House prices fall 1.2pc in Q1 according to official index

Spain’s official house price index shows prices falling 1.2 over 3 months to the end of March, and by just 2.9% over 12 months, which doesn’t sound too bad. The only question is, what have the técnicos down at the National Institute of Statistics been smoking?

House Price Index by selected region and age of property


There’s not much you can say about this index, known in Spain as the Índice de Precios de Vivienda (IPV), other than it must have been compiled in Wonderland. For what it’s worth, the index says average prices are down just over 10% since 2007, the year they peaked nationally (in reality, it’s more like 30% or more).

In Murcia, land of the unsold new golf development, new build prices are still higher than they were in 2007. Not matter that nothing is selling.

Leading Spanish papers like El Pais have given the latest figures a positive spin, saying they show that price declines are “moderating”, which they appear to be if you look at the annualised change every quarter, as shown in the following chart:


But look at the quarterly change, and you see prices falling faster in Q1 than at any time in a year.


But anyway, the figures bear little resemblance to the reality seen by everyone working in the business, so there’s no point in giving them too much attention.



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