Spanish house prices up for first time in 6 years
Spanish property prices have increased in the second quarter of 2014 for the first time in six years.
Spanish property prices edged up by 0.97 per cent in the three months to June 2014 compared to the previous year, according to the Association of Registrars' price index. Prices also increased by 1.53 per cent quarter-on-quarter. This is the first time that Spanish house prices have risen in six years.
The increase may not be matched by other indices, but there is certainly a broad consensus that the market is approaching a point of rebound: according to TINSA, house prices dipped 3.03 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2014, but this was the lowest annual decrease recorded since the same period in 2008, indicating that Spanish real estate is close to bottoming out.
Another area that the multitude of reports also agree on is demand, particularly from overseas. Property sales have continued to increase this summer, according to the general council of notaries (Consejo General del Notariado), with the number of Spanish homes sold up 16.3 per cent year-on-year in June 2014.
House sales dropped 5.49 per cent quarter-on-quarter in Q2 2014, according to the Association of Registrars (although they remain 8 per cent higher than the 72,560 recorded in Q4 2013), but international demand has never been stronger: the percentage of overseas buyers climbed to a record of just over 13 per cent, as buyers return to Spain to snap up property bargains.
Indeed, a report by pac earlier this year singled out Spain as offering "one of the strongest recoveries within the Eurozone" with "attractive pricing resulting in good yield potential".
Brits led the charge with 15.77 of sales, followed by buyers from France (10.11 per cent), Russia (8.08 per cent), Germany (7.53 per cent), Belgium (7.26 per cent) and Sweden (5.93 per cent).
Beatriz Toribio, from fotocasa.es, tells OPP Connect that foreign property sales have become "one of the main drivers" of the Spanish property market.
"They are attracted by our good living conditions and the great opportunities offered by the sector, as housing has devalued by 41 per cent from the highs reached in 2008," she says. "This percentage rises to 53 per cent in many areas of the Spanish coast, the main attraction of foreigners who want to buy homes in our country.
"British and French nationalities are still leading the ranking of purchases by foreigners, but those who spend more money on the coast are Russian citizens, followed by the Germans."
Indeed, Russians and those from outside the EU are thought to be increasingly attracted to Spain's property market thanks to the appeal of the Golden Visa scheme, which offers residency to buyers of real estate over ?500,000.