Home sales

Spanish market records highest home sales since 2008 ‘credit crunch’


A trend that seems to continue as long as their prices increase with inflation, explain the experts. Of course, with the uncertainty of how the new housing law will affect the market, which includes price control mechanisms, penalties for empty apartments, rent cuts for large landlords in new contracts and surcharges for second homes. Among other measures. Several listed companies in the sector offer their vision of Spanish real estate.

The more than 53,000 buy and sell transactions formalized last September have been included in the market consensus not only as the take-off of the sector after the pandemic, but as the first signs, still not intense or alarming, of boiling. , which are even beyond a standardization of this productive segment. The 40.6% increase over one year is not an illustrative leap. Obviously, this is an escalation from one of the lowest points of a period of reduced inactivity, after the social lockdowns of spring 2020 and the timid recovery of the economy. But the comparison also takes as a reference one of the first and a few months of resuscitation, just before the third wave of infections. With second-hand sales as the undisputed driver of the ongoing reactivation, with 42,477 against 11,000 new constructions, which is close to the levels of over 60,000 operations that were recorded in the most buoyant months of the real estate boom in the first years of the millennium. A propensity to acquire housing after the long waiting period for the Covid-19 which is combined, also due to the increase in savings capacity during the health crisis and due to the permanence of interest rates close to zero .

In a climate, in Europe, of rising prices. In the euro zone, as Eurostat has just confirmed, during the second quarter of the year, they increased by 6.8%, with strong pressures of demand and rigidity of supply, centered on still infrequent investments and the pressure of the persistent shortage of labor and the collapse of the supply of building materials. With the Nordics and the Centers of Europe as flagships and with Spain in the list of countries with the engines running to undertake a rather vertical takeoff. But itwith a handicap in sight: the growing divergence in house prices. This is what anticipates Judit Montoriol-Garriga, chief economist of the CaixaBank research service, for whom the price of housing “has increased considerably in recent years and the first symptoms of overvaluation are starting to appear in cities like Madrid and Barcelona. . and certain tourist destinations ”.

For Montoriol-Garriga, “this reality coexists with another very different one in less urban areas, where the recovery of the real estate sector is later and slower”. Therefore, “IRegional divergences on prices and accessibility of housing are increasing “in Spain, which is why he speaks of a” recovery at different speeds, between leading, advanced, follower and take-off regions “. With a growing price gap between the autonomous communities and between cities.

After the sudden drop in house prices between 2008 and 2014 (by 30.7% in nominal terms and 37.2% in real terms), an expansive cycle of strong heterogeneity in terms of geographic development began in 2015, which led to a rebound in real estate. prices over the past five years. However, it is still 22% below the peak it reached before the credit crunch, he explains. Despite this, the price differential that was already quite evident before the Great Pandemic has worsened.. In 2019, buying a house in Barcelona or the Spanish capital costs more than twice the national average, while in 2014 it was 1.6 times more expensive, he recalls. Despite this, the economist of CaixaBank assures that “housing, at present, is not overvalued on the national market, although in Barcelona, ​​Madrid or the Balearic Islands its prices are already higher than their value. ‘balance”.

Housing prices are picking up at different speeds
Index (100 = Q1 2014)

Source: CaixaBank Research, based on data from the Ministry of Development.

Deviation in the domestic affordability ratio from its long-term trend in CC. AA.

Source: CaixaBank Research, based on data from the Ministry of Public Works, INE and internal data.

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