17 June 2018 – Expansión
Land sales closed over the last year, between April 2017 and March 2018, amounted to €3.59 billion, up by 22.4% compared to the previous twelve months. That figure also represented a maximum for at least the last five years, according to data from the Ministry of Development.
The increase in land investments results from the growth in the number of land-based transactions completed and also from a rise in the surface areas sold, given that the prices recorded decreased.
The growth in the market for land has been driven by the investment plans that the main real estate companies are carrying out, especially listed firms such as Neinor, Aedas and Quabit. They are aiming to fulfil their home building targets, which include strategic plans to take advantage of the increase in demand and the boom in the sector.
Specifically, land sale operations sored by 17.5% in the twelve months to March 2018, to 21,255 transactions.
In these operations, a total of 29.50 million m2 of land changed hands, a surface area that exceeds the volume bought and sold during the previous twelve months by 26%.
Despite that acceleration in the land market, land prices continued to decrease. At the end of the first quarter, the average price of urban land per square metre amounted to €167.5 million, down by 2.6% compared to a year earlier.
The decrease is even greater, 7.8%, for urban land in large cities, those with more than 50,000 inhabitants, although there, land costs almost €300 (€297/m2) on average, and whereby doubled the average price.
Madrid and Barcelona
Madrid is the most expensive place to buy land, given that at the end of March, the average price per square metre in the Community of Madrid amounted to €477.8. That amount also represented an increase of 4.8% with respect to the start of the year and a jump of 10.1% compared to the previous year.
The Spanish capital whereby returned to first position, which had been occupied by Barcelona at the end of 2017. The Catalan capital was ranked in second place, with an average price of €436/m2, which, by contrast, represented a decrease of 7% with respect to the end of 2017 and 5% over the last year.
The price of land in the two large Spanish capitals is almost three times that of the national average.
After Madrid and Barcelona in the ranking come the Balearic Islands, where land costs €397/m2 on average and Valencia with an average price of €337.5/m2.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, the most populated cities with the lowest land prices are Albacete (€79.5/m2), Castellón (€93.2/m2) and Lleida (€99.7/m2).
Original story: Expansión
Translation: Carmel Drake