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March 14, 2017

More sales of second-hand properties in Spain in January

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Real estate sales in Spain began in 2017 with an increase of 18.1% in the first month of the year to 38,457 operations, which is the best data since January 2013. At the same time, sales of second-hand homes and apartments recorded the highest rate for the last nine years, and more than 31,600 transactions.

The fact that in second-hand properties in Spain each month account for more than 75% of transactions in the last three years, has a logical explanation, according to experts. And they are mainly the suspension of construction activity in the country and the one year term from the date of completion of the construction work to classify the object as new, according to the National Statistics Institute (INE).

The beginning of 2017 has maintained the positive trend registered in the last 12 months, according to the data of the sales of residential properties in Spain. The past 2016 confirmed the normalization of the market when more than 404,000 transactions were signed. In January 2017, 38,457 transactions have already been closed, which is by 18.1% more than the previous year. In fact, a year has passed since that moment, when the National Statistics Institute (INE) registered a negative figure in the last 29 months.

On the other hand, sales of second-hand apartments and homes in Spain again accounted for most of the transactions, namely 82.2%, or 31,628 transactions, which is by 20.7% more than in January of 2016, and the highest rate recorded in the secondary property market in Spain during the last nine years. More specifically, it can be said that such a high number of transactions with second – hand real estate in Spain was not recorded since January 2008.

Despite the all above mentioned, this fact has some "buts". The limited construction of new buildings in Spain and residential properties, in addition to the methodology established by the National Institute, according to which only one year after the completion of a house or apartment is classified as a new real estate object, all this significantly reduces their weight in statistics and operations carried out with them.

In fact, only 17.8% of the houses and apartments in Spain, which were sold in January 2017, were new, or 6,829 operations, an increase of 7.2% in annual terms.

By Spanish provinces, the INE provides the following data: in Cantabria (45.1%), the Balearic Islands (40.5%) and La Rioja (40.1%) have reported significant annual changes in the behavior of real estate sales in Spain, both second-hand and new. While the rates for the Canary Islands (0.5%), Andalusia (7, 8%) and Castilla-Leon (12.7%) were the lowest in January this year. In fact, only the Canary Islands have recorded negative data on sales of apartments and houses in Spain.

According to absolute figures, Andalusia (6,776), Catalonia (6,752), Madrid (5,818) and Valencia (5,248) were once again the regions with a large number of operations. Among them is situated also Madrid, where most of the objects sold were new (1,303), and Catalonia (5,819), which topped the ranking by the number of second-hand properties sold.

Following the publication of the official data, Fernando Encinar, the head of the research department of the online portal Idealista, commented that "the closing of last year and the first data of 2017 provide data that allow us to be very optimistic in the face of this new year. Recovery of the national economy, mortgage loans at competitive prices and an increase in the interest of investors in the rental market in Spain are the main reasons for this optimism. The data also show that, although with different intensity, improvements of the real estate market in Spain are already a reality in almost all regions of the country, with the exception of the Canary Islands, where sales have stopped a bit."

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