Spanish property prices rose (quarterly) for the first time in 3 years, according to new figures from the National Institute of Statistics (INE). If you believe that, you’ll believe anything.
According to these figures, average prices at the end of June were 1.6pc higher than at the end of March. Over 12 months, however, prices are still down, by just 0.9pc.
Apparently, new build price rose 1.9pc between Q1 and Q2, though over 12 months they were down 1.7pc.
Compared to their 2007 peak, new build prices have fallen by less than 2pc. This despite a glut of up to 1 million newly-built homes, and discounts of up to 20pc or more on any developer’s price list you care to look at.
The following table sums up the national index
As you can see, this index says average prices have fallen less than 10pc since the peak around 2007 – the index’s base year. Now they are beginning to rise again.
Rising prices would not be so surprising had the index registered price falls of 30pc or more. But this index expects us to believe that, having barely fallen since the peak, prices are now rising again (at least on a quarterly basis) in the face of a severe recession, a credit crunch, 20pc plus unemployment, and a glut of 1 million new homes. If you believe that, you’ll believe anything.
The problem is lots of important official bodies like the ECB, the EU, the IMF, the Bank of Spain, the rating agencies, influential magazines like The Economist, and the Spanish government (of course) probably take these figures at face value. Any conclusions they might reach regarding the Spanish property market and its impact on the economy will be as flawed as the figures they are based on.
For what they are worth, here are the figures for the index broken down by region and property type.
Have a look at Murcia, where the new-build market isn’t exactly in rude health. According to these figures, new-build prices are still 8pc higher than they were in 2007, before the crash began, and rose 2.3pc last quarter, and 0.5pc over 12 months. Sure they did.