Spanish house prices fell 1.8% last year, according to a closely-watched index published by Tinsa, Spain’s leading appraisal company. But there is more to the figure than meets the eye.
The national housing market price index published by Tinsa ended December at 1,320, down from 1,343 a year before, a decline in the average house price of 1.8%, based on the company’s own valuations.
The same index for December 2014 showed house prices down 3%, so the rate of decline has almost halved in a year.
That said, house prices are still falling after eight years on the slide, with a cumulative 42.2% decline since the peak.
On the Mediterranean coast property prices actually rose last year, by 2.9%, though they are still 48% below their peak eight years ago.
Tinsa also produce a quarterly index focused on local markets published a few weeks ago that showed spanish house prices rising 1% last year, in contrast to the latest figures showing a 1.8% decline. The difference can be explained by a one-off increase in the index in December 2014, and the fact that the quarterly index is based on the average for the quarter, not just December.
HOUSE PRICE INDEX TRACKER
In the context of the SPI House Price Index Tracker (HPIT), the latest Tinsa figures seem to show prices taking a sudden dive, but that can partly be explained by the one-off increase in prices back in 2014. Given that Tinsa’s latest quarterly index showed prices rising by 1% last year, the reality was probably somewhere in between. In any case, “the housing market continues to be characterised by stabilisation” say Tinsa, a claim backed up by most other sources of house price data, showing prices moving in the +/-2% range for now.