House sales up 13pc in Q3 according to Property Registry

No cause for panic, the bottom hasn’t fallen out of the housing market; that’s the message from the latest figures from the property registrars.

As usual, more contradictory data from the Spanish property market. Last week we saw figures from the INE showing home sales down 4.5pc in September to the lowest level in a decade, ending an 8-month run of increasing sales. That was a big blow for those trumpeting the incipient recovery in the housing market.

Now it’s the turn of the Registrars (who record all new title deeds in the property register) to reveal that residential property transactions rose by an annualised 13pc in Q3 to 124,593 sales, with new build sales up 9pc and resales up 17pc.

On a rolling 12-month basis, there were 454,283 sales over 12 months to the end of Q3, up an annualised 4pc and a quarterly 3pc. Even if a percentage of these sales were banks swapping debt for property, I think we can see from the chart below the market has found its floor at around 400,000 transactions per year.

The Registrars figures’ are quarterly, whilst the INE’s figures are monthly, so it is possible that the September fall recorded by the INE isn’t yet showing up in the Registrars’ figures. But in a way the Registrars’ figures are more interesting, because the smooth out big monthly variations that may not represent a trend.

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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.