E&V: The Costa del Sol Enjoys a New RE Boom

12 March 2019 – Europa Press

According to a report about the real estate market for 2018-2019 compiled by Engel & Völkers (E&V), demand is growing along the Costa del Sol from domestic and international investors alike.

The improvement in the economy, better financing conditions, high rental yields and the reactivation of new construction projects all confirm that there is a boom underway on the Andalucían coast once again.

The real estate agency forecasts a moderate increase in prices and transaction volumes of around 7%-10% during 2019. Málaga is the driving force, thanks to its cultural offering and robust infrastructure, but new build projects have resumed all along the coast in recent years.

In this climate, in 2018, 60% of operations were closed by foreigners looking for second homes, with average prices of €3,000/m2 in Málaga capital and maximum prices of €8,000/m2 in the city centre.

Marbella has also re-emerged as an investment destination after years of paralysis, where overseas buyers account for 80% of all purchases. There, clients seek modern villas equipped with the latest technology, which have views of the sea or are located close to a golf course.

Original story: Europa Press  

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Andalucía’s Property Market is Operating at Four Speeds

3 March 2019 – ABC Sevilla

According to INE, more than 100,000 homes were sold in Andalucía in 2018, a figure not seen since 2008. That figure represented an increase of 13.1% YoY, but growth was far from uniform across the region.

The main driver was the province of Málaga, where almost 32,500 homes were sold last year, up by 5% YoY. In fact, Málaga, along with Barcelona, Madrid, Alicante and Valencia accounted for almost 40% of all house sales in Spain as a whole in 2018 (with 235,000 sales between the five provinces).

Elsewhere in Andalucía, 17,626 homes were sold in the province of Sevilla, up by 19% YoY. Its rate of growth was higher than in Málaga since the recovery started there two years later.

In this sense, Francisco Martínez-Cañavate, President of Fadeco Promotores (pictured above), points out that “there is a lot of demand in the province of Málaga; then there is a second speed in Sevilla; a third in Cádiz, Granada and Almería; and finally a fourth in Córdoba, Huelva and Jaén”.

Original story: ABC Sevilla (by E. Freire)

Summary/Translation: Carmel Drake

INE: Mortgage Lending Rose by 16.5% YoY to €42.7bn in 2018

27 February 2019 – La Vanguardia

Last year, 345,186 mortgages to purchase homes were signed in Spain, up by 10.3% compared to 2017, but the banks again refrained from fully opening the financing tap: the average loan amount increased by just 5.6% to €123,727, according to data presented on Wednesday by Spain’s National Institute of Statistics (INE).

The growth in the average amount is only slightly higher than the increase in house prices (which rose by 3.9% on average last year, according to data from the Ministry of Development, albeit by much more in the large cities and their metropolitan areas, where the bulk of demand is concentrated). “The banks are adopting a conservative strategy, that’s for sure”, said Oscar Gorgues, Manager of the Chamber of Urban Property in Barcelona – “because they are still very mindful of the excesses of the boom years. For that reason too, we can say that the real estate market is healthy and there is no risk of a bubble”.

The data from INE shows that after five years of recovery in the real estate sector, the number of mortgages granted is still 71% lower than the 1.24 million mortgages granted by the banks in 2007, the last year before the burst of the real estate bubble.

According to real estate firms, the caution on the part of the banks means that the main factor causing families, and especially young people, to rent, is the fact that it is impossible for them to obtain a mortgage loan. By contrast, according to the real estate firm Forcadell, around one third of homes are now purchased without a mortgage, in operations undertaken by investors (…).

According to data from INE, the value of all of the new mortgages constituted to purchase homes last year amounted to €42.7 billion, up by 16.5% compared to 2017, due to the combined effect of increases in the number of operations and the average loan amount (…).

Original story: La Vanguardia (by Rosa Salvador)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Forcadell: 370,000 m2 of Office Space was Leased in Barcelona in 2018

13 February 2019 – Eje Prime

The office market in Barcelona is breaking records. In 2018, 370,000 m2 of space was leased in the city, up by 8.8% compared to 2017. According to the consultancy firm Forcadell, that trend was due to three main factors: interest from international companies, demand from tech companies and the boom in coworking.

Up to 60% of the surface area leased in 2018 corresponded to companies from overseas. According to the report from the consultancy firm, the interest from those companies in Barcelona is attributed to the city’s “entrepreneurial and innovation eco-system”, which is complemented by a commitment to technology, which has attracted companies such as Everis, Oracle and Indra.

In just one year, coworking operators have doubled the amount of space leased in Barcelona, renting out a surface area of 46,700 m2 in 2018. According to this report, the Catalan capital is the European city that has seen its office space increase by the most in percentage terms.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Fotocasa: Second-Hand House Prices Record Their Highest Increase Since 2006

24 January 2019 – Expansión

Second-hand housing is continuing to spearhead growth in the residential market. Not only because it accounts for more than 80% of all house sale operations, but also because it is the segment where prices are increasing by the most.

The price of second-hand homes rose by 7.8% at the end of 2018, recording the highest increase in 13 years, since 2006, before the crisis, according to data published yesterday by Fotocasa. Taking into account the fact that the online portfolio started monitoring house prices in 2006, it is the largest annual increase in the historical series. Although the prices of second-hand homes have not stopped growing in month-on-month terms for 27 months – more than two years – in 2018, they rose at a rate never before seen.

The awakening of latent demand, investor appetite and the profitability of rental properties in the context of low interest rates explain why interest has returned to property purchases, with the consequent impact on prices”, explained Beatriz Toribio, Head of Research at Fotocasa.

Despite the increases, the average house price stands at €1,869/m2, the level last seen in 2013, when the residential sector had not yet started to recover. House prices peaked in April 2007, when the price per square metre reached €2,952/m2, 36.7% higher than it is now (…).

Even though prices are still well below their historic maximums, the evolution of the market varies by area. Although the increases were widespread across almost the whole country in 2018, Toribio explains that “the intensity of the increases is very different, and there are even areas where slight decreases were registered”. Madrid is the province where prices increased by the most, specifically, by 19.5%, followed by Las Palmas (13.8%), Santa Cruz de Tenerife (12%), Alicante (11.3%), Barcelona (10.5%) and the Balearic Islands (10.4%).

The Spanish market continues to grow at various speeds, with large cities driving prices and sales. Guipúzcoa, Barcelona and Madrid are the most expensive provinces in Spain, with prices per square metre of more than €2,880/m2.

By contrast, the provinces that are suffering from depopulation and ageing demographics are recording significant price decreases (…). Toledo is not only the province that has recorded the largest decrease in prices since the peak (-55%), it is also the cheapest, with prices of €948/m2. It is followed by Ciudad Real, where second-hand homes are going for €990/m2.

Original story: Expansión (by I. Benedito)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Plan Nazaret Recovers 230,000 m2 of the Port of Valencia for the City

11 January 2019 – Inmodiario

The Board of Directors of the Port Authority has approved the Nazaret Este Plan, which represents the first step in the development of a new area in the Nazaret neighbourhood of Valencia.

The mayor of the city, Joan Ribó, has highlighted the importance of the approval of this plan, which will involve the recovery of 230,000 m2 of land in the Port for citizens, of which more than 86,000 m2 will be configured into a large green space: the future “Rivermouth Park”, which will connect with the end of the Turia Channel.

According to the mayor, “it will be one of the largest parks in Valencia. It will be connected to the river and will have green corridors that will link up with the L’Albufera National Park (…)”.

Original story: Inmodiario

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ministry of Development: New Housing Permits Rose by 23.2% in October

29 December 2018 – El Economista

The permits authorised for new residential construction in Spain amounted to 83,882 units between January and October 2018, which represented an increase of 23.2% in comparison to the same period a year earlier (68,084 units).

According to data from the Ministry of Development, of the total number of permits approved, 66,032 were for flats in housing blocks (a YoY rise of 27.7%) and 17,831 were for single-family homes, up by 9%. Moreover, 19 permits were requested for other types of buildings.

The new build permits authorised are following a positive path so far in 2018, after four years on the rise to reach 80,876 units in total in 2017, which represented an increase of 26.1% compared to the previous year.

In the past, in 2016, permits rose by 28.9%, after increasing by 42.5% in 2015, which consolidated the recovery initiated in 2014, the year that broke seven consecutive years of decreases with a slight rise of 1.7%.

This real estate indicator reached a historical minimum in 2013 (34,288 units), a figure that represented a slump of 96% from the peak registered in 2006 with 865,561 permits.

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake

Registrars: 400,000 Homes Sold During 9 Months to September 2018

16 November 2018 – Expansión

The housing market is showing a dynamism during 2018 not seen since the years before the crisis. The boost in demand in the last few months has resulted in the sale of almost 400,000 homes during the 9 months to September, the highest figure since 2008, which is driving prices up.

House sales amounted to 396,481 units between January and September, up by 12.5% compared to the same period in 2017, and the highest figure recorded since 2008, when 448,146 units were sold during the first 9 months to September, according to Real Estate Registry Statistics for the third quarter, published yesterday by the College of Registrars.

Data for the first nine months of the year also came close to the figure recorded for 2017 as a whole, bearing in mind that last year 464,223 transactions were closed in total. This year, it is likely that a record figure will be registered, which could reach half a million operations. During the third quarter, 133,295 operations were closed. “These results confirm the notable strength of the housing market (for sales)”, explained sources at the College of Registrars.

The strong dynamism responds in large part to the demand for investment. Buying a home for rent has become an alternative refuge for domestic and overseas investors alike, who find returns in the real estate market that other assets, such as deposits and public debt cannot offer. Moreover, during the last 12 months, the initial interest rate for taking out a mortgage has been at a historical low (2.27%).

The strong activity in the sector is also raising house prices, which increased by 6.7% in YoY terms in the last quarter. The recovery of the sector has allowed prices to rise to 26.5% above their minimum levels. Over the next few months, the registrars expect prices to continue to evolve in line with their current performance, albeit at single-digit rates. The rises will be greater in the main capitals.

These increases are being favoured by the heating up of the sector in certain areas. The largest increases during the third quarter were recorded in Teruel (37%), Huelva (34.8%) and Castellón (33.8%), but Madrid, Barcelona and Málaga led the activity in the market in absolute terms, with 20,048 homes sold in the case of Madrid, 14,217 in Barcelona and 9,828 in Málaga (…).

Foreigners are buying more homes than ever in Spain. According to data from the General Council of Notaries, during the first half of the year, they closed 53,359 operations, the highest absolute figure in the historical series, which began at the start of 2007.

By segment, second-hand homes continue to account for the majority of the market, with 82.4% of sales, compared with 17.57% for new homes (…).

Sources at the College of Registrars detect a possible “scenario that is running out of steam following the intense upward path that has been seen over the last few quarters”, and they warn that we “may have reached a maximum point in the current cycle in terms of the number of house sales”.

That is partly due to the increase in prices, which “is not sustainable or desirable in the current economic situation”. The intense double-digit growth in prices seen in recent months “cannot be borne by a market comprising potential buyers whose incomes cannot absorb such an intense increase in prices”.

But they clarify that it does not mean that we are going to see a correction (reduction) in prices in YoY terms, rather that we can expect more moderate increases (…).

Original story: Expansión (by I. Benedito)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Zaragoza Leads the Sale of New Build Homes in Spain

5 November 2018 – El Periódico de Aragón

Zaragoza is still leading the sales of new build homes in Spain. Last year, it was the third-ranked city in the country, after Madrid and Barcelona, in terms of sales volumes, with 800 transactions, and in 2018, it is maintaining that trend. In fact, during the second quarter of the year, the Aragonese capital recorded the sale of 305 new homes, exceeded only by Madrid. That is according to the latest report compiled by the real estate consultancy firm CBRE, which shows that the evolution of Zaragoza this year is even better than last year: 537 new build house sales were recorded during the first half of this year, and so all indications are that they will exceed the 800 units recorded in 2017.

According to the experts, pent-up demand during the years of the crisis, which forced many citizens to postpone their decision to buy a home due to the economic uncertainty, and the current supply of high-quality homes for sale at reasonable prices, are the main causes behind Zaragoza’s leadership of the sector.

Of course, the data is still light years away from the figures recorded before the crisis. “There is still a long way to go in the new build construction market”, said the Director of CBRE in Zaragoza, Miguel Ángel Gómez. During the peak of the real estate boom, 4,000 sales were recorded per quarter in Aragón, and 45% of those were in the new build segment, but that percentage has now dropped to 12%. The figures confirm that the reactivation of the sector is based almost exclusively on second-hand homes. “The supply of second-hand homes is enormous, for that reason, as property developers we have to offer a differentiated, high-quality product if we want to attract customers”, said the President of the Confederation of Construction Companies of Aragón (CEAC) and the Director General of the Lobe group, Juan Carlos Bandrés.

Data relating to the number of building permits that the Town Hall of Zaragoza is granting confirms the new build recovery: last year, 1,526 permits were granted, compared with 1,040 in 2015. This year, it seems that the number of permits granted is decreasing although we still have two months of the year left to run. Either way, the figure is well below the 3,150 recorded in 2009 and light years away from the 8,940 registered in 2006.

The experts also attribute the better performance of Zaragoza compared to other major cities in Spain to the fact that the community has managed to maintain “its own financial system” (Ibercaja), which continues to back the projects of property developers. “Here, there are more possibilities to take projects forward”, highlights Bandrés (…).

Original story: El Periódico de Aragón (by Rubén López)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Idealista: House Prices Soar by 18%+ in Madrid, Málaga and Las Palmas

3 November 2018 – Expansión

In October, the residential market recorded its largest increase in 2018. House prices rose by 10.5% on average across Spain in year on year terms, after recording an average cumulative increase of 7.7% during the first nine months of the year, according to the latest data published by the real estate portal Idealista.

But although the growth is generalised across Spain, it is the large capitals that are driving the sector. “Prices are continuing to rise in a general way, but they are doing so at two speeds. Whilst in half of the markets, the YoY growth rates are in the single digits, it is the major capitals that are responsible for the YoY growth of more than 10% that is being seen across Spain as a whole”, said Fernando Encinar, Head of Research at Idealista.

House prices are rising at double-digit rates in 15 Spanish capitals. More specifically, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Madrid and Málaga are leading the charge. House prices in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria soared by 21.2%, the largest increase across the whole country, taking the average price there to €1,929/m2.

They were followed by Madrid, where, despite the overheating of the market (the average price of €3,827/m2 is only exceeded by Barcelona and San Sebastián), house prices rose by 19.2%. In third position, Málaga saw an increase of 18.8%, to €2,229/m2.

The residential sector in Málaga, which bottomed out in 2013, has been experiencing an increase in its recovery, boosted by its tourist appeal. “In addition to Barcelona and Madrid, certain other capitals, such as Málaga and Palma de Mallorca, are joining the previous two (…) with more acute increases than the rest, above 5% in all of them”, explain sources at Sociedad de Tasación.

Currently, the Málagan capital is one of those that makes up the second wave of cities that are leading the house price increases. “Despite these increases, none of the capitals has reached the peaks of 2007, with the exception of Palma”, added Encinar.

Finally, at the bottom of the pile are those inland provincial capitals, where depopulation and less economic dynamism are hampering the evolution of the sector.

Specifically, prices in Ávila fell by 2.4%, in Jaén by 1.6%, and in Teruel by 1.2%. Meanwhile, prices recorded moderate decreases in A Coruña, Oviedo and Ourense of 0.6%, 0.5% and 0.2%, respectively.

Nevertheless, the greatest correction in prices was experienced in Tarragona, with a decrease of 2.8%, in line with the deceleration of the market in Barcelona, where house prices rose by only 1.1%.

Original story: Expansión (by Inma Benedito)

Translation: Carmel Drake