Registrars: House Prices Rose By 7.7% YoY In Q1

18 May 2017 – El Mundo

Homes are becoming increasingly expensive. House prices rose by 7.7% during the first quarter of 2017 in YoY terms, according to the real estate statistics published by the College of Property Registrars. With respect to the last quarter of 2016 – i.e. looking at the QoQ variation – the increase amounted to 4.1%. With these new increases, the cumulative adjustment since the peaks of 2007 continue to fall and now amount to 22.8%.

On the other hand, 113,738 house sales were recorded between January and March, representing the highest quarterly figure since the first three months of 2011. The increase amounted to 21.8%, with respect to the previous quarter. In interannual terms, the positive trend continued: prices rose by 14.4% with respect to the same quarter in 2016.

On this occasion, contrary to the trend seen in recent years, new house prices performed in line with the general increase, accounting for 18% of the total number of sales, with a significant QoQ rise of 27.5% (20,490 sales), whilst the sale of second-hand homes rose by 20.6% compared to the previous quarter, to reach 93,248 operations.

Purchases by overseas buyers reach peak levels

The weight of house purchases by overseas buyers remained relatively stable during the first quarter of the year to account for 13.1% of all registered sales. That corresponds to sales of around 15,000 properties per quarter. In cumulative YoY terms, foreigners accounted for 13.3% of all purchases, a historical maximum, and corresponding to more than 55,000 house purchases per year by overseas buyers.

By nationality, the British continued to lead the ranking, accounting for 14.5% of all purchases made by foreigners, although their continued fall over the last few quarters (during the previous quarter, they accounted for 16.4% of all purchases made by foreigners) has brought the figure to a new historical low over total purchases by foreigners. The French rose to second place with 9.6%, followed by the Germans (7.7%), Belgians (6.9%), Swedes (6.3%) and Italians (6.1%). These first six nationalities accounted for more than half of all house purchases by foreigners.

Average mortgage amounted to €116,182

Mortgage debt to buy a home increased by 3.6% compared to the previous quarter, to reach €116,182, whilst the number of fixed rate mortgages continued to rise sharply, in line with previous quarters, to account for 38.7% of all new contracts, compared to 31% in the previous quarter, a new maximum in the historical series.

This situation leaves variable rate mortgages at their lowest figure to date, especially, Euribor, which was the reference rate for just 60.3% of all mortgages. The average initial interest rates on new loans decreased slightly to reach 2.3% from 2.4% in the previous quarter.

The terms of new mortgage loans remained relatively stable, recording a slight increase of 0.7% compared to the previous quarter, and an average term of 23 years and four months.

Access to housing saw a slight deterioration: the average monthly mortgage repayment during the first quarter amounted to €536, representing a QoQ increase of 2.2%, whilst the percentage of that repayment over wage costs rose to 28.3% from 27.6%.

Original story: El Mundo 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Registrars: House Prices Rose By 6.9% YoY In Q1 2016

13 May 2016 – El Mundo

In Q1 2016, house prices maintained the strength that they had shown in previous quarters and consolidated the changing trend, which began back in 2014, according to the House Price Index of Repeat Sales (which is calculated using the Case & Shiller methodology) prepared by the Property Registrars. This statistic shows that house prices increased by 6.9% compared with the same period in 2015.

In this way, and thanks to the appreciation in house prices in recent months, the cumulative decrease from the peaks of 2007 are continuing to moderate. The cumulative decrease since then now amounts to -27.2%.

More sales

Moreover, the number of house sales recorded during the first quarter of 2016 increased by 9.8% in YoY terms, to reach 99,427 operations. That number in one quarter is the highest recorded in the last three years.

Moreover, new builds recorded their first QoQ increase in several years, after a long period of historical lows, with 19,385 sales registered, up by 3,566 compared with Q4 2015. Meanwhile, there were 80,042 sales of second-hand homes, up by 11,830 compared with the previous quarter, which is the highest figure recorded in the last eight years.

The number of house sales increased in 16 autonomous regions with respect to the previous quarter, with the Community of Madrid (32.9%), País Vasco (26.6%) and the Canary Islands (26.5%) leading the ranking. At the other end of the scale, the number of house sales in Murcia fell by 4.3% compared with the last three months of 2015.

Purchases made by foreigners accounted for 12.9% of the total, compared with the historical maximum in Q4 2015 of 14.4%. Nevertheless, in absolute terms, such purchases are increasing, giving rise to figures close to 12,800 purchases per quarter. A new historical record has been set in the last year in this regard (13.4%), which translates to annual house purchases by foreigners amounting to almost 48,000 units.

By nationality, Britons lead the ranking, accounting for 21.9% of all purchases made by foreigners. They were followed by French (7.9%), German (6.9%), Swedish (6.3%) and Belgian (6.1%) buyers. These first five nationalities accounted for almost 50% of all house purchases made by foreigners.

Average mortgage of €109,215

After a prolonged period on the rise, mortgage debt per home decreased by 1.6% with respect to the previous quarter, to €109,215. Meanwhile, initial interest rates on new loans, which averaged 2.4% in Q3 2015, having decreased by 0.1 percentage point from the previous quarter, continued their decreasing trend for another quarter.

Variable interest rate products, which take Euribor as the benchmark rate, continued at their usual levels, accounting for 88.7% of all new mortgages granted. Fixed interest rate products increased to account for 9.8% of the market, a new maximum in the historical series according to the Real Estate Registrars’ Statistics.

The average mortgage term increased by 2.2% during the first quarter with respect to the previous quarter, to reach 23 years and 1 month, compared with 22 years and 7 months in the preceding quarter.

Meanwhile, the average mortgage repayment amount in the first quarter amounted to €512.83/month, representing a QoQ decrease of 4.3%, whilst the percentage of that repayment amount over wage cost decreased to 27% (compared with 28.3% in the previous quarter). In both cases, the figures represented the lowest levels in the historical series. (…).

Original story: El Mundo

Translation: Carmel Drake