The monthly housing market numbers from the General Council of Notaries for April show a big jump in sales combined with a lurch down in prices. Clear as mud.
Home sales were up 16.2% to 39,461 transactions in April, showing that the Spanish housing market is still growing fast.
But prices were down 5.1% in April compared to the same time last year, with the average price of property sold standing at 1,241 €/m2.
New mortgage lending rose 23.4% to 30,584 new signings.
WHAT’S GOING ON?
The sales figures are fairly straightforward as they simply count the number of homes sold in the month, and tell a consistent story of a market expanding after years of contraction, partly due to the increase in mortgage lending.
So what about prices? The price index from the notaries is quite volatile, with big swings up and down in previous months, more so than any of the other indices I track in the SPI HPIT (see chart below). I suspect that April was a bit of a one-off, based on an unusual amount of low-value sales that month, and I doubt we are going to see a trend back to declines of 5% or more. Time will tell.