BLOG

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

Q3 Marks 10 Quarterly Price Increases

The average price of housing continues to rise in Spain but at a moderate pace. According to data from the Ministry of Development, the average price stood at 1,540 euros/m² at the end of September. This follows price increases of 0.7% quarter-on-quarter and 2.7% year-on-year.

Evolution of price increases - q3 2017

The third quarter of this year is therefore the tenth consecutive quarterly increase. However, current prices are still closer to the lows of the crisis than to the high recorded during the boom. However, on the monthly variation, prices fell slightly in October.

In fact, despite two and a half years of increase, the average price of a square metre has only recovered by 5.8% in the last three years (the lowest level was recorded in the third quarter of 2014, with 1,455 euros/m²). It is still 26.7% below the high recorded in early 2008 (2,101 euros/m²). Before starting the upward trend, the average price spent 26 consecutive quarters in the red.

Quarterly Variations

12 Autonomous communities showed price increases in Q3 with the biggest growth in Madrid (6.5%), Cataluña (6.2%), the Canary Islands (5.5%), and the Balearic Islands (5.4%). Eight communities saw falls in the average price with the most significant being in Murcia (-1.7%), Valencia (-1.4%) and Navarra (-1.3%).

In those municipalities with more than 25,000 inhabitants, the highest prices for free housing were seen in San Sebastian (3,326.9 euros/m²), Sant Cugat del Vallès (3,008.0 euros/m²), Ibiza (3,002.8 euros)/m²), Barcelona (2,992.1 euros/m²), Getxo (2,796.4 euros/m²), Santa Eulalia del Río (2,788.6 euros/m²), Madrid (2,750.2 euros/m²) and Pozuelo de Alarcón (2,741.8 euros/m²).

The lowest prices were registered in Elda (544.9 euros/m²), Villarrobledo (578.5 euros/m²), Puertollano (584.3 euros/m²), Hellín (586.0 euros/m²), Ontinyent (586.1 euros/m²) and Jumilla (592.6 euros/m²).

Fernando Encinar, Head of idealista studies, says that “without doubt, the data is positive, but unfortunately it still speaks of the past situation and does not serve to analyze the current state. The figures refer to the third quarter of the year and are based on data obtained during the summer. The political uncertainty experienced in Catalonia since September has also moved to the real estate market and everything suggests that it could weigh on the good situation the sector was experiencing.”

 

Mortgage Clause Claims Exceed Expectations

The courts are overwhelmed by the number of claims
The courts are overwhelmed by the number of mortgage clause claims

Courts are overwhelmed by amount of claims

The provincial courts that were created at the beginning of summer to handle the barrage of lawsuits against banks for abusive mortgage clauses are receiving around 1,000 cases per day.

According to the data handled by the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), between January 1st and November 5th, the 54 courts have registered a total of 118,419 cases. Taking into account that the month of August sees the judicial world take a holiday, each month has seen an average of 30,000 new cases.

Madrid has seen more cases than the rest of the country with over 25,000 claims. Barcelona, Sevilla and Valencia are next but very far from the number seen in Madrid. Barcelona has received 10,362 claims. In Sevilla there are 5,745, while Valencia is dealing with 4,719. Those four provinces alone amount to over 46,000 cases, 39% of the total. However, the number of active cases is not the most interesting point. What does raise eyebrows is the low number of judgments passed.

So far there have been 3,485 judgments made. However, only 8 courts have issued more than 100 since the start of the year. In order, they are: Asturias (556), Madrid (245), Vizcaya (228), Zaragoza (180), Valencia (162), Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (149), León (140) and Alicante (117).

Other provinces such as Barcelona, Seville, Murcia, A Coruña, the Balearic Islands and Málaga have moved much more slowly. They have passed between 8 and 76 judgments. Murcia is one of the six provinces whose specialized court has resolved less than 10 cases since the summer. Also on the list are Huelva (4), Teruel (9), Segovia (8), Cuenca (2) and Tarragona (5).

Judgments Vs Claims

The results vary if we look at the percentage of sentences issued against the number of claims received. In this case, only three courts have responded to more than 10% of claims. They are Asturias (25.85%), Álava (14.18%) and Lugo (11.86%).

Among the courts who have so far responded to fewer than 10% of received claims are Castilla y León (Burgos, León, Palencia, Soria and Zamora), Ciudad Real and Teruel. All of these have resolved between 6% and 9% of the cases they have received.

More worrying is the national average which is only 2.94%. There are some provinces which haven’t even managed to reach that figure. These include Malaga (0.32%), Seville (0.71%), Santa Cruz de Tenerife (0.99%), Barcelona (0.72%), Madrid (0.96%) and Murcia (0.35%).

This has caused a request from Judges who have demanded that the CGPJ strengthen these courts so that they can expedite the processes and issue sentences with greater speed than currently.

Courts “Overwhelmed”

“The number of claims has overwhelmed all the forecasts made by the General Council of the Judiciary, to the point that the vast majority of specialized courts throughout Spain are saturated with issues, with numbers impossible to be handled by the judicial offices,” they explained. The judges added that the situation is one of “complete clogging”, which will cause the resolutions to take longer “frustrating the resolution of the claims filed by the citizens for their belated response”.

And we cannot forget that these courts are responsible for receiving all claims, from banking clients to financial institutions, for the imposition of abusive clauses in their mortgage loans which had led them to pay more than they should have. Among the most frequent abusive clauses which clients are claiming are the floor clause (cláusula suelo), the early maturity clause, the multi-currency mortgages or the mortgage formalization expenses.

 

Passenger Numbers Up 7.1% in October

Almost 2 million passengers in October
Passenger numbers up in October

Almost 2 million passengers in October

Málaga Costa del Sol Airport closed October having handled a 7.1% increase in passenger numbers and 7.5% more flight operations than in the same month in 2016.

The month saw 1,833,589 travellers and 13,007 flight operations, both impressive numbers for the month of October. This is according to the latest figures from airport network operator AENA.

The bulk of passengers (1,830,209) were travelling on commercial flights. Of these, the vast majority (1,615,583) travelled on international flights representing annual growth of 6.3%. The dynamism of the foreign market contributed to the increase in flight operations with 10,520 international flights handled in October, an increase of 6.4%.

The domestic market also showed growth with a 14.5% increase in domestic passengers travelling between Málaga and other Spanish airports. The number of domestic flights also increased with 13.9% more handled by staff at Málaga.

The UK was the primary destination for more than half a million passengers passing through Málaga airport last month. Almost 200,000 German passengers were handled, along with 118,302 Dutch travellers.

Sunday October 1st was the busiest day in terms of passengers with over 71,000 using the airport that day. In terms of flight traffic, Saturday 21st was the busiest day with 497 flights handled.

Year-to-Date

Over the first ten months of 2017, Málaga Costa del Sol Airport has seen passenger numbers increase by 12%, while there were 11.1% more flight operations.

A total of 16,564,498 people travelled on 120,231 flights from January to October, the vast majority on commercial flights. 14.5 million passengers were on international flights consolidating the strength of the foreign market with 12.8% more flights and 12.9% more passengers.

The number of domestic travellers in the first ten months of the year also increased. Specifically, the number of passengers increased by 6.1% to reach 2,066,880. The number of domestic flight operations increased by 3.4%, to reach a total of 19,729 so far this year.

 

Home Sales Increased 11% in September

18.3% of sales in September were for new property
18.3% of property sold in September was new home sales

18.3% of sales were for new property

The number of property transfers registered in the property registers in the month of September was 135,170. This is 1.8% more than in the same month in 2016, according to the latest data from the INE.

Of those, the total number of property sales/purchases was a little over 74,000, an annual increase of 7.6%.

86.6% of purchases registered in September correspond to urban properties, with 13.4% being rural. In the case of urban properties, 60.2% were for residential property (home sales).

The number of purchases of rural properties increased by 3.9% in September at the annual rate. Purchases of urban properties increased by 8.2%. Within the latter, the purchase and sale of homes recorded an annual increase of 11%.

18.3% of the homes purchases in September were new, with the other 81.7% being used property. This represented an increase in the purchase of new property of 17.7%, and an increase of 9.6% in the purchase of resale property, when compared to the same month in 2016.

Autonomous Communities

In September, the total number of transferred properties registered in the property registries per 100,000 inhabitants reaches its highest values in La Rioja (544), Castilla y León (537), and Aragón (529).

Cantabria (16.9%), La Rioja (13.3%) and Castilla-La Mancha (12.7%) recorded the highest annual variation rates. Comunidad Foral de Navarra (-17.3%), Canarias (-5.7%) and Cataluña (-5.0%) have the lowest annual rates.

When looking at the sale of residential property, the communities with the highest number of transmissions per 100,000 inhabitants are Valencia (151), the Balearic Islands (143) and Madrid (121).

The communities with the highest annual increases in the number of home sales in September are Castilla-La Mancha (44.0%), Región de Murcia (27.0%) and Extremadura (24.2%).

For its part, Comunidad Foral de Navarra (-2.7%), Castilla y León (1.2%) and Catalonia (2.1%) registered the lowest annual variation rates in September.

In Andalucía, there were 7,215 sales of residential property. This represents an increase of 6.3%. In terms of the number of sales per 100,000 inhabitants, Andalucía registered 109 sales, placing it in joint fourth, with Murcia.

 

Tourists Still Flooding to Spain in September

Close to 9 million tourists arrived in September
Close to 9 million tourists arrived in September

Almost 9 million tourists arrived in September

As one of the busiest summers ever drew to a close Spain was still attracting the tourists with over 8.8 million visitors arriving in September. This is an increase of 11.4%, when compared to the same month last year, according to the latest data from the INE.

As usual, the UK was the main emitting country with more than 2.1 million Brits visiting Spain in September. This represents 24.4% of the total visitors and is 8.2% more Brits than visited in the same month last year.

Germany and France were the next countries in the list of top referring countries. Over 1.4 million Germans and a little under a million French travellers visited in September. Compared to last year, there were 9.3% more Germans and 0.5% fewer French visitors.

Amongst other countries to show significant increases were the USA (+41.5%), Belgium (+27.9%) and the Nordic countries (+23.7%).

Destination by Autonomous Community

The Balearic Islands were the most popular choice for tourists in September with 22.7% of the total choosing the islands. Catalonia was next with 22.5% of the total, followed by Andalucía with 14.8%.

More than two million people visited the Balearics in September, 7.9% more than last year. The main emitting countries of tourists visiting the Balearics was Germany with 33.4% of the total, followed by the UK with 30%.

The number of tourists visiting Catalonia increased by 6.1% to reach almost two million. 17.5% came from France and 12.5% came from the UK.

The third most popular destination, Andalucía, received 1.3 million visitors in September, annual growth of 17.3%. The UK was the main country of origin with 25.1% of the total.

Other notable increases include Valencia (+24.9%), the Canary Islands (+11.8%) and Madrid (+9.8%).

Year-to-Date

In the first 9 months of the year the number of tourists visiting Spain has increased by 10.1% to a staggering 66.1 million.

The main emitting country so far this year is the UK with almost 15.4 million tourists, an increase of 7.8% over the same period in 2016. The number of German tourists has grown by 7.5% to 9.6 million. The number of French visitors increased by 1.5% to 9.3 million.

The community to receive the most tourists so far this year is Catalonia with more than 15.7 million visitors, an increase of 7.8%. The Balearic Islands also saw more visitors this year with almost 12.3 million tourists, an increase of 6.6%. Also significant was the Canary Islands which received more than 10.4 million visitors from January to September, an increase of 8.7%.

Costa del Sol – Málaga

Following the busiest summer it has ever seen, Málaga-Costa del Sol airport closed September having handled over 1.9 million passengers, 11% more than in the same month in 2016. The number of flight operations also increased with 10.4% more flights dealt with than in the same month last year, according to data released by airport network AENA. This amounted to 13,696 flight operations making for a very busy runway!

The bulk of passengers travelled on commercial flights. Of these, 1.7 million moved between Spain and a foreign country, a 12% increase. The UK accounted for the majority of those passengers with 675,000 Brits visiting the Costa del Sol in September. This represents an increase of 6.6% over last September. German passengers also increased with 19.4% more visitors, reaching 181,029 travellers. Those visiting from the Netherlands increased by a massive 30% to reach 122,741 visitors.

Almost a quarter of a million passengers passed between Malaga and other Spanish airports, an increase of 4.9% in the domestic market. This is also reflected in the number of national flight operations which showed growth of 6.2% to reach 2,115 flights.

The busiest day in terms of flights for Malaga airport was the first Sunday of the month, the 3rd. On this day alone airport staff handled 506 flight operations. The busiest day for passenger numbers was Saturday 16th when staff dealth with over 73,000 passengers.