Official Spanish House Price Index falls 3% in third quarter

Average Spanish property prices fell by 3% over 12 months to the end of the third quarter, according to Spain’s official House Price Index, published by the National Institute of Statistics (INE).

Having declined by only 0.3% in the second quarter, the index, known in Spain as the Indice de Precios de Vivienda (IPV), suggests that price falls have accelerated towards the end of the year.

Resale property, which the Spanish like to call second-hand housing (vivienda de segunda mano), is doing far worse than newly built property (obra nueva), at least according to the official index. Resale prices fell by 8.6% over 12 months to the end of September, compared to rise of 3.7% for newly built property.

The index, which has only been published for 2 quarters, needs to be treated with scepticism, as its figures are simply not credible in the current market. In reality, prices are sharply down, though nobody knows by exactly how much. And as I have pointed out here before, new build prices in the official statistics do not reflect the prices developers are offering today to make sales. With a glut of around 1 million new properties, and developers falling like flies, industry sources report that new build prices are falling fast.

By region, prices fell the most in Catalonia (-8.3%), followed by Madrid (-7%), the Basque Country (-6.3%), Navarre (-5.3%), Aragon (-5%), and the Balearics (-2.6%), and rose the most in Extremadura (2.9%), Galicia (2.6%), Murcia (2.1%), Castilla-La Mancha (1.4%), Andalucia (1.1%), the Valencian Community (0.8%), and the Canaries (0.6%).

If you believe that prices are still rising in Murcia, Andalucia, and the Valencian Community you will believe anything.

But at least the INE’s index is more reliable than the Ministry of Housing’s figures, which would have us believe that prices were still rising in the 3rd quarter, albeit by just 0.4%.

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