Every year an average of 120,000 homes that were inherited hit the market, according to data from RR de Acuña y Asociados. In 2013 the total of inherited homes new to the market was even higher, 138,428, according to the property consultancy.
For a market struggling to reduce the glut of homes for sale on the market, the data suggests inherited homes are playing a key role, adding more homes to the market than foreclosures or new developments, the firm says. There are an estimated 1.7 million homes for sale in Spain, according to Acuna’s data. The market will continue to struggle to recover until that supply is whittled down.
The inherited homes represent a unique market segment, testimony to Spain’s strong tradition of homeowners and tight families. Since the heirs may not be interested in keeping the property, sale prices for inherited homes tend to be lower than the overall market, firm director Fernando Rodríguez de Acuña Martínez told El Confidencial.
In many cases, the new owners are eager to sell as quickly as possible, creating another drag on Spain’s falling prices.
“They are bargains in comparison to other units on sale,” he said. “Selling your own house you seek the highest price. When it is not yours you, simply don´t mind this much and if you need money, you are eager to cut it even more.”
Unlike foreclosures and new homes, the flow of inherited homes into the market remains relatively steady year over year, the consultancy says.
“The problem won´t be bothering Madrid or Barcelona where the markets wake up,” Rodriguez told the paper. “But in some areas, the stock might never diminish because there is neither market nor demand for them.”