Sales in Q2: Ministry of Housing says up 40pc, Registrars say down 6pc

Official figures for home sales in the second quarter are contradictory and confusing, which explains why so few analysts trust them.

Home sales exploded in Q2 compared to Q1, up 39.6pc to 149,527 transactions, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Housing. The Ministry get their data from Notaries who have to sign all deeds before they can be inscribed in the property register.

But according to Spain’s property registrars (Colegio de Registradores), who inscribe the deeds in the registry, sales were down 6.3pc in Q2 compared to Q1, with just 110,378 sales inscribed in property registry during the quarter.

On an annualised basis (Q2 2010 / Q2 2009), sales were up 24.7pc say the Ministry, and 9.5pc say the Registrars. At least they agree sales were up over 12 months, even if they can’t agree by how much.

Both sources put a positive spin on the figures; obviously the Ministry of Housing had more to cheer about, saying that sales are “maintaining the recovery started in the last quarter of 2009.”

Over 12 months to the end of June, sales according to the Ministry were up 4.8pc to 495,684, but down 3.24pc to 440,399 according to the Registrars. If the Ministry is right, this is the first time that sales are up over any 12-month period since Q1 2007. At the market’s nadir in Q1 2009, sales were down 33pc.

Sticking with the Ministry’s figures, resales were significantly higher than new sales in Q2, which is at least one sign the market is returning to normal. That said, new-build sales jumped by 45pc in Q2 over Q1, compared to 35pc for resale, which gives us a clue why home sales exploded so much in the last quarter – the July 1 increase in VAT on new homes sales.

VAT on new home sales went up from 7pc to 8pc on 1 July, which would have brought a lot of sales forward into Q2. It will be interesting to see how much sales go down in Q3 as a consequence. If the sales slump in the US after first-home buyer tax credits expired is anything to go buy, the news won’t be good.

The graphics come from the Ministry of Housing. I have to put them further down the page not to clash with content on the right.
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*

Comments

comments

Leave a Reply

Profile photo of Mark Stücklin

About Mark Stücklin

Mark Stücklin is a Barcelona-based property market analyst and consultant, and author of the 'Spanish Property Doctor' column in the Sunday Times (2005 - 2008). He can be reached by email on ms@spanishpropertyinsight.com.