The SPI House Price Index Tracker plots the progress of the six most-watched house price indices in Spain, and brings them together in one chart.
Some of the indices are updated monthly, and some quarterly months after the period to which they refer, making them harder to compare. The figures published each quarter don’t all correspond to the same period. Bearing that in mind, the following residential property price indices were updated in the first quarter of 2020 (all figures show latest year-on-year percentage change):
- The Ministry of Public Works (Fomento) +2.1% in the last quarter (Q4), based on official valuations
- The National Institute of Statistics (INE) index +3.6% in Q4, based on data from the Land Registry
- The Spanish Land Registrars’ Association +7.2% in Q4, using their ‘repeat sale’ methodology
- The Association of Spanish Notaries index +0.5%% in February 2020
- The Tinsa index based on property valuations carried out by the company +3.5% in March
- The Idealista.com (property portal) resale asking price index +3.2% in March
Country-wide house price indices don’t tell us what’s happening in local segments, but they do help us understand where we are in the market cycle, in which local segments play a part. If the cycle is turning down, this will influence local markets.
Before the Coronavirus crisis struck, all the indices were in positive territory, but five out of six were on a downward trend, the Tinsa index being the exception. That suggests the market was cooling down. That said, the Q1 figures are now almost irrelevant.
With the market frozen over by the Covid-19 lockdown, there will be very little house price data to publish for Q2. It is going to take six months or more before we can see this chart with numbers that give us an idea of where prices are heading in the light of the coronavirus crisis.
In a recent survey of readers I found that most foreign investors expect Spanish house prices, in particular holiday-home prices, to fall by 10% or more. You can see the link to the survey results below.