages Increased By 25.8% In August

28 October 2015 – Público

The number of new mortgages signed for house purchases increased by 25.8% in August, compared with the same period a year earlier, as 19,272 new loans were granted. Nevertheless, and according to the data published yesterday by the National Institute of Statistics (INE), if we compare the figures in August with those of July, then the number of new mortgage signings decreased by 11.9%.

The total volume of mortgages granted to purchase homes in August amounted to €2,010 million, an increase of 26.5% YoY, but a decrease of 11.9% compared with the previous month. Moreover, the average size of those mortgages increased by 0.6% YoY to amount to €104,318, although in comparison with July, this figure represented a decrease of 0.1%.

89.2% of the mortgages constituted in August had variable interest rates, compared with 10.8% that had fixed interest rates. Euribor was the reference rate used for the constitution of most new variable rate mortgages, specifically it was used in 91.8% of the new contracts of this type.

The average interest rate (at the beginning of the contract term) for mortgages granted to buy homes was 3.25%, i.e. 13.4% lower than the rate recorded in August 2014. The total number of mortgages registering changes to their conditions in the property records in August amounted to 13,205, i.e. 14% fewer than in August last year.

By autonomous region, the following CCAAs registered the highest number of new mortgages for homes in August: Andalucía (3,722), Madrid (3,450) and Cataluña (2,545). The autonomous regions that recorded the highest YoY increases were: La Rioja (up by 65.9%), Valencia (58.3%) and Navarra (36.5%). On a YoY basis, only two regions recorded decreases, namely Aragón (-5.2%) and the Balearic Islands (-2.1%). (…).

Meanwhile, the autonomous regions that loaned the most capital for the constitution of mortgages for homes were Madrid (€489.4 million), Andalucía (€331.4 million) and Cataluña (€304.5 million).

The experts expect the number of house purchases to keep increasing

The leading real estate websites in Spain expect house sales to continue to increase over the coming months, given the normalisation of the sector and the decrease in prices following the burst of the real estate bubble. (…).

The experts at think that this positive trend will continue during 2015 and into 2016, but they add that we should be “cautiously optimistic” since the current figures are still a long way off of the levels recorded in 2005. “The mortgage statistics are very closely linked to the increase in credit from the banks and the significant decrease in house prices that we have seen in recent years”.

Original story: Público

Translation: Carmel Drake

Bank Of Spain: Residential Yields Rise to 8.6%

23 October 2015 – Expansión

Now is the most profitable time since the burst of the real estate bubble to buy a home. At least that is according to official figures: the average gross annual yield of homes currently amounts to 8.6%, a level not seen since 2007, the year when prices and sales peaked in the residential market. That is the latest data published by the Bank of Spain relating to the first half of the year.

The total gross yield on a residential property “is calculated as the estimated gross income from rental plus any capital gain”. In other words, it takes into account not only the amount an investor would obtain each year from renting out a property, but also the gain that he would make by selling it after twelve months.

This indicator, which is key for buyers looking to acquire homes as safe investments, soared during the second quarter of 2015. In March, the gross annual return on homes increased to 6.180% and in June, it rose again, by 2.41 points to the aforementioned figure of 8.6%.

That means the residential yield is five times greater than the return currently offered on 10-year debt (1.75%). Bank deposits offer a return of 0.5%, according to the body headed by Luis María Linde.

What does this mean? Put simply, it means that now is an ideal time to invest in rental property, for both small and large investors. (…).

We are living in an impasse of high returns with minimal risk. House prices are beginning to rise (by 2.6% in 2015, according to Servihabitat) and so are rental prices, although at a more moderate rate (by 1%, according to the IESE index and Fotocasa).

Moreover, the percentage of citizens choosing to rent rather than buy has increased significantly, from 9.6% during the real estate boom to its current rate of 15.4%, according to data from the Bank of Spain. Over the last three years, the rental market has welcomed one million new homes and as such has grown by 42.5%. For this reason, investors looking for higher returns have launched searches for properties in areas that are well established and have high demand, to lease them out.

Eight year high

8.6% is the highest figure seen since September 2007, when the return on buying a home reached 12.1% per year. At that time (eight years ago), the residential sector was immersed in a spiral of hyperinflation and credit. The bubble was about to burst, but politicians and businessman alike were in denial, as they tried to sustain the over-heating of the real estate sector. In other words, to mislead buyers.

It was then that the residential market started to decelerate, in other words, to deflate. During the next quarter, the return on homes decreased to 8.5% and from then on, the figure did not stop falling; it entered negative territory in the third quarter of 2008 and reached its negative low (a return of -11%) in September 2012.

Now the situation is radically different. After years of depression, stigmatisation and hangovers, the recovery of the residential sector has finally begun. Gradually and in a moderate way, homes are getting more expensive, sales are recovering and the mortgage market is reactivatin. (…).

The phenomenon happening right now is something that rarely happens, even during changes in the cycle because investors are finding find bubble-like returns, but without the bubble itself.

Original story: Expansión (by Juanma Lamet)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lone Star To Spend €500M On Land For Homes in 2015

11 June 2015 – Bloomberg

Lone Star Funds, the private-equity firm founded by billionaire John Grayken (pictured above), will invest as much as €500 million this year buying land in Spain for housing developments as demand picks up.

“Despite the glut of homes in Spain, there are areas where stock is running out and we aim to fill that gap,” said Juan Velayos, CEO of Neinor Homes, the Lone Star unit seeking to become Spain’s biggest home builder. “We aim to build homes where there is solvent demand and where people can afford to and want to buy.”

Lone Star’s blueprint for Neinor signals the changing sentiment toward the nation’s residential property market, which is rebounding after a six-year slump when prices fell by as much as 40%. The company will buy land in Madrid, Barcelona, the Balearic Islands and some coastal areas where stock is being depleted, Velayos said in an interview in Madrid.

Dallas-based Lone Star bought Neinor from Spanish lender Kutxabank SA in December for €930 million. It has already signed contracts to purchase 230,000 m2 of land for €187 million to construct 2,050 homes, Velayos said. The firm will target middle class homebuyers aged 40 to 50.

House prices rose by 1.5% in the first quarter from a year earlier and there was a 9.4% surge in transactions. The Madrid region is helping to lead the revival, with sales jumping by an annual 20% in April, while the volume of transactions grew by 18% in Cataluña.

‘Astute’ Strategy

“Their strategy has a very high chance of success as properties are literally flying off the shelf in these areas,” said Fernando Rodriguez de Acuña, head of Madrid-based property research firm R.R. de Acuña & Asociados. “Targeting that stratum of the population is very astute given that that age bracket normally has stable employment, savings and already some equity in housing.”

Both domestic and international buyers evaporated when the economy collapsed during the financial crisis, leading to an international bailout of Spanish banks and the worst recession in the country’s democratic history. An excess of credit-driven construction before the slump led to a surplus of more than 1.6 million homes after sales plunged from 955,186 units in the peak in 2006 to 365,594 units last year.

Possible IPO

“Demand for homes in Spain will never go back to the numbers we saw at the peak of the boom and for this reason we have carried out extensive research,” Velayos said. “Many excess homes and land are situated in areas that will never sell because there is simply no demand. So we only develop in areas where we have the complete conviction that people can and want to buy.”

An initial public offering of Neinor could happen if the plans for the company work out, Velayos said.

Spain has an excess of 1.6 million empty homes, of which as many as 60% were built in areas where there is no demand, according to Rodriguez de Acuña.

“Madrid, Barcelona and good areas on the coast such as Málaga are where we are seeing the most activity and the jump in transactions that we are seeing corresponds to those areas,” Rodriguez de Acuña added.

Original story: Bloomberg (by Sharon Smyth)

Edited by: Carmel Drake