12 June 2017 – El Mundo
The real estate market is growing, not only in Spain, but also in Europe, according to the Housing Report compiled by RE/MAX Europa. This improvement is being reflected in high levels of demand and rising prices, a trend that looks set to continue over the coming months in the property sector of the Old Continent. The good borrowing conditions and the incentives, especially for those buying their first home, are two of the main factors that are driving this growth.
Specifically, in Spain, house prices are stable, with potential for growth. “The increase in wages in Spain, the access to financing, as well as the political stability are posited as the most important factors for driving this upward trend in prices”, explain RE/MAX Europa.
Specifically, since 2015, the sales prices of family homes, as well as of flats and apartments, have increased by 4.5% on average in urban areas, where the average price per square metre has risen from €1,651/m2 to €1,727/m2. House prices in urban areas are expected to increase by 1.8% in 2017 and by 1% in the case of properties located in small towns.
And the picture is even more buoyant in the rental market. Prices per square metre have risen by 9.8% in the large cities and by 7.7% in small towns. In this way, the average monthly rental cost in a Spanish city amounts to around €800/month, whilst in the smaller towns, that figure stands at around €600/month.
The recovery of the real estate sector at the European level is based, above all, on low interest rates and, therefore, loans that are accessible to the public. This situation is “currently being seen in almost every country in Europe”, said the study. “That is resulting in higher demand, which is driving up prices in almost every segment and area”, it adds.
In Slovakia and Estonia, for example, thanks to these favourable conditions, there has been a significant increase in the construction of new homes, said RE/MAX Europa. In Malta, there has also been growth in the rental market, due to the rising number of overseas employees living on the island. Markets such as Portugal, Greece and Scotland “have been recovering really well over the last few years and are now showing clear signs of stable growth, with the prospect of more transactions in the future”.
Cities are improving
The experts at RE/MAX confirm that between 2015 and 2016, sales prices rose for apartments and family homes. In particular, prices per square metre rose significantly in the case of urban apartments, specifically, by 13% in certain cities in Lithuania, Germany and Luxembourg. The sales prices of houses in small towns also rose and are expected to increase by 4% in 2017 in Austria and Estonia. Nevertheless, prices are predicted to remain stable in France, Greece and Switzerland.
Rental prices also increased in 2016. Specifically, by 10% for urban apartments in The Netherlands, Romania and Spain, and by 16% in Malta. The experts at RE/MAX predict that rental prices will increase or remain stable in the majority of Europe during 2017.
One of the most important criteria in determining differences in prices is location. According to Michael Polzler, CEO of RE/MAX Europa, “the sales prices of apartments vary by 64%, depending on whether a property is located in an urban area or in a small town. For family homes, that difference amounts to 44%”.
Original story: El Mundo
Translation: Carmel Drake