Spaniards Keep The Same Home For 12 Years On Average

26 April 2016 – Cinco Días

Yesterday, Spain’s Association of Property Registrars published the Yearbook of Property Registry Statistics, which analyses aspects such as the use that Spaniards make of their homes, amongst other factors. This use is deduced from the average period of ownership of each home, a very valuable piece of information that is only recorded by the registrars. In 2015, that average period amounted to 12 years and seven months, whilst in 2008, the figure amounted to just seven years and 10 months.

Thus, although this conclusion is not foolproof, the Treasury has already stipulated that during the recent boom, if a home was owned for less than five years then it may indicate that the property was acquired as an investment, whereas properties owned beyond that period, are likely to be used as residences.

The numbers published yesterday show once again that, since the bubble burst and the serious problems being faced by many citizens and companies when it comes to selling their homes emerged, operations involving properties that have been owned for more than five years have gained ground.

In fact, those operations went from representing barely 43.7% of all transactions in 2007 (in other words, less than half of the homes that were bought and sold during the last year of the boom were residences) to 80.7% last year, which the experts describe as a much more balanced figure. By contrast, those operations involving properties owned for less than five years went from accounting for 56.3% of all sales and purchases in 2007 to 19.3% last year.

Another significant finding relates to who participated in the majority of sales and purchases. In 2015, 87.3% of transactions were carried out by families, which represented the second consecutive increase since 2013. Companies, by contrast, continued to lose weight, accounting for just 12.7% of operations, compared with 15.3% in 2014 and 21.9% in 2013. Nevertheless, the figures are still a long way from the minimum of 5.1% recorded in 2007.

House purchases by foreigners accounted for 13.2% of the total and that figure has now been growing for seven years. In the Balearic Islands, that percentage amounted to 35.6%. Moreover, 5.2% of all operations completed by foreigners involved properties costing more than €500,000.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Raquel Díaz Guijarro)

Translation: Carmel Drake