El Periódico. Economy section 29/8/2017
Source: Property register.
According to data from Spain’s real estate registry statistical agency (ERI), property transactions have reached almost half a million in the last twelve months and house sales in Catalonia in the last year have increased by 20%.
The recovery of the housing market is occurring at full throttle, linked as it is to an improvement in the country’s economic situation. A total of 119,408 homes were sold in the second quarter of the year, 5% more than in the first three months of the year and almost 11% more than in the same period last year (+10.73%), while prices rose by an annual average of 4.41%. “If the trend of the past few quarters continues, it will not take long to register sales figures approaching 500,000 per year”, the aforementioned report claims. This goal could be reached “in the medium or even short term”.
Until now, there has been a total of 429,624 housing property sales over the past twelve months (from the second quarter of 2016 to the same period in 2017), “the highest year-on-year result in the past six years”, since 2011. The registration of half a million housing properties would return the Spanish real estate market to 2008 figures, in any case halfway to the mind-boggling figures between 2005 and 2006, when around one million transactions per year were registered.
Cruising speed at 5%
Housing prices, on the other hand, have accumulated ten consecutive quarters of price increases (two and a half years), thereby “consolidating a clear upward trend”, according to the registrars’ report. Compared to 2007 levels, average housing prices are still 24.20% lower, although they have already amassed an increase of 15.55% over the past two and a half years, ever since the lowest prices at the end of 2014.
The registrars forecast “moderately positive prospects” in terms of price changes, at around 5% of annual growth, far removed in any case from the levels reached during the housing boom of the past. In their opinion, “this situation is particularly favourable for a sector reform, insofar as the prospects of the demand and offer agents facilitate a reactivation of the market”.
12-month balance sheet
The transactions mainly involved used housing (355,414 units, the best result since 2008) of the 429,624 homes sold over the past twelve months (until June), while new housing sales have risen more slowly (74,210 sales after three consecutive quarters of growth).
The biggest rises over these past twelve months occurred in the Balearic Islands (21.07%), Catalonia (20.70%) and Asturias (15.05%), although positive figures were produced in 16 autonomous communities.
The provinces with the highest number of housing sales recorded over the past twelve months were Madrid (63,037), Barcelona (51,010) and Alicante. The biggest rise was recorded in Tarragona (26.56%).
The housing demand by foreigners has remained stable in terms of percentage, with a market share of 13.06% in the second quarter (around 15,600 transactions in the second quarter). The British have regained certain predominance in the total number of foreign buyers, accounting for around 15% of transactions, while the French represent 8.5% of foreign purchases and the Germans 7.8%.
The autonomous communities of Spain with the largest share of foreign purchases in the last quarter were the Canary Islands (32.22%), Balearic Islands (28.37%), Valencia (25.52%), Murcia (19.18%), Andalusia (13.50%) and Catalonia (13.01%).
Mortgage rates at historic lows
The most recent snapshot of the mortgage market shows an average debt of around 115,769 euros per home.
Initial contract interest rates continue to fall and marked a historic low of 2.27% in the second quarter. New fixed-rate mortgages already represent 38.51% of the total number of new mortgages contracted and the term has been reduced slightly to 278 months (23 years and 2 months).
The average monthly payment of 535.87 euros within the so-called accessibility indicators represents around 28.25% of the average salary of mortgaged buyers.
Spain’s ten most exclusive streets
The housing estate of La Zagaleta in Benahavís, Málaga, is distinguished as the address with the most expensive homes for sale in Spain. The owners of this exclusive area of the Costa del Sol are asking for an average sale price of 5,611,875 euros per home, according to a study carried out by the Idealista.com real estate portal.
The top ten places on this list can be found in Benahavís (Málaga), Alcobendas (Madrid), Madrid, Barcelona, Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid) or Sant Andreu de Llavaneres (Barcelona).
The second most expensive street in Spain with homes for sale is located by Idealista.com in the housing estate of La Moraleja in Alcobendas, Madrid. The street is named Camino del Sur, with an average price of 5 million euros for homes currently on sale, a similar price to the street of Calle del Castillo de Aysa in the Madrid neighbourhood of Piovera, which ranks third.
Below the 5 million mark is Avinguda Tibidabo, in Barcelona, which is the fourth most expensive street to purchase a home, at an average of 4.8 million euros.
It is followed by Paseo de los Lagos in the housing estate of La Finca, Pozuelo de Alarcón (4.7 million euros) and Avenida Miraflores (4.7 million euros), also located in the Spanish capital.
The Barcelona town of Sant Andreu de Llavaneres is home to the seventh most expensive street: Avinguda Rocaferrera, whose homes have an average price of 4.5 million euros.
The list of the ten most expensive streets is completed with three other addresses in La Moraleja: Paseo Marquesa Viuda de Aldama (4.4 million euros), Calle del Camino Ancho (4.3 million euros) and Paseo del Conde de Gaitanes.
The study by the real estate portal also indicates the most expensive street in each autonomous community.
In the Balearic Islands, it is Avinguda de Cala Molí, located in the town of Sant Josep de Sa Talaia, with an average current selling price of 3,056,400 euros.
In the town of Getxo, in Vizcaya, the average price of 2,097,500 euros has been identified for homes for sale in the street of Amann Kalea.
Idealista.com has currently identified the average sale prices of between one and two million euros per home in the provinces of Alicante (Calle Alemania, Altea), Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Calle Alcojora, Adeje), Zaragoza (Colonia San Lamberto) and Santander (Avenida Pérez Galdós).