The latest housing market figures from the General Council of Notaries show that sales rose in August, whilst the average price fell, suggesting the market is improving but inventories are still high.
There were 19,067 homes sold in August (chart above), based on the number of sales deeds witnessed before notaries – the most timely figure for sales available in Spain.
Year on year, sales were up 7.3%, as illustrated by the following chart:
Home sales have now increased for six consecutive months, suggesting the market has put the worst behind it, at least in terms of sales activity.
“Despite oscillations in the monthly figures, the series reflects a stabilisation in sales,” is how the notaries put it.
PRICE PRESSURE STILL DOWNWARDS
Sales may be increasing, but average Spanish house prices continue to decline, at least according to the figures published by the notaries.
The average price per square metre of residential Spanish property sold in August was 1,127 €/sqm, down 3.4% compared to August last year, and 40.3% since the start of the crisis in 2007.
Average house prices have now declined for at least 12 consecutive months, with the exception of December 2014, when they were unchanged. This suggest the market is still oversupplied with property, so price pressures remain downward for the time being.
In the context of the SPI House Price Index Tracker the notaries’ figures are the most bearish of all, and contradict other data suggesting that Spanish house prices are already rising at a national level.
MORTGAGE LENDING MARCHES UPWARDS
New mortgage signings were up 19% to 8,162, with the average loan value of €108,730 (-1.1% yoy).
44% of purchases involved mortgage financing, up from 37% as recently as February last year.
Mortgage lending continues to grow at a robust rate, funneling capital towards prime segments of the Spanish housing market.