Property sales and prices up in Spain in first half of 2016

Taylor Scott International News

Residential property sales in Spain increased by almost 20% in the first half of this year suggesting that the real estate market recovery is well underway. The latest figures from the General Council of Notaires shows that transactions were up by 19.6% in the first six months of 2016 to a total of 225,551 sales, and prices increased by 6.1% year on year. The data reveals that new home sales are not boosting the recovery and indeed falling. Sales of non-new homes increased by 19.29% year on year, accounting for 68.1% of all the homes sold but new homes sales fell 13.6%. This upward trend continued in June, when home sales grew by 7.1%, year on year, again driven by the transactions on second hand homes, which increased by 11.5% reaching a total of 29,052 units, while transactions on new housing registered a decline of 33.4%, with a total of just 2,751 sales. The price of an average home increased by 6.1% to €1,418 per square metre. But new homes cost more and this could explain why sales are falling. The average price of a new build was €1,886, some 12.7% more than second hand homes. The data also shows that in June some 44.7% of home sales were financed through a mortgage with the average capital loaned €128,480, a slight increase, of 0.4%, over last year. The cost of renting a home in Spain is also increasing, up by 2.4% in the second quarter of 2016 taking the average to €7.41 per square meter per month, according to figures from property portal Fotocasa. It means that after eight years of falling, residential rents have now been increasing since 2015. Beatriz Toribo, Fotocasa head of research, a growth in demand is boosting rental values which are now up by 4.8% year on year. A breakdown of the figures show that rents increased in 15 regions in the second quarter of the year compared to the previous quarter and in 16 regions year on year. The highest annual increase to data was recorded in May this year when rental prices increased by 5%. But the recovery still has some way to go as average rents are now 26.8% lower than they were at the peak of the market in May 2007 when they were €10.12 per square meter per month on average. But in three regions prices are down even more. Monthly rents are some 39.6% lower than peak in Aragon, 35.2% lower in Castilla La man cha and 33.7% down in Cantabria. The most expensive rents are in Madrid at €10.36 per square meter per month, followed by Catalonia at €10.24 and then the Basque Country at €10.16. The most affordable rental prices are in Extremadura at €4.56 and Castilla La Mancha at €4.69. Taylor Scott International

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