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Here you will find news, views, events and information relating to real-estate in Spain.

Home Sales Slowed in March

Home Sales Slowed in March
Home Sales Slowed in March

Sales of new apartments fell almost 10%

Property sales in Spain stood at 50,659 transactions in March, a year-on-year fall of 2.9%, according to data from the General Council of Notaries.

By type of property, the sale of flats showed a strong year-on-year drop of 5.4%. The fall can be attributed to a drop in sales of both new apartments (-9.3%) and second-hand (-6.2%). The average price of second-hand apartments stood at €1,538 (+2.3% year-on-year), while the price of new apartments reached €2,380 (+29.9% year-on-year).

In terms of average price, a square metre of home purchased in March reached €1,389, reflecting an increase of 1.7% year-on-year. This increase was due exclusively to the increase in the value of apartments (+4.1%) as single-family homes saw their average price per square metre decrease by 1.6% year-on-year.

There were 11,746 transactions involving other property types, 37.1% of which correspond to land or plots. The average price per square metre of these transactions stood at 174 euros, a huge fall of 31.7% year-on-year.

Mortgages

The number of new mortgage loans made in March reached 35,101, representing an annual increase of 5.1%. The average amount of the loans was €169,041, reflecting an annual decrease of 3.5%.

The number of mortgage loans taken for the acquisition of a property increased in March by 6.5% year-on-year, to 27,002 loans. This was due mainly to the 6.9% annual increase in loans for a home purchase. The average capital lent for a home loan reached €136,725, a slight increase of 1%.

New loans for the purpose of construction increased in March by 9.5% with 685 operations. The average amount loaned in these cases was 557,123 euros, a 0.8% reduction compared to March 2018. Loans for the construction of a house increased in value by 30.6% to reach an average of 378,747.

The percentage of home purchases that were financed by a mortgage loan stood at 49.7%. Additionally, in these types of loan, the average loan-to-value reached 74.3%.

 

Spain Received 5.6 million Tourists in March

Spain Received 5.6 million Tourists in March
Spain Received 5.6 million Tourists in March

Over 1 million Brits arrived in March

Spain received 5.6 million international tourists in March, 4.7% more than the same month in 2018.

According to the INE data, the UK was the main country of residence for March’s visitors. More than 1.1 million Brits arrived representing 19.7% of the total. However, the figure was 6.2% lower than in March last year.

German and French tourists were the next most numerous visitors. More than 800,000 Germans came to Spain in March, 1.3% lower than last year. More French tourists visited however, with 677,518 making the trip in March, 4.6% more than last year.

Other countries recording significant growth were Russia (27.2% more), Portugal (23.6% more) and the USA (18.4% more).

Destination by Autonomous Community

The Canary Islands took the most tourists in March with 23.7% of the total. Catalonia (22.6%) and Andalucía (15.1%) followed.

More than 1.3 million international visitors travelled to the Canary Islands in March, 0.5% less than in March last year. The main emitting countries for visitors to the islands were the UK (with 31.6% of the total) and Germany (20%).

The number of visitors to Catalonia increased by 4.9% to reach 1.3 million. 20.9% of those visitors came from France.

Andalucía attracted over 850,000 visitors in March, an annual increase of 8%. The UK was the main country of origin with 27.4% of the total, followed by Germany (10.8%).

In the other communities, the number of international visitors increased by 21.9% in Madrid and by 2.4% in Valencia. Meanwhile, the Balearic Islands suffered with an 8.8% fall in numbers.

January to March

Over the first three months of the year the number of international tourists visiting Spain increased by 3.7%, reaching 14.2 million.

The main emitting country so far this year was the UK with more than 2.8 million tourists, a decrease of 1.6%. German tourists so far number almost 1.9 million, an increase of 0.9%, while almost 1.7 million French tourists have been to Spain since January, 0.3% more than the same period last year.

In the first three months of 2019 the communities that received the most tourists are the Canary Islands (with almost 3.7 million and a decrease of 1.2% compared to the same period of 2018), Catalonia (with more than 3.2 million and an increase of 3.9%) and Andalucía (with almost 2.1 million, 7.6% more).

 

Rental Costs Increased in First Quarter

Rental Costs Increased in First Quarter
Rental Costs Increased in First Quarter

Tenants need 2.1% more to rent a home

The average rental price in Spain increased 2.1% in the first quarter of 2019. In March, the average cost for renting a home was 8.47 euros p/m², according to data from fotocasa.

“The average rental price continues to rise, but at a more moderate pace than what we were used to and with very different behaviour depending on the area. Regions with falls of more than 10% begin to appear that contract with the strong increases that continue to be registered in some provincial capitals, as well as in cities on towns on the outskirts of cities such as Madrid and Barcelona,” explained Beatriz Toribio, director of studies at fotocasa.

Looking at the quarterly variation, rental costs increased in 15 of 17 autonomous communities. The Basque Country recorded the highest quarterly increase with tenants now needing 4.4% more than at the end of 2018. Castilla La Mancha and Catalonia were next with both seeing an increase of 3.8%. La Rioja and Navarra were the communities to see the biggest quarterly falls in the cost of rentals, with prices dropping 6.8% and 1.2%, respectively. The average cost of rental property in Andalucia increased by just 0.3%.

Year-on-Year Variations

Looking at prices compared to the same period in 2018, 12 communities recorded increases, while five saw prices fall. On a national level, the inter-annual variation stood at 3.2%, very much in line with recent variations. This shows that rental prices are normalising and the interannual increases of 2017 are no longer being seen.

Since reaching the maximum price in May 2007 (10.12 euros p/m²) the price of rental housing has accumulated a fall of 16.3%. In this sense, only the community of Madrid is at historic highs, exceeding the prices seen in the years 2007/2008.

10 Provinces Saw Price Falls

Looking at the provinces, 37 recorded rental price increases in the first quarter of the year, compared to December 2018. The increases ranged from 10.5% in Guipúzcoa to 0.1% in Malaga.

At the other end of the table, 10 provinces recorded dropping prices. La Rioja recorded the most significant drop with prices falling 8.8%. Ourense saw the smallest negative variation with prices barely moving, falling by just 0.1%.

Average Used Property Prices Up in April

Average Used Property Prices Up in April
Average Price Of Used Property Up in April

Buyers need to pay 9.08% more than last year

According to pisos.com, the average price of second-hand housing in Spain was 1,715 euros per square metre in April. This represents an increase of 0.86% compared to March. With respect to April 2018, the annual variation is 9.08%. Last April the average price was 1,572 euros p/m².

“House prices continue to move at a reasonable pace, without experiencing major movements,” said Ferran Font, director of studies at pisos.com. He also added that the market in large capitals remains the least accessible. Font believes that it is essential that “land transfer agreements be established to raise the public housing stock.” Likewise, Font insists on “speeding up the granting of new building licences to raise the new stock and release tension on the used stock.”

The recent election results are also likely to leave their mark on the development of two key aspect for the development of new property: employment and legal security. “Temporary work and self-employment are the enemies of any would-be landlord, but also in the case of tenants.” Font admits that “the fear of non-payment and difficulties in recovering property causes landlords to treat prospective tenants like a bank treats mortgage applicants. In many cases, the self-employed and workers without an indefinite contract, even though they can demonstrate recurrent income, have problems accessing the housing market.”

12 Capitals Saw Price Falls

The most expensive community in April 2019 was the Balearic Islands with an average cost per square metre of 3,004 euros. The Basque Country came next with 2,715 euros p/m², with Madrid in third place with 2,525 euros p/m². The average price of property in Andalucía was 1,630 euros p/m². Compared to the previous month, prices in Andalucía fell by 0.99%.

The cheapest were in Castilla-La Mancha (€900 p/m²), Extremadura (€1,006 p/m²) and Murcia (€1,154 p/m²).

Madrid (20.87%) saw the most significant annual variation, followed by the Canary Islands (20%) and the Balearic Islands (17.03%). La Rioja (-8.02%) saw the biggest fall, followed by Cantabria (-4.75%) and Extremadura (-1.21%).

Guipúzcoa was the most expensive province with 3,240 euros per square meter, followed by Baleares (3,004 euros p/m²) and Vizcaya (2,671 euros p/m²). The cheapest was Cuenca, with an average price of 714 euros per square meter. Other cheaper provinces include Ávila (778 euros p/m²) and Ciudad Real (785 euros p/m²).

The biggest increases from one year to the next were seen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife (25.36%), Madrid (20.87%) and Barcelona (18.51%). The steepest decreases came from Lugo (-10.48%), Zamora (-8.12%) and La Rioja (-8.02%).

The most expensive capital was Donostia-San Sebastián, with 4,851 euros per square meter. Following was Barcelona (€4,682 euros p/m²) and Madrid (€3,989 euros p/m²). Avila was the most affordable, with a price of 970 euros per square meter. Other cheap capitals included Huelva (€1,115 euros p/m²) and Jaén (€1,136 euros p/m²).

The most intense increases compared to April 2018 occurred in Donostia-San Sebastián (26.82%), Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (25%) and Palma de Mallorca (23.54%). Those that fell the most were Zamora (-7.66%), Logroño (-7.27%) and Jaén (-3.71%).

 

February Saw an Increase in Housing Mortgages

February Saw an Increase in Housing Mortgages
February Saw an Increase in Housing Mortgages

February Saw a 9.2% increase in home loans

In February, there were 31,018 new mortgages taken in Spain, 9.2% more than in the same month last year. The average amount of the new loans reached 123,911 euros, an increase of 2.9%, according to data from the INE.

The value of all mortgages taken for property reached 6,804.3 million euros which is 31.2% more than in February 2018. New loans taken for the purchase of housing amounted to 3,843.5 million euros, an annual increase of 12.3%.

Interest Rates

For all mortgages taken in February, the average interest rate at the start of the loan was 2.46% (0.4% higher than February 2018). Additionally, the average term of the loans was 22 years. 59.5% of February’s new mortgages were on a variable interest rate with the remaining 40.5% on a fixed rate.

The average rate at the start of the term for variable rate loans was 2.32% (1.9% lower than in February 2018). For fixed rate loans  is was 3.32% (3% higher than last year).

For home mortgages, the average interest rate was 2.62% (1.1% lower than the previous February). The average term was 23 years. 58.2% of housing mortgages taken in February were on a variable interest rate with 41.8% on a fixed rate. The number of fixed-rate mortgages registered an annual increase of 17.4%.

The average rate at the start of the term for variable rate housing loans was 2.37% (a 4% decrease), and 3.05% for fixed rate loans (0.4% higher).

Results by Autonomous Communities

The communities with the largest number of new housing mortgages taken in February are Madrid (6,373), Cataluña (5,448) and Andalucía (5,179).

Total capital loaned for housing purchases reached the highest levels in the same three communities: Madrid (1,014.5 million euros), Cataluña (837.6 million) and Andalucía (558.6 million).

The highest annual variation rates in borrowed capital was seen in Asturias (56.9%), La Rioja (41.3%) and Castilla – La Mancha (32.6%).

Asturias (55.6%), Castilla – La Mancha (43.1%) and La Rioja (39.3%) saw the highest annual variation in the number of new home mortgages.

On the other hand, the Balearic Islands (-19.3%), Navarra (-10.6%) and Cantabria (-9.3%) presented the most negative annual variation rates.