Home Sales and Property Prices Rise in April

Spanish home sales index from the General Council of Notaries
Spanish home sales index from the General Council of Notaries

Fresh evidence that the Spanish property market is pulling out of its seven year downward spiral as the latest monthly home sales figures published by the General Council of Notaries show home sales rose by an annualised 11 per cent in April, whilst house prices rose just under 1 per cent.

Specifically, there were 30,048 home sales in April of this year, up 11.1 per cent compared to the same time last year. That is the fourth month in a row that Spanish home sales have increased, according to the figures provided by the notaries.

“The rebound in homes sales in recent months can be explained, in part, by a return to normality after the ending of mortgage tax relief at the end of 2012, but it might also reflect a stabilisation in monthly sales,” explains the lastest report from the notaries.

The biggest increases came from resales, up 10.9 per cent, and single-family homes, up 26 per cent. Sales of new apartments, on the other hand, fell by 8.4 per cent, in a sign of things to come as the pipeline of new flats that people actually want to buy runs dry.

Spanish house prices were also in positive territory for the second consecutive month, after years of decline before that. The average cost of housing sold in April was 1,216 €/m2, an increase of 0.7 per cent compared to the same time last year. Flat prices rose 2.1 per cent to 1,327 €/m2, breaking down into resale flats up 3.7 per cent to 1,315 €/m2, and new flats up 5.2 per ent to 1,404 €/m2.

Peak-to-present, Spanish house prices have fallen 35.5 per cent, according to the notaries’ index.

Residential mortgage lending was also up compared to last year, by a feisty 24.8 per cent to 11.085 new loans, though the average loan value fell by 4.4 per cent to €107,486. 37 per cent of homes buyers in April used a mortgage with an average LTV of 74.6 per cent, so cash buyers are still the majority. Overall mortgage lending, however, was down by 12.1 per cent to 22,912 new loans.

In conclusion, the notaries say “this April one could observe another recovery of home sales and prices in annualised terms, which might anticipate a change in the trend for the sector.” The appetite for property for sale in Spain is growing.