Both house prices and sales dipped a fraction in October, calling into question the strength of the recovery, according to the latest figures from the General Council of Notaries.
There were a total of 35,088 homes sales in October (including subsidised housing), a rise of 3% compared to the same time last year, show the notaries’ figures.
October’s 3% increase represents one of the lowest levels of annualised growth this year, suggesting the market recovery might be losing momentum as we head towards the end of the year.
The latest property sales figures from the National Institute of Statistics (NIE), reported last week, also showed signs of a slowdown in transactions (Market expansion cools in October). As the notaries’ figures anticipate the NIE’s figures by a couple of months, we can expect more signs of cooldown in sales the coming months.
HOUSE PRICES DOWN, BUT INDEX IS VOLATILE
House prices also took a dip in October, down 0.3% year-on-year, having risen 1.7% in September, though for most of the year the notaries have reported falling prices. There is no evidence yet of a sustained recovery in national prices in the figures published by the notaries.
In the context of the SPI House Price Index Tracker (HPIT), which includes 7 of the most widely watched house price indices in Spain, the notaries’ figures go slightly against the trend towards rising or stable prices, though higher volatility make it difficult to draw conclusions from the price data published by the notaries.
MORTGAGE LENDING ALSO COOLS
There were 15,163 new residential mortgages signed in October, up 15% on last year, but also one of the lowest rates of growth this year, as illustrated by the next two charts.
The overall picture from the October figures is of caution as sales and mortgage lending cool down after higher growth rates in the last six months. With a general election around the corner promising political uncertainty to come, it could be that buyers are waiting to see which way the wind blows before committing to a house purchase.