Idealista: Second-Hand House Prices Rose by 2.4% in 2017

27 December 2017 – El País

Despite the Catalan crisis, this year, Barcelona has managed to dislodge San Sebastián from the top of the ranking as the most expensive capital city in Spain.

During 2017, buying a second-hand home has become 2.4% more expensive. Owners have paid an average price of €1,586/m2 in 2017, compared to €1,553/m2 in 2016, according to the latest price index from the real estate portal Idealista.

Nevertheless, not all of the markets have behaved in the same way; some have grown at double-digit rates, whilst others have expanded at more moderate rates, and others have seen price continue to decrease, still not reaching rock bottom.

Thirty of the provincial capital cities have seen price rises, although the most marked increase was recorded in Palma de Mallorca, with a rise of 29.1%, taking the average second-hand house price there to €2,667/m2. It was followed by the city of Málaga, where prices have risen by 16.7% to €1,934/m2. By contrast, Soria is the capital where prices have fallen by the most (-8.3%), followed by Ávila (-6.9%) and Almería (-5.1%).

Despite the Catalan crisis, which “will affect the final result for the year”, according to Fernando Encinar, Head of Research at Idealista, this year, Barcelona has managed to dislodge San Sebastián from the top of the ranking as the most expensive Spanish capital, at €4,284/m2, compared to €4,052/m2 in the Guipuzcoan capital. Those two cities are followed by Madrid (€3,285/m2) and Bilbao (€2,871/m2).

By autonomous region, the largest increase was recorded in the Balearic Islands, where owners are now asking 25.3% more for their homes than they were a year ago. It is followed by increases in Cataluña (9.5%), the Canary Islands (8.4%), the Community of Madrid (7.1%), Aragón (2.3%), the Community of Valencia (1.9%), Andalucía (0.8%) and País Vasco (+0.5%). At the other end of the spectrum, the largest decreases were recorded in Navarra (-4.8%), Asturias (-3.2%) and Castilla La Mancha (-2.4%).

The Community of Madrid is the most expensive autonomous region, at €2,544/m2, followed by País Vasco (€2,519/m2), the Balearic Islands (€2,472/m2) and Cataluña (€2,082/m2), whilst the regions with the most affordable prices are Castilla-La Mancha (€897/m2), Extremadura (€932/m2) and Murcia (€1,019/m2). The provinces with the most expensive homes are Guipúzcoa and Vizcaya, at €2,760/m2 and €2,591/m2, respectively. They are followed by Madrid (€2,544) and Barcelona (€2,544/m2). Toledo is the most affordable province (€770/m2), followed by Avila (€801/m2) and Ciudad Real (€840/m2).

Original story: El País (by S. L. L.)

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

Oliver Wyman: Mortgage Lending Will Triple By 2020

7 September 2016 – Expansión

Oliver Wyman warns that the banks are once again “relaxing” their criteria for granting home loans.

There is no going back in terms of the re-awakening of the real estate market. All indicators are pointing in favour of a recovery in the sector: GDP is enjoying annual growth of 3.2%, interest rates remain at historically low levels and the banks have started to ease their criteria for lending money in light of the need to give their income statements a boost.

In this context, the consultancy firm Oliver Wyman forecasts that the number of loans granted for house purchases will triple over the next five years to reach 550,000 signings per year by 2020. That figure would be equivalent to the constitution of 1,500 new mortgages per day, up from the current figure of 600 per day.

Behind this recovery in the real estate sector is a forecast acceleration in the creation of new households – the reduction in the level of unemployment will allow, amongst other things, young people to move out of the family home sooner – as well as the demand for homes that has been pent up during the crisis, which could amount to almost 300,000 homes. This last case involves households who have been waiting to buy a property for years, but who have not taken the plunge yet as they wait for the economic environment to improve and the price per square metre to stop falling. (…).

Oliver Wyman considers that its forecast for mortgage signings by 2020 represents the “equilibrium level” for an economy of the size of Spain’s. In other words, according to this company, the signing of 1,500 home loans per day would not result in the creation of a new real estate bubble like the one seen between 2005 and 2007. Between those dates, 1.3 million mortgages were signed in Spain per year: one for every 35 inhabitants.

Nevertheless, the financial consultancy does warn of a number of risks that could damage the local property market. They are linked to the worsening of the economic environment – in part due to the “political instability” that is paralysing the economy – , a sudden increase in Euribor combined with the gradual withdrawal of monetary stimulus at the world level – which would make monthly payments more expensive and which would increase the rate of default – and the granting of more credit to clients with higher risk profiles.

In this sense, the banks are now under pressure to stimulate their mortgage businesses to boost their income statements and face up to the growing competition from new digital agents who are increasingly operating in the sector.

The real estate market is still purging the excesses left over from the first decade of the century. During the second quarter of this year, 20,927 mortgages were foreclosed, which represents a reduction of 27% compared with the same period last year.

Of the total assets foreclosed, 57.1% were homes, and 30.6% of those were primary residences…according to figures published yesterday by Spain’s National Institute of Statistics (INE). In terms of the status of foreclosed homes, 13.6% were new homes, down by 25.1%, and the remainder (86.4%) were second-hand homes, down by 31.2%.

Original story: Expansión (by Victor Martínez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ministry Of Development: Renovation Permits Rose By 5.6%

10 May 2016 – El Mundo

The number of permits granted for the refurbishment or renovation of homes in Spain amounted to 3,867 in January and February 2016, which represents an increase of 5.6% with respect to the same period last year (3,663 permits), according to data published by the Ministry of Development.

In this way, the number of permits granted for home renovation recovered its positive trend in the second month of 2016, after decreasing in January (-8.3%). Permits for home renovations recorded positive growth in February, after closing 2015 up by 13.4%.

In 2014, the number of permits granted for home renovations recorded four consecutive years of decreases and hit a low in the historical series prepared by the Ministry of Development, however that trend was broken with the aforementioned increase in 2015. Meanwhile, the number of approvals granted for property extensions decreased by 4.3% during the two months to February 2016, to 223 units.

The drive towards renovations was one of the strategic initiatives proposed by Mariano Rajoy’s Government for the housing sector. The acting Executive approved the Law for the Refurbishment, Regeneration and Renovation of Urban Properties, as well as the State Plan for Rental Housing and Refurbishments 2013-2016, which provide aid for this activity.

Original story: El Mundo

Translation: Carmel Drake

Bankia Puts 4,500 Homes Up For Sale With Discounts Of 40%

30 September 2015 – Expansión

Bankia has put 4,500 homes up for sale in Spain with discounts of up to 40%. The campaign, which is being marketed under the slogan “I deserve my own home” (“Me merezco mi propia casa”) will run until 30 November.

The properties for sale are second-hand homes, located all over Spain. They include urban and coastal homes, as well as properties located in major capitals, commuter towns and small towns.

The properties may be acquired through Bankia’s branch network or online at, the real estate portal of Haya Real Estate. Haya is the real estate management service company responsible for selling the bank’s properties.

By autonomous region, Cataluña has the largest supply of properties in the portfolio, with 1,104 homes. It is followed by Castilla-La Mancha, with 977; the Canary Islands, with 873; Andalucía, with 675; Valencia, with 543; and Madrid, with 422.

For those purchasers requiring financing, Bankia will offer mortgages at competitive rates on the basis of their relationship with the entity. (…)

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

INE: País Vasco & Aragón Led Rise In House Sales In June

7 August 2015 – Expansión

Recovery / The real estate sector consolidated its recovery in June, thanks to the second hand market. The Páis Vasco and Aragón were the regions that saw the highest increases in the number of house sales.

“If the current trend continues, 2015 will be the year that marks the before and after in the real estate sector”. The residential market is continuing to build on its stabilising trend, after seven years in decline.

Yesterday, the National Institute of Statistics (INE) confirmed that: house sales soared by 17% in June to record ten consecutive months of increases. According to Manuel Gandarias, Research Director at, if the trend continues, 2015 will signal the start of the recovery in the sector.

This increase, which is the largest since March 2014, is due to strong growth in the sales of second hand homes (27,947 transactions), which shot up by 44.5% YoY. By contrast, the sale of new homes (6,631) plummeted by 30.6% compared with the same month last year.

Experts say that the second hand market, which accounts for 80% of all sales, is the true barometer of the current health of the sector. They also explain that the data recorded in June relates to transactions signed in April and the beginning of May.

Thanks to this surge in the sale of second hand homes, increases have been observed across the whole of Spain, except for in Galicia, where sales decreased by 6.5%. The greatest increases were recorded in the País Vasco (40.5%), Aragón (35.3%) and the Canary Islands (31.8%), although the region with the highest number of sales per 100,000 inhabitants was Castilla y León (718), followed by Aragón (639) and La Rioja (605). At the other end of the spectrum, Asturias and Galicia were the regions with the least activity, recording just 46 sales each per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Castilla-La Mancha, with 53. In absolute terms, Andalucía led the market, recording 6,129 transactions in total, up by 13.9% from a year earlier.

Positive climate

Real estate experts believe that the positive sentiment in the residential market has now taken root and that the end of the crisis is near. (…).

According to Gandarias, “the granting of mortgages, which is fundamental for the increase in house sales, is flowing better than expected. Households have become less indebted and now have more (disposable) income”. In fact, according to INE, the signing of mortgages to purchase homes increased by 10.9% in May and has now recorded a whole year of consecutive increases. Moreover, residential prices increased by 1.8% in 2014 and by 1.5% during Q1 2015.

In monthly terms, house sales grew by 3.8%, the first increase in the month of June since the start of the crisis. Almost 90% of transactions related to unsubsidised homes, which increased by 16.4% (27,493 transactions). Sales of social housing properties grew by 22.8% (3,085).

Original story: Expansión (by Juanma Lamet) 

Translation: Carmel Drake