November property sales in Spain
House purchase data in November was a mixture of positives and negatives.
Overall property sales, which includes commercial units and properties other than dwellings actually dropped year on year for the month by 4.5%.
For dwellings, so purchases classed as residential property when assessing Novembers figures against the previous year buyers in the Spanish market were up by 14%.
Sales of urban property made up 8.1% of total purchases and of this 54.9% were homes. Rustica or country buildings made up 18.2% of the total sales which was an increase of 7.9% in the annual rate.
Trends between the months of October to November
House sales as a trend when looking at the levels sold between the months of October and November over a 5 year period show that the decrease between these two months was the highest in 2014 over the last 5 year period. Whilst for 2010 and 2011 back end of year sales were skewed by buyers rushing to complete before year end due to new tax rules taking place, this was not the case in 2012 or 2013. This means despite the good news on year on year sales within the month itself November showed an unusual downturn when looking at variations between the months of October and November.
Whether this is something that will continue and 2014 will show a slowdown on the recent more positive property sales will become more apparent when Decembers sales are published. It is the case that in the last couple of months conveyance lawyers focused on property in Spain have been reporting a slowdown in new transactions both from buyers and sellers but this may as yet just be a blip.
New builds versus resales
Of the total house sales in November the number of transactions for new homes increased year on year by 20.6% and for resale’s this figure was up 41.6%.
New builds made up 30.8% of all sales and 69.2% were resales. This continues the trend over the last few years of resales overtaking by quite someway the number of transactions when compared to new builds. Often seen as providing better value for money the second hand property is now favored by buyers.
Regional house sales
The highest number of property transfers by region was in Andalucía where 5,319 properties registered a change of owner. Cataluña, Madrid and Valencia all sold over 3,000 units and all 4 except Valencia regions showed a percentage increase on the year above the mean average.
Other regions with positive change of ownership statistics included the Asturias and the Balearics.
The drop in overall change of titles may in itself hold some good news as held in the other titles section is the transfer of property from a mortgagee to the lender or Bank. At one point the level of transfers in this section was close to the level of sales. The reduction in this section may be signs that the repossession and mortgage default situation is improving.
Anecdotally according to Real Estate Agents and Solicitors many buyers continue to be foreign investors and 2014 saw this section of the buying market increase as overseas buyers found a new confidence in the Spanish economic outlook alongside prices per meter square for property dropping to 2003 / 2002 levels.
Overall the property transfer market is looking pretty stagnate in 2014 but if the Spanish population start to join the ranks of the nonresident buyers the signs are more positive for 2015.