New property has typically been sparse as available plots of land become scarce and although new construction has returned to many areas, Spain is still suffering from a lack of “new” stock.
According to a survey carried out by idealista, 3 out of 4 buyers have ruled out searching for new homes as the prices are too high and there aren’t enough new builds in the areas they desire.
The number of property sales has kept to an upward trend with an increase of 25% (about 450,000 homes were sold in the last 12 months according to the INE), but the figures for the purchase of new homes are only up 17%. Despite the crane-dotted horizon, new development is slow (less than 42,000 units were completed in the last 12 months). The number of new construction licences is also lower than previous years (only 76,000 this year).
The lack of stock and the high prices has forced a change in the attitudes of buyers. In fact, 41.3% of survey respondents said they did not look for new housing as the price was so much higher than that of second-hand property. Further, 34.3% recognised that the area in which they were looking did not have new property available.
Another 8.7% of respondents said they needed quick access to housing and therefore couldn’t wait for construction. 7% of respondents said they were only interested in second-hand housing as they wanted a property “with history”.
Prices seem to be the main argument for Spaniards turning away from new property. Specifically, 79.3% of respondents, almost four out of five, said they would consider new property if the prices fell significantly. Another 8.8% said they would undoubtedly buy new if the price fell and the property met all the characteristics they were looking for, and in the right location. 4.4% said that even if new property were to be promoted in their area they would still not consider it.
Respondents in Andalucia said they were not looking to purchase a new property because:
- I want to live in a house with history: 6.4% (national 7%)
- The area I’m looking at has no new property on offer: 35.2% (national 34.3%)
- Used property is far cheaper than new property: 37.6% (national 41.3%)
- I need quick access to a finished property: 10.4% (national 8.7%)