18 January 2017 – Cinco Días
House prices will grow by 3% on average this year, driven by the improvement in the economy and employment, but also by the pseudo boom that is happening in the rental sector, in particular in large cities. That is according to Sociedad de Tasación, one of the largest appraisal companies in the sector.
The year that has just started will continue to be favourable in general terms for a real estate sector that, in the words of the Director General of Sociedad de Tasación, Juan Fernández-Aceytuno, is “recovering its sense of judgement”.
Thus, the volume of transactions will continue to grow, the rate of construction will intensify and more mortgages will be signed (although that figure will always fall below the number of house sales); and all of that means that house prices will end the year 3% higher, on average. Nevertheless, Sociedad de Tasación warns against certain risks and key factors that will determine the extent of this improvement in the real estate sector.
The first is what is happening in the rental market. Fernández-Aceytuno again highlighted the large group of potential buyers, such as young people aged between 25 and 35 years old, who are unable to buy a home because of their low wages and because of the precariousness associated with the majority of the new jobs that are being created. Since those people are not buying, many are choosing to rent, which has caused demand in the rental market to soar, along with rental prices. Sociedad de Tasación believes that if no response is given to this insolvent demand, rental prices will continue to rise and that will, in turn, drive up the prices of homes up for sale.
The Director General recalled that the average yield on rental properties in large cities stands at around 6.1% at the moment, which means that the increase in real estate prices in the major cities will be higher than the 3% forecast for the country as a whole.
Other decisive factors, in addition to the improvement in employment, will be everything relating to financing. The new accounting standards, which the banks must comply with this year, together with the cost of recent court rulings, such as the judgement regarding floor clauses, and the forecast increase in interest rates may have an impact on the conditions for accessing credit over the medium term, which will determine the behaviour of much of the demand.
In any case, the good news, according to Socidad de Tasación, is not only that the main indicators in the sector are going to continue to stabilise, but also that they are doing so in a much more balanced way than in the past. In this sense, the firm gave the example that house prices are growing at more moderate rates now than they did during the previous boom, with rises in line with the number of new Social Security members. Moreover, it highlighted that land prices have not soared by more than house prices, which was also common during the early 2000s.
What’s more, property developers have not started to build homes in an uncontrolled way, even despite the expectation that more new homes are going to be sold. A study compiled by the appraisal company shows that the supply of new homes in Madrid and Barcelona is actually scarce, which means that it will run out within 10 months in the capital and within 14 months in Barcelona. Finally, it describes the rate of property construction along the coast as “very reasonable”.
Original story: Cinco Días (Raquel Díaz Guijarro)
Translation: Carmel Drake