Sellers reduce asking prices in Spain as the market become more realistic

Taylor Scott International News

Sellers in Spain are becoming more realistic about prices and have reduced asking values which is seen by experts as a good move in terms of keep in the real estate recovery going. Asking prices fell by 0.2% to €1,624 per meter in April, according to data from property portal Fotocasa, compared to a year ago. Meanwhile the latest house price index from the Government shows that prices were up 2.4% in the first quarter of 2016 year on year and up 0.2% quarter on quarter. The Fotocasa asking price index has been fairly stable for the last year, with prices never varying more than 1% either up or down. ‘House prices will continue to go in different directions during 2016,’ said Beatriz Toribio, head of research at Fotocasa. ‘Whilst in some areas of the country prices are stabilising or even rising, in others they continue to fall hard. This is a consequence of the crisis the sector has lived through, which has left a market of two or more speeds that is ever more obvious,’ Toribio added. Since the peak of the market in 2007 average house prices have fallen by 45% but there is some regional variation. Peak to present prices are down by 50.5% in Murcia, 47.5% in the Valencian Region, 47% in Catalonia, 43.9% in Madrid, and 42.6% in Andalusia. The Government figures, however, show that house prices are down 29% since the peak which it outs at the first quarter of 2008 and it adds that price bottomed out in the third quarter of 2014. Prices have increased the most in the Balearics with growth of 9.6%, followed by Catalonia up 4.9%, Madrid up 4.2%, Extremadura up 3.7%, Galicia up 2.6%, the Valencian region up 2.4% and the Canaries also up by 2.4%. The latest mortgage figures show that lending volumes are also up which means more people can buy a home. The data from the National Statistics Institute on Friday reveals that the number of new mortgages listed in the property registers in Spain stood at 22,983 in March, up 4.5% over the same month in 2015. In more good news for the Spanish property market the latest report from the General Council of Notaries show that foreign demand rose by 12.9% in 2015. More than half, 52%, were people buying a holiday home while 48% were foreigners living in Spain. The British were the biggest group of foreign buyers with 21% of the market, followed by the French at 9%, Germans at 7.5%, Belgians at 6% and Italians at 5.5%, the data also shows. The Balearics is the most popular part of Spain with overseas buyers with foreign purchases amounting to 44% of the market, with the Canaries at 39%, Valencia at 37% and Murcia and Andalusia both at 25%. Foreign demand growth was strongest in regions with small markets, where even a modest increase in foreign demand translates into a big increase in percentage terms. Growth was biggest… Taylor Scott International

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