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Spanish property market still flailing

Another clutch of downbeat news stories from the Spanish housing market

The value of house sales fell 37.5pc in 2011, according to new figures from the Government (Fomento). There were 307,931 home sales last year (excluding social housing), valued at 50.5 billion Euros, 37.5pc down on the year before.

More or less the same story, but from a different source, comes the news that there were 370,204 home sales last year (including social housing), according to the property register (registradores.org). That Spanish housing market is now the smallest it has been since the Property Register started publishing this data series back in 2005. Transactions fell 11pc in the last quarter of the year.

The registrars also published this chart which illustrates how the market is dominated by just four regions: Andalucia, Madrid, Catalonia, and the Valencian Community. Between them they make up almost two thirds of the market, and it is useful to keep this in mind when reading stories about ‘the Spanish property market’.

Resale asking prices fell an annualised 3.4pc in the first quarter of this year, according to the asking price index published by Idealista.com, a leading portal. “The difficult access to credit, and the measures introduced by the Government to force banks and the real estate sector to continue the house price adjustment will probably maintain prices falls for the rest of the year,” said Fernando Encinar, head of research at Idealista. However, he also added that “today you can find homes at prices that seemed unthinkable, especially from the estate agents that are getting the best discounts in the market.” One man’s pain is another man’s gain.

New planning approvals fell an annualised 31pc in January to just 4,698, according to the Government (Fomento). At this rate there might not be any house-building industry left to speak of left. Back in the boom home builders were the lords of the economy. How the mighty are fallen.

And finally, BBVA, one of Spain’s biggest banks, says the market will continue shrinking and house prices falling until 2013. They expect transactions to fall an additional 20pc and prices 15pc before the market bottoms out.

SPI Member Comments

5 thoughts on “Spanish property market still flailing

  • Vernon White says:

    looked everywhere to ascertain what the average price in Euros per SQ M in Alicante Province, surprise, no data anywhere!
    How is the average potential purchaser expected to make a guess at what any property is worth without this information , have looked on this website, sadly the only averege e per sq m dates back to 2008 , 4 years on and no update ? Why ? We offered and was accepted on 170000 euros for a small Spanish Townhouse, needless to say Agent did not inform us that the house does not have a First Licence of Habitation to an annex , this may takes months to obtain , prices still dropping so guess the offer, when the Agent (if) comes back to us , will be revised downwards , why dont these Vendors get their ast together before they market and WHY dont the Agents( Brits) do their own homework instead of requesting 3000 euros to remove from market when they must have been well aware of the lack of rather Important Legal Papers? amazing after all the past 4 years and dramas Agents and Vendors are still in LALA Land !!

  • Malcolm Berry says:

    The continued fall in house prices and new builds reflects the lousy economy and economic policies in Spain , the USA and much of the EU. The policy of cheap money being lent far too liberally to folk who could not afford the payments will be felt for more years yet. Property , especially second homes are a great purchase as a home, but as an investment ,probably the worst you could make.

  • Vernon White: No Habitacion certificate – leave well alone!! you only have to read in the press about house-builds in Spain threatened with the Bulldozer (illegally built) aka: No Habitacion cert.
    Malcolm Berry: I heard of policies in Spain when buying a house – during the boom – that all the purchaser had to present was their last two wage slips!! I ask you? And they (the Gov.) wonder why a few years down the line owners cannot afford mortgages (albeit, due to the recession and having not work/lost jobs). But 2 wage slips – and ‘hey presto’ – you can have a mortgage/buy a house. I dont know the ‘policy’ in the USA – but the recession begun in the States and rippled throughout European countries. What I am sure of is that banks in the USA gave mortgages out on properties – to many that simply couldnt afford them. Hence, when they (banks) came crying for their money – they couldnt pay! Thousands were in the trap, properties slumped, etc, etc. The slump in house prices in Spain is that mirrored in America. Check-out the market over there – a similar pattern/decrease, with prices HALF and even less from that priced during the boom years. Policies from Gov./Banks that have back-fired big time (and are continuing to do so) in both Spain and the USA. There are winners – and losers – a gamble that didnt pay off. But did the Gov/Bankers really think otherwise. A case of ‘wait until the bubble bursts’ – which it has done. BANG!!

  • Vernon White/Andrew.

    Vernon, having been involved with the real estate business for many many years throughout Europe.
    I would endorse the words of wisdom from Andrew and would add It is not only the Brits who are complete moronic sharks acting and I mean acting as estate agents it’s 90% of the industry whatever nationality.
    Their pygmy minded mentality of grabbing any cash they can and sod the buyers chances are adding to the misery of many vendors and buyers, not to mention the fear they strike into the would be buyers out there with the very unprofessional way they conduct their business.
    The average real estate agent in Spain has very little knowledge of the full working aspect of transferring a property and rely on some lawyer or gestoria to misguide the client through the maze only to be corrected by the Notary.(Remember if they lie to you its possibly you who is lying to the Notary by nodding and saying Si Senor in your best Spanish, Stupidity is no excuse for illegality) this in itself is defeating if many things have not been taken into consideration and I would even suggest that the buyer should be warned when buying of the huge amount of monies they could lose if they do not take up Spanish residency then try to sell the same said property.
    Black money, Beware, there is a little known power that the tax man has in his tool box referred to as corrective consideration, in other words if the tax man consider that you the buyer under declared he can ask for the amount he considers you should have paid. Bet the agent won’t tell you that one when he is pocketing your hard earned cash.
    Only way this dodgy industry can be sorted is to have very stringent control over the Estate agents with heavy fines for the, well what would you like to call them????
    Regards Sammy

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