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New index shows returning confidence amongst valuers


A new index reveals a clear improvement in the Spanish property market sentiment amongst professional appraisers in the last two quarters.

Officially recognised property valuations good for things like mortgage applications are done in Spain by certified professionals called tasadores (valuers in English). Sociedad de Tasación, one of Spain’s biggest valuation companies, has created a new confidence index for the property market based on a survey of 700 tasadores around Spain.

In this quarterly survey, Sociedad de Tasación probe the sentiment of tasadores on questions such as the economy, house prices, and transaction levels by market segment. The results of the latest survey for the current and previous quarters are illustrated in the chart above.

The top line (green) shows confidence in the primary housing segment, where confidence is at its highest. Next comes the thick grey line which represents the overall index, up to 33.2 from a low of 30.6 in Q1. The blue line represents the economy, which has improved significantly and could be a leading indicator for property sales (and improving economy is bound to drive house sales, which could hardly be lower right now). The orange line is for house prices, where sentiment has improved (meaning they are more optimistic about house prices than they were). The red line represents the sale of land and developments (B2B), the comes commercial space, and lastly second homes in coastal areas and the mountains, where the improvement has been strongest, though that still leaves this segment in last place.

Out of the woods?

Despite being too dependent on their banking paymasters, tasadores have a better picture than most of what is going on in the market. So it’s interesting to see a marked improvement in optimism amongst tasadores in the last couple of quarters.

Obviously confidence amongst valuers is improving, but what does a confidence level of 33.2pc actually mean? I can’t tell you for sure, because I haven’t had time to download and read the full report (I confess this is article is based on press reports) but I guess it means that confidence, though improving, is still (deep) in negative territory. So it’s good news, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that we are already out of the woods.

When’s the best time to invest? When we are still in the woods, or once we are out? Professional investors looking for perfect timing should say when still in the woods, but just before leaving. Easier said than done.

The following table breaks down the index for the last four quarters. Improvements across the board.