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

Marbella Saw Record Number of Tourists in June

Tourists are flocking to Marbella, as always!
Tourists are flocking to Marbella, as always!

Tourists are flocking to Marbella, as always!

Marbella had a record June in terms of the number of tourists visiting the area. Numbers increased by 30.5% when compared to June last year.

The mayor of Marbella, José Bernal, described the figures, which were released by the National Institute of Statistics (INE), as “historical and an example that the policies of the local Government are the right ones.”

According to the Hotel Occupancy Survey, Marbella received 97,766 tourists in June. This is the best figure of the historical series which began in 2005.

National and International Increase

The figures increased both for national tourists (4,315 more, or 28.23%), and foreign visitors (18,537 more, or 31.08%).

In June there were more than 333,000 overnight stays. This is over 30,000 more than in the same month in 2016 and represents a 10% increase.

Overnight stays increased for both the national market (8,667 more, or 18.5%) and the international market (21,479 more, or 8.38%).

Bernal stressed that “Marbella is stronger than ever” and recalled that the positive tourist figures join positive employment figures. June was “the best month for employment in the last 15 years in the municipality”.

The mayor also said that both employment and tourism are a priority for the government team and that the data is “endorsing” the policies that have already been implemented.

Councillor for Tourism, Javier Porcuna, added that while waiting for the data for the current month, “you just have to go outside and see the large number of people”, noting that we are in a “record summer”.

Housing Sales Up in First Quarter

Average house prices rose 4.6% in Q1
Average house prices rose 4.6% in Q1

Average house prices rose 4.6% in Q1

There was an increase in housing sales in most of Spain’s autonomous communities in the first quarter of 2017. This is according to the latest figures released by the National Council of Notaries.

In the first quarter, the sale of housing saw average national growth of 19.2% year-on-year. All the autonomous communities saw growth except for La Rioja (-5.7%).

The largest growth was seen in Aragon (45.6%) and Castilla-La Mancha (30.9%). Also registering significant growth were Extremadura (25.2%), Asturias (24.7%), Cantabria (24.6%), Catalonia (24.2%) and Madrid (22.8%).

Still positive, yet with more moderate growth were Murcia (5.4%), the Canary Islands (9.3%) and Galicia (13.6%).

Basque Country Most Expensive

Average national prices per m² grew by 4.6% year-on-year in Q1, reaching an average of 1,356€. This figure was largely surpassed in the Basque Country (2,114€), the Balearic Islands (2,037€), Madrid (1,997€), Catalonia (1,653€) and the Canary Islands (1,467€).

Several communities saw the average price fall: La Rioja (-15.5%), Castilla-La Mancha (-10.9%), Extremadura (-5.6%), Basque Country (-3.6%), the Balearic Islands (-3.3%), Navarre (-1.4%) and Andalusia (-0.1%).

However, Aragón (17.8%), followed by Castilla y León (12.1%) and the Canary Islands (11.0%), saw a significant increase in their average prices.

The sale of flats showed Q1 year-on-year growth of 20.5% at the national level. Several communities saw growth above the national average. Increases were recorded in Aragon (48.6%), Extremadura (33.1%), Castilla-La Mancha (32.4%), Asturias (29.7%) and Cantabria (26.7%).

Meanwhile, the average price of flats sold per m² registered an average national increase of 5.3%. By communities, however, there is disparity. The Canary Islands (15.6%), Aragon (13.2%), Castile and Leon (11.9%) and Catalonia (10.1%) all increased their prices. However, eight communities saw prices fall with the most significant decreases seen in La Rioja (-15.5%) and Extremadura (-8.7%).

Marbella

In the municipality of Marbella, there were 1,003 housing sales in the first quarter of 2017. This is exactly 70 more than in the first quarter of 2016.

When looking at Malaga, we see the average value of home sales in Q1 stood at 162,717.2€, slightly lower than in the first quarter of 2016 when the average stood at 168,554.8€.

The total value of property purchases in Malaga in Q1 amounted to 1.2 billion euros, slightly above the same period in 2016 when it was a little over 1 billion.

Record Sales to Foreigners in 2017

Foreigners bought 13.2% of property sold in 2016
Foreigners bought 13.2% of property sold in 2016, record sales!

888 million euros invested so far in 2017

In 2016 the number of properties purchased by foreign citizens reached 13.2% of the total units sold in Spain; record sales, and the highest figure from the last decade. However, the current data suggests 2017 will surpass those record sales, by a substantial margin, according to the latest Residential Market Report prepared by investment management company, JLL.

Of the 53,500 homes acquired by foreigners in 2016, the British topped the ranking accounting for 19% of transactions. This figure could have been higher if not for the effects of Brexit, which predictably caused a bit of a slow-down from British buyers and investors (in 2015 Brits accounted for 23.95% of sales).

The next most prolific buyers were the French (8%), German (7.6%), Swedish (6.7%), Belgian (6%) and Italian (5.4%).

“The decline in British demand in favour of other countries leads to a greater diversification of nationalities, which, coupled with prices still very attractive to the foreign buyer, provides greater security in the evolution of demand,” explains Maurice Kelly, residential director at JLL.

Residential investment doubled

The positive trend in the market is reflected in the volume of investment, which at the end of the first half of 2017 has reached 888 million euros, more than double that in the same period of 2016, when the figure reached 330 million euros. Furthermore, the volume invested in the first six months of this year is already higher than that achieved in the whole of 2016, which stood at 802 million euros.

Both Madrid and Barcelona have dominated investment demand, although other areas have seen an increase in investment including Valencia, Bilbao, San Sebastián, Sevilla and Málaga.

Rental Market

The Spanish rental market has gained weight in recent years. In the decade between 2001 and 2011 available rental housing increased by 51.1%, according to the Population and Housing Census 2011 prepared by the INE.

According to the Bank of Spain, housing for rent accounts for 15.6% of the total number of primary dwellings, an increase of 5 percentage points since 2000. Other bodies, such as Eurostat, put the figure at up to 21.8%.

As with the buyers’ market, the rental market is benefiting from large investment groups putting their money into large buildings and offering the properties for rent. This includes Excem Residencial, which has invested 12 million in the acquisition of 20 buildings for rent. Also, the Avintia Group which is planning to launch rental housing with 500 homes valued at about 100 million euros this year. Also noteworthy is the case of Testa Residencial, which already has a portfolio of 8,000 homes for rent, and which, after the capital increases, will allow the incorporation of more than 3,300 assets.

Technology in Development

In addition, the study highlights the advances in technology affecting the residential market. There are already many buildings marketed based on their energy efficiency and sustainability. This innovation carries through both the production process and the use of materials and solutions to design and build more sustainable homes, reducing energy and water consumption as well as CO² emissions. For this reason, the residential sector is embracing technology, producing a profound change in the market, and more record sales.

Spanish Property Sales Increased in May

New mortgages fell 1.4% in May
New mortgages for property sales fell 1.4% in May

New mortgages fell 1.4% in May

The number of property sales in Spain stood at 47,145 transactions in May, according to data released by the General Council of Notaries. This represents a year-on-year increase of 17.5% when compared to May in the previous year.

By type of housing, the sale of used property showed an annual increase of 20.4% while sales of new property increased by 6.5% year-on-year. The sale of single family homes showed an increase of 14.8% year-on-year.

Average Price

In terms of average prices, a square metre of property bought in May cost 1,318€, reflecting a slight increase of 0.3% year-on-year. This increase in the square metre of housing is due almost exclusively to the increase in the price of flats (+1.6%), as the square metre average for a single-family home fell by 3.5% year-on-year.

Property sales of other real-estate (non-housing) reached 11,712 transactions, a year-on-year increase of 21.5%. Of those sales, 42.6% correspond to land or lots. The average price per square metre of these transactions stood at 237€

Mortgages

The number of new mortgages approved in May was 29,412, representing a year-on-year fall of 1.4%. The average amount loaned was 155,482€, reflecting a fall of 5.9% year-on-year.

Mortgages loaned for a property purchase increased by 11% year-on-year (22,049 loans) in May. This was caused both by the increase in the number of loans for the purchase of housing (+11.7% year-on-year) and the increase in mortgages for the acquisition of other properties (+2.5% year-on-year). The average amount of loans given for the purchase of a home was 125,738€, reflecting a decrease of 2.6% year-on-year.

Construction loans showed a year-on-year contraction of 5.7%, down to 492 loans. The average amount of these loans was 397,622€, representing a year-on-year fall of 10.1%. The average amount of loans for the construction of a home fell by 26.6% to 255,165€ (399 operations).

The percentage of purchases of housing financed by a mortgage stood at 43.3%. Additionally, in this type of purchase with financing, the average loan amounted to 76.7% of the property value.

Average Rent Increased 6% Since January

Prices are up 12.08% since last year
Average rent prices are up 12.08% since last year

Prices are up 12.08% since last year

According to the bi-annual rental price report prepared by piso.com, the average rental property in Spain has an average surface area of 112 m² with an average monthly rate of 705 euros. This figure represents a monthly increase of 0.57%, a quarterly increase of 4.44%, a semi-annual increase of 6.02% and year-on-year growth of 12.08%.

Miguel Ángel Alemany, general director of pisos.com, points out that “the residential rental market is demonstrating its strength within the real estate sector, offering high returns to homeowners who decide to rent their homes.” The growth experienced in the rental market for some time is giving the sector much to talk about, pointing to the tourist rental boom as the main factor.

Most Expensive

The report indicates that the most expensive regions to live in for tenants in June 2017 were Madrid (1,165 €/month), Basque Country (1,017 €/month) and the Balearic Islands (985 €/month). The cheapest rents were seen in Extremadura (426 €/month), Castilla-La Mancha (481 €/month) and Galicia (501 €/month).

Since January, the most significant increase occurred in the Balearic Islands where rental costs increased by 19.83%. The only negative variation was seen in Extremadura where average rent prices fell by 2.05%. On the annual variation, the Balearic Islands increased the most with a 20.86% rise. Again, Extremadura (-1.47%) was the only region that fell when compared to June 2016.

Province

When looking at the country by province, we see the most expensive rental property is in Guipúzcoa, with 1,224 euros per month. Madrid was next with an average rent of 1,165 €/month, slightly ahead of Barcelona (999 €/month). Teruel is the cheapest province for rental property with an average cost of 386 €/month. Cáceres followed with an average rent of 392 €/month.

Girona was the province with the highest annual increase (22.55%). Soria saw the most significant year-on-year fall with average rents falling by 4.88%.