Resale asking prices are down 2% in the course of this year, according to the Spanish property portal Idealista.com.
The Idealista resale asking price index finished the year at 1,563 €/m2, down 2% compared to the same time last year, but significantly better than the more than 5% rate at which resale asking prices were falling a year ago.
Resale asking prices fell 0.7% between September and December of this year.
The Idealista asking price index is the most bearish of the seven most watched house price indices tracked by Spanish Property Insight (see chart above). According to most other sources, the average price of property in Spain is now rising.
“If 2014 was the start of normalisation in a large part of the country, this year just closing has confirmed that the crisis has ended in some Spanish cities,” says Fernando Encinar, head of research at Idealista. However, he also warns that the crisis is not over in “many provinces where prices will continue falling in the coming years.”
Diving into more detail, Encinar explains that “whilst the adjustment has not gone far enough in some segments and buyers are still waiting for bigger reductions, in others the crisis is behind us and prices are starting to rise very gradually.” Despite some positive signs he does not see another bubble forming, just a return to normal after eight years of crisis.
Asking prices rose in five autonomous regions in 2015, led by the Balearics, up 3.3%, followed by the Canaries (+1.9%), Madrid (+1.6%), Andalusia (+0.4%), and Catalonia (+0.2%). Vendor expectations fell in all other regions, most of all in Extremadura (-7.4%), Castile La Mancha (-6.6%) and Asturias (-6%).
By city, asking prices rose the most in Barcelona (+8.9%), followed by the capital of the Costa del Sol Málaga (+4.6%), Madrid (+4.4%), and Palma de Mallorca (+3.3%). They fell the most in Segovia, down 10%.
A big increase in new Spanish mortgage lending is one of the main drivers of improvement in segments that are recovering, but Encinar points out that new mortgage lending is still running below the level at which mortgages are being retired, so the net effect is still constrictive. It also explains why banks are “offering loans with conditions unimaginable just a few months ago.”
+ You can read the full Idealista 2015 asking price report (with regional tables) here (pdf in Spanish).