INE: House Sales Exceeded 40,000 In March

16 May 2017 – Cinco Días

Last week, Spain’s National Institute of Statistics (INE) published data relating to house purchases in March, which revealed that the number of transactions recorded in the property registers amounted to 40,461 during the month. Such a high figure had not seen since February 2011, six years ago; it represents an increase of 26.9% with respect to the number recorded a year ago.

In general, and despite some apathy at the start of 2017, the fact is that March was a good month from the perspective of real estate activity, given that 168,448 properties changed hands, a figure that represents an increase of 17.7% with respect to the same period in 2016.

By type of property, INE highlighted that 89.8% of house sales involved free (unsubsidised) homes and 10.2% were social housing properties. Sales of the former increased by 27.6%, whilst sales of the latter rose by 21.5%.

In addition, 18.2% of the homes sold in March were new build properties and the remaining 81.8% were second-hand. One of the most noteworthy statistics is how month on month, the number of operations involving new build properties is beginning to show greater strength than in the past because the construction and sale of developments that were started two years ago when the market showed its first signs of having bottomed out, are now bearing fruit.

In this way, during March, the number of new build transactions increased by 21.2%, when not so long ago, they were recording negative figures, and the number of second-hand transactions consolidated themselves for another month with an improvement of 28.3% with respect to March 2016.

In the classification by autonomous region, INE’s statistics, which are prepared using data from the property registers, revealed that house sales grew in every autonomous region, with the exception of the Canary Islands, where they decreased by 3.5% YoY. Moreover, it is worth mentioning that the increase in the volume of transactions exceeded 30% in 10 of Spain’s autonomous regions. (…).

The reactions from the real estate portals to this data were not as expected. Fernando Encinar, Head of Research at Idealista, explained that “the data from the month of March exceeded 40,000 operations, which represents a milestone in terms of the normalisation of the market. Although this process is happening at two speeds, the fact that more transactions were signed in March than a year ago in every autonomous region (with the exception of the Canary Islands) is a sign that the markets are moving closer to their natural equilibrium”.

Meanwhile, Beatriz Toribio, Head of Research at Fotocasa, said that (…) “the more than 40,000 transactions that were closed in March brings us back to the levels of 2011 and shows that the pace that is building in the sector. This improvement is having an effect on prices, which have been recording YoY increases for seven consecutive months”. (…).

Original story: Cinco Días (by Raquel Díaz Guijarro)

Translation: Carmel Drake

INE: House Sales Rose By 17.3% YoY In Nov 2016

16 January 2017 – El Economista

House sales rose by 17.3% in November 2016 compared to the same month in 2015, to reach 33,806 operations, according to data published on Thursday by Spain’s National Institute for Statistics (INE).

This increase, which represents the tenth month of consecutive YoY increases, exceeds the rise recorded in October 2016, when those operations rose by 6.5% YoY.

Transactions involving second-hand homes rose by 19.8% with respect to November 2015, to reach 27,996 operations, whilst sales of new homes rose by 6.8% YoY to reach 5,810 transactions.

90.3% of the homes sold during the eleventh month of the year were unsubsidised and 9.7% were protected (unsubsidised). Sales of unsubsidised homes rose by 17.4% YoY in November, to reach 30,514 transactions, meanwhile operations involving protected (subsidised) homes increased by 16.5% to 3,292 transactions.

During the first eleven months of 2016, house sales recorded a cumulative increase of 14.2% compared with the same period in 2015, thanks to an increase of 18.5% in terms of second-hand house sales, whereas new build house sales declined by 1.4%.

In monthly terms (November 2016 compared with October 2015), house sales rose by 15.1%, their highest MoM increase in more than five years.

Andalucía leads the house sales ranking

In November 2016, the highest number of house sales per 100,000 inhabitants was recorded in the Balearic Islands (138), the Community of Valencia (133) and Andalucía and the Canary Islands (99 in both cases).

Andalucía was the region that saw the most absolute house sales during the eleventh month of the year, with 6,541 sales, followed by Cataluña (5,476), the Community of Valencia (5,216) and Madrid (4,563).

The autonomous regions that saw the lowest absolute number of house sales were La Rioja (233), Navarra (363) and Cantabria (440).

In relative terms, the regions that saw the highest YoY variations in the number of house sales were the Balearic Islands (+32.8%), the Canary Islands (+26.3%) and Aragón (+25.8%). YoY increases were recorded in every single autonomous region.

Increase in the total number of properties sold

If we look at rural and urban (homes plus other properties of an urban nature) properties, then property sales in November amounted to 143,470 in total, up by 6.8% compared to the same month in 2015, to reach the highest absolute figure since June. (…).

In November 2016, the highest number of property sales registered per 100,000 inhabitants was recorded in Aragón (628), Castilla y León (604) and La Rioja (577).

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake

INE: 16-Month ‘Rising House Sales’ Streak Comes To An End

9 March 2016 – Cinco Días

32,417 homes were sold in January 2016, which represented a 2.9% decrease with respect to January 2015, marking the end of a 16-month streak of consecutive house sale increases, driven by the booming second-hand housing segment.

This fall comes after the number of transactions in 2015 increased by 11.1% to 354,132 operations, when this economic indicator recorded two consecutive years of increases.

Compared with a month earlier, house sales recorded a 17.3% increase, according to statistics about the transfer of property rights, published yesterday by the National Institute for Statistics (INE).

Despite this decrease, the number of house sales is at its highest level since July 2015.

80.5% of all house sales registered in January involved second-hand homes, with 26,083 operations recorded in total, representing a YoY increase of 6.6% (23 months of increases). By contrast, the sale of new homes fell by 28.9%, to 6,334 operations and accumulated 21 consecutive months of decreases.

According to the same source, 89.7% of the homes sold in January were free (unsubsidised) with 29,093 homes sold in that category, representing a 2% decrease with respect to the same month in 2015. The sale of social housing (subsidised) homes dropped by 9.9%, to 3,324 transactions.

By autonomous region, nine regions recorded negative YoY variations in the number of house sales, with the most pronounced decreases being seen in La Rioja, with a drop of 25.3% and the Canary Islands, with a reduction of 16.2%.

Navarra, with a rise of 18.4%; Castilla La Mancha, with an increase of 17.9%; and Aragón with a rise of 8.9%, led the other end of the table.

In January, the total number of properties sold according to the property registers and based on public deeds amounted to 136,771, down by 2.8% compared with a year ago.

66,959 properties were sold, down by 4.1%; exchanges decreased by 14.9% (to 526); donations dropped by 12.3% (4,148); meanwhile inheritances rose by 3.8% (30,010).

On the other hand, land consolidations, horizontal divisions, joint and mixed operations of several transfer deeds, transfers without the acquisition right, daciones en pago, mortgages foreclosures and legal repossessions fell by 4.2% to 35,128 operations.

According to INE’s data, in January, the total number of properties sold according to the property registers per 100,000 inhabitants was highest in Valencia (113) and the Balearic Islands (108).

Original story: Cinco Días

Translation: Carmel Drake

INE: Primary Residence Mortgage Foreclosures Fall By 12.4%

4 December 2015 – ABC

During Q3 2015, 5,959 primary residence mortgages were foreclosed, which represents a decrease of 12.4% compared with the same period in 2014, according to the mortgage foreclosure statistics published on Thursday by the National Institute of Statistics (INE). In inter-quarterly terms (the third quarter compared with the second quarter), mortgage foreclosures involving primary residences decreased by 31.3%.

The primary objective of this statistic is to provide information about the number of mortgage foreclosures initiated and registered in the Property Registers during the quarter in question. INE points out that not all mortgage foreclosure procedures that are launched end with the eviction of tenants. During the third quarter, 19,403 mortgage foreclosures were launched, 17.8% fewer than during the same period in 2014 and 32.9% fewer than during the second quarter. Of those, 18,344 related to urban properties (including homes) and 1,058 related to rural properties.

The number of mortgage foreclosures over urban properties decreased by 18.5% with respect to Q3 2014 and by 33.2% with respect to the previous quarter. Of the urban properties, 11,584 foreclosures related to homes, i.e. 59.7% of the total, and this figure represented a decrease of 15.6% compared to the same period in 2014. In terms of homes, mortgage foreclosures over homes owned by individuals amounted to 7,590 during the third quarter (down by -13.8% YoY), of which 5,959 were the primary residences of those individuals, whilst 1,631 were not the owners’ primary residences. The number in the latter category decreased by 18.4% with respect to the third quarter 2014.

Meanwhile, there were 3,995 mortgage foreclosures over homes owned by legal entities during the third quarter, a decrease of 18.9% with respect to the same period last year. According to INE, mortgage foreclosure procedures were initiated for just 0.03% of the total stock of family homes in Spain (18,378,100) between July and September 2015.

Decreasing trend for new builds and second-hand housing

Of the total number of mortgage foreclosures recorded involving homes during the third quarter, 9,971 related to second-hand homes, which represented a YoY decrease of 13.3%. Foreclosures over new homes amounted to 1,613, i.e. 27.8% fewer than during the same quarter in 2014. The statistics also reveal that, during the third quarter, 20.3% of the home mortgage foreclosures launched related to mortgages constituted in 2007; 17.2% related to mortgages granted in 2006; and 11.3% corresponded to mortgages signed in 2008. Put another way, 59.8% of the mortgage foreclosures initiated during the third quarter related to mortgages constituted between 2005 and 2008.

Between July and September, mortgage foreclosures over land amounted to 615, representing a YoY decrease of 55.9% and a QoQ decline of 49.5%. Meanwhile, mortgage foreclosures relating to commercial premises, garages, offices, storerooms, warehouses and other urban buildings amounted to 6,145, i.e. 16.8% fewer than during the third quarter last year and 31.9% fewer than during the previous quarter. Finally, there were 1,059 mortgage foreclosures involving rural properties during the third quarter, which represented a YoY decrease of 3.7% and a QoQ drop of 27.2%.

Andalucía leads the ranking

By autonomous region, Andalucía led the number of foreclosures involving homes during the third quarter, with 2,984 in total, followed by Valencia (2,339) and Cataluña (2,022). At the opposite end of the spectrum were Navarra and País Vasco, with just 63 foreclosures each. In terms of the number of foreclosed properties, Andalucía also led the ranking, with 5,019, followed by Valencia (3,718) and Cataluña (3,207). At the tail end were Navarra (99) and La Rioja and Cantabria (112).

Original story: ABC

Translation: Carmel Drake

Andalucía’s Housing Sector Finally Shows Signs Of Recovery

17 March 2015 – Cinco Días

The region has joined the recovery later due to its poor employment situation.

The autonomous community of Andalucía was undoubtedly one of the hardest hit by the burst of the real estate bubble, due to the weight that holiday homes have traditionally held in the region. Attracted by the influence that the areas of Marbella and the Costa del Sol have had on the rest of the Andalucían coast for decades, Andalucía was no exception and also joined the construction craze and the boom in prices.

In fact, according to figures published by the local Government, led by the socialist Susana Díaz, based on census data compiled by the National Institute for Statistics (INE) and estimates from the Ministry for Development, the total stock of real estate in Andalucía currently amounts to around 4.5 million homes.

If we compare this figure with data from 2001 (population census numbers and housing data are compiled every 10 years), the stock of housing has increased by more than one million homes, which represents a rise of more than 25% in relative terms. This means that, just like in the rest of the country, a significant stock of unsold new homes has accumulated (in Andalucía); some sources estimate (that the stock amounts to) 150,000 properties and others, such as the Spanish Confederation of the Construction Product Manufacturers Association (Cepco) estimated (that the stock amounted to) 114,000 in 2009.

What has happened since then? As in the rest of the country, between 2009 and 2013, construction activity (in Andalucía) virtually ceased, prices experienced the largest slump in recent history and house sales dropped to historical lows, dampened by the poor employment situation and the closure of the credit tap.

Foreign buyers

In this context, sales did not begin to take off again until price reductions started to decelerate and the flow of financing started to slowly open up; and since then, sales have evolved unevenly in each region.

Six years on and Andalucía is not known for being one of the regions where house sales have grown the most or where cranes have begun to appear again, since it is still weighed down by the employment situation, which has not improved there as it has done in other autonomous regions. And this is the case, regardless of the statistics that we analyse.

If we take the most recent statistics (published last Thursday) as a benchmark, which were prepared by the Ministry of Development using data from notaries, house sales in Andalucía grew by 21% during the last quarter of 2014 with respect to the same period in the previous year. These figures are roughly equivalent to the national average (19.5%), however according to the Ministry of Development, seven regions experienced increases that exceeded those recorded in Andalucía.

Meanwhile, if we consider the statistical figures compiled by INE, which obtains its data from the property registers, then house sales in Andalucía increased by just 0.3% year-on-year in 2014, compared with an average rate of increase across Spain of 2.2%. This modest growth in Andalucía contrasts with the recoveries of 18.5% and 12% in terms of real estate sales experienced in the Balearic and Canary Islands, respectively, two other regions that are heavily influenced by holiday homes and purchases by foreigners. Even so, the surplus of new homes in Andalucía had decreased by 44.5% to amount to 63,250 new homes as of last September, according to Cepco.

And where is Andalucía in terms of prices? Again, it worth considering the two sets of statistics that are regarded as ‘official’: those published by the Ministry of Development and INE. The department led by Ana Pastor recently published its price statistics relating to the entire year 2014 (compiled on the basis of appraisal values) and although they showed that house prices (in Spain) increased by an average of 0.5% on a quarter-by-quarter basis (the last quarter in 2014 compared with the previous three months), on an annual basis (fourth quarter 2014 compared with the same period in 2013), the most recent figure was negative, with house prices decreasing by 0.3% at the end of last year.

Nevertheless, Andalucía recorded positive rates in both cases, although the increases were very modest: 0.4% QoQ and 0.2% YoY. By province, five ended 2014 with lower prices than they had recorded a year before. Meanwhile, according to INE’s data (compiled using figures from notaries), Andalucía closed 2014 with an average annual price increase of 1.8%, just one (basis) point below the highest figures, which were recorded in Madrid and Valencia, with annual increases of 2.9% and 2.8%, respectively.

Industry experts agree that the recovery in the real estate market has started later in Andalucía than in other regions, but consider that now is the moment to take advantage of the ‘pull of tourism’ to construct there once again, since there is demand, and that will generate activity and employment.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Raquel Díaz Guijarro)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ministry Of Development: House Sales Grew In Every Province In 2014

13 March 2015 – Expansión

More homes were sold in 2014 than in 2013. That is a fact. The question is: how much did the market grow by? The official statistics do not tally (with each other). The Institute for National Statistics (INE) recorded an increase of 2.2% (in 2014), based on data from the property registers. Yesterday, the Ministry of Development revealed an increase of no less than 21.6%, based on data from notaries, which represents the greatest increase since it began publishing these statistics (in 2004), with a total of 365,594 transactions.

This is also the highest figure since 2010, although, of course, it is still a long way from the peak years of the real estate bubble (2007, when 837,483 transactions were recorded). One of the explanations for the disparity in the Government’s statistics stems from the fact that not all transactions recorded in the public registers are included (in the data). Moreover, there is typically a time lag, of a few months, between notarial information and data in the property registers.

In any case, the trend, which is really the important indicator in the real estate market, is becoming bullish once more. Not surprisingly, according to the data from the Ministry of Development, sales of residential properties increased by 2014 in every autonomous region, something that was unheard of in the years of the crisis.

Sales increased by the most in Madrid (44.7%), followed by Navarra (31.3%), Aragón (31.1%), Asturias (30.8%), País Vasco (29.3%) and the Balearic Islands (29.2%).

But the improvement in the market did not stop there. An annual increase was recorded in every single province in 2014. The largest rises were recorded in Ceuta (57.6%), Burgos (46.8%), Salamanca (39.2%), Zaragoza (38.2%), Guadalajara (37.9%), Vizcaya (34.3%), Melilla (34.1%) y Guipúzcoa (33.0%).

Foreigner buyers

House sales to foreigners resident in Spain also experienced a year-on-year increase in the last quarter of 2014, for the fourteenth consecutive quarter, specifically, by 19.7%, with respect to the fourth quarter of 2013, a total of 16,336 sales. Similarly, purchases by non-resident foreigners increased to 1,315 during the quarter, an increase of 13.4% on the previous year.

Overall, sales to foreigners (both resident and non-resident) accounted for 15.8% of all sales. By province, the greatest increases in the number of purchases by foreign residents were recorded in Alicante (3,852), Málaga (2,226), Barcelona (1,536), Madrid (1,285) and Baleares (1,126).

Finally, it is worth noting the healthy level of activity in the housing market in the fourth quarter of 2014, when 111,921 homes were sold in Spain. Not since 2010 have more transactions been recorded during the fourth quarter (150,494). This figure represents a year-on-year increase of 19.5%.

Original story: Expansión (by Juanma Lamet)

Translation: Carmel Drake