Market bumping along floor in transaction terms

ine-chart-transactions-sept09
The latest monthly home sales figures are out for September from the National Institute of Statistics. Transactions are the heartbeat of markets, so it’s always worth a look at the monthly sales figure. What do the latest figures tell us about the state of the Spanish property market?

Mainly that there has been no major turnaround in the health of the market, but no lurch downwards either. Homes sale in September, not including social housing, stood at 33,276, up 7.4% on the previous month, but down 19% on the same month last year. Compared to 2 years ago, sales in September were down 42%, which just shows how much the market has shrunk since the boom.

The figures show that, though the market is significantly smaller than it was, it is not getting any smaller. It appears to be bumping along a floor of around 30,000 sales per month. That much is clear from the chart above, which also shows how monthly sales have come down compared to 2007 and 2008.

The following chart shows how monthly sales have improved on an annualised basis, though they took a bit of a dip in September.

ine-chart-transactions-annual-change-sept09

New and resale property transactions

So much for the overall figures, what about the breakdown between new and resales. Nothing much new to report there. Both figures rose on a monthly basis, but fell on an annualised basis, markedly so in the case of new builds.

ine-chart-transactions-new-used-sept09

New build sales are still significantly higher than resales. Historically it has normally been the other way round.

ine-chart-transactions-annual-change-new-resale-sept09

So what does this all tell us?

1. The market is still depressed in volume terms, but not getting worse.
2. Given the depressed state of sales, the glut of homes on the market is getting bigger.
3. New build sales are holding up the market but may soon start to decline.
4. Given all the above, you would expect prices to have fallen further.

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