June 19th, 2010

The Spanish house price index figures for May 2010 have just been released. See the graph and the table below for an up to date overview of the real estate market trend in Spain.

Spanish House Price Index - May 2010

Spanish property prices are still falling, but by less with every passing month. Average Spanish property prices fell by 4.4% over 12 months to the end of May, show the latest figures. The rate of decline has been slowing since June 2009, when it peaked at -10.1%. If the trend towards smaller declines keeps up, average property prices will be stable, or even growing slightly before the end of the year. Prices have fallen the least over 12 months in coastal areas and the Islands, areas traditionally popular with foreign buyers looking for holiday and retirement homes. Prices are down just 4.1% on the coast, and 2.4% in The Canaries and The Balearics.

The graph and table data represent the year-on-year evolution of Spanish property values. For example, if the value for August 2009 would be -3.9, then this means that average property prices in August 2009 are 3.9% lower than they were a year earlier, in August 2008.

The graph and table on this page contain up to date information for the past 13 months. For more information, please look at earlier monthly reports, or the historical overview since January 2001.

The graph and table data are based on actual property valuations, as established by one of Spain’s larget independent property valuation companies, Tinsa S.A. They are not based on asking prices or (under)declared selling prices, nor on the statistics as provided by the Spanish Ministry of Housing, and are therefore considered to be the most acurate and reliable source for this kind of information.

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June 9th, 2010

Euribor 12 months, the interest rate predominantly used to calculate mortgage payments in Spain, rose 2% in May compared to the previous month, taking it up to 1.249%, the highest level it has been since last September. This is the first time since July 2008 that Euribor has risen for 2 consecutive months.

Despite rising for 2 months, Euribor is still not far above the record low of 1.215 it hit in March. It is still 24% lower than it was a year ago, and 77% lower than it was in July 2008. Because Euribor is still lower than it was a year ago, repayments on a typical annually resetting mortgage (120,000 Euros, 25 years, Euribor +0.8%) will fall to around €510/month, saving 24 Euros a month, or 288 Euros a year. If Euribor keeps rising, it won’t be long now before borrowers starting seeing their monthly payments increase, albeit modestly at first.

Euribor is an interbank lending rate based on interest rates set by the European Central Bank (ECB). Base rates are currently at 1% but the ECB is expected to put them up during the course of 2010. Even though base rates haven’t yet been touched, Euribor is starting to rise as banks get nervous about the state of the economy and lending to each other.

Story by Mark Stucklin

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May 12th, 2010

Euribor (12 months), the interest rate normally used to calculate mortgage payments in Spain, rose 0.8% in April compared to the previous month, taking it back to 1.225% where it was in February. This is only the second time Euribor has risen on a monthly basis since September 2008.

Despite the rise in April, Euribor is still just a fraction above the record low it hit in March. It is still 31% lower than it was a year ago, and 77% lower than it was in July 2008. Because Euribor is still lower than it was a year ago, repayments on a typical annually resetting mortgage (120,000 Euros, 25 years, Euribor +0.8%) will fall by around 41 Euros a month, or 420 Euros a year.

Many experts think that Euribor has fallen as far as it can and expect rates to start rising modestly. It won’t be long now before borrowers starting seeing their monthly payments rise, albeit a small amount. Euribor is based on interest rates set by the European Central Bank. Base rates are currently at 1% but are expected to rise gradually during the course of 2010.

New mortgage lending rose 8.5% in February compared to the same month last year, according to figures from the National Institute of Statistics (INE). That is the second consecutive month of growth in mortgage lending, a good sign for the market. On a monthly basis there were 54,813 new mortgages signed in February, up 6.2% compared to January.

The average loan value was 118,185 Euros, a fall of 4.6% compared to last year. Overall new mortgage lending was 6.478 billion Euros, up 3.5% on last year. The average interest rate was 3.97, 26.5% below a year ago, and 2% lower than January.

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May 12th, 2010

The Spanish house price index figures for April 2010 have just been released. See the graph and the table below for an up to date overview of the real estate market trend in Spain.

Spanish House Price Index - April 2010

Spanish property prices are still falling, but by less with every passing month. Average Spanish property prices fell by 4.6% over 12 months to the end of April, show the latest figures. On a monthly basis, prices even rose a fraction. The rate of decline has been slowing since June 2009, when it peaked at -10.1%. At this rate, average property prices will be stable, or even growing slightly within about 6 months.

The graph and table data represent the year-on-year evolution of Spanish property values. For example, if the value for August 2009 would be -3.9, then this means that average property prices in August 2009 are 3.9% lower than they were a year earlier, in August 2008.

The graph and table on this page contain up to date information for the past 13 months. For more information, please look at earlier monthly reports, or the historical overview since January 2001.

The graph and table data are based on actual property valuations, as established by one of Spain’s larget independent property valuation companies, Tinsa S.A. They are not based on asking prices or (under)declared selling prices, nor on the statistics as provided by the Spanish Ministry of Housing, and are therefore considered to be the most acurate and reliable source for this kind of information.

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May 6th, 2010

A new generation of British buyers are entering the Spanish property market – lured by cheap homes. UK agent sales are up on this time last year, with more Brits choosing investment properties in locations such as Turkey and Egypt. But buyers who were putting off finding holiday homes during the recession are also returning to traditional destinations such as Spain.

Holiday-home buyers in Spain and France still dominate the market – and many have decided now is the time to buy. The two countries made up two-thirds of UK based broker Conti’s overseas mortgage business last month.

Enquiries for Spanish properties make up 92% of the current demand, compared with 50% just two years ago. Two-thirds of our clients have been registered with us for over a year. Most people have thought about buying before – Spain isn’t a new destination for them. But there’s been some recognition that maybe prices won’t go down further.

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April 30th, 2010

Asking prices for resale properties fell just 0.9% over 3 months to the end of March, according to data collected by Idealista.com, a leading Spanish property portal. The table above gives price changes for selected regions.

As a result, the average asking price of property in Spain finished March at 2,387€/m2, with wide variations between regions. The Basque Country has the most expensive property (3,482€/m2), followed by Madrid (€3,282/m2) and Catalonia (2,828€/m2). Regions at the other extreme, with the cheapest property, are Extremadura (1,437€/m2), Murcia (1,506€/m2) and Castilla-La Mancha (1,627€/m2).

Changes in asking prices are an important market indicator, as vendors tend to raise or drop their asking prices in response to demand. Nevertheless, they are not an accurate guide to transaction prices.

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April 29th, 2010

The Spanish house price index figures for March 2010 have just been released. See the graph and the table below for an up to date overview of the real estate market trend in Spain.

Spanish House Price Index - March 2010

Spanish property prices fell by 5.3% over 12 months to the end of March, according to the property price index published monthly by Tinsa, one of Spain’s leading appraisal companies. However, prices inland fell by only 4.0%, which is similar to last month’s 3.8%, and confirms a general trend towards smaller price declines. At this rate prices of inland property will be stable or rising again sometime in the next few months.

The graph and table data represent the year-on-year evolution of Spanish property values. For example, if the value for August 2009 would be -3.9, then this means that average property prices in August 2009 are 3.9% lower than they were a year earlier, in August 2008.

The graph and table on this page contain up to date information for the past 13 months. For more information, please look at earlier monthly reports, or the historical overview since January 2001.

The graph and table data are based on actual property valuations, as established by one of Spain’s larget independent property valuation companies, Tinsa S.A. They are not based on asking prices or (under)declared selling prices, nor on the statistics as provided by the Spanish Ministry of Housing, and are therefore considered to be the most acurate and reliable source for this kind of information.

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April 22nd, 2010

Spanish property purchases were up by almost 19% in February compared with the same month last year, with 41,033 sale & purchase operations being recorded, consolidating the 2.1% increase recorded in January.

The latest figures, released today by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) show the biggest increase so far during the recession, with no increases at all having been recorded since 2008 until the beginning of this year.

In absolute terms, Andalucia recorded the highest number of homes sold in February (7,449), followed by Madrid (7,018), Catalunya (5,514) and Valencia (4,896).

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April 21st, 2010

A surge of foreign lifestyle buyers and investors has split the Spanish property market. Sales are up 200% in some regions compared with 2009 – despite the Bank of Spain claiming that last year was the worst in a decade for foreign property investment in Spain.

Parts of Spain are doing really well at the moment but there are two completely different markets. The split has seen lifestyle buyers choosing less built-up areas such as the Axarquia, where prices are at their most affordable level for years. Meanwhile, investors are looking for distressed bargains in over-developed locations such as the southern Costa Blanca.

Building restrictions in the Axarquia over the last few years have kept stock levels relatively low, while a glut of homes has emerged in other destinations on the Costa del Sol. In areas like the Axarquia and Colmenar the offer is quite limited already. The British know Andalucia is a premium location and are taking advantage of interesting current prices.

Story from OPP

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April 20th, 2010

Buyers are back looking for holiday homes. Mortgage broker Conti Financial Services, which specialises in overseas mortgages, reports a big increase in mortgage applications and the busiest month for over a year.

The foul winter in the UK has probably helped concentrate buyers’ minds on that place in the sun and mortgage applications rose by 48% in March compared with the previous monthly average.

European banks have not suffered as much from the sub-prime crisis as UK mortgage lenders and Conti says that overseas mortgage providers have money to lend to foreign investors. ‘Falling property prices across many European destinations – in some instances by as much as 50% – mean that the chance of owning a place in the sun may never be better, and historically low interest rates mean it’s become even more affordable for British buyers,’ says Clare Nessling, Conti’s operations director.

‘The most popular destinations amongst our clients are still France and Spain, both of which come with easy access and good rental opportunities,’ she says.

Nessling reports bargain hunters out in force in Spain where oversupply of properties and fears about planning permission have left the banks holding repossessed properties which are being sold off. ‘Confidence is definitely growing, but there’s also an element of buyers snapping up bargains in traditional hotspots while they have the chance.’

So where will you find a bargain? ‘Those European countries yet to record their first quarter of growth since the credit crunch include Spain, Denmark and Ireland where an oversupply of stock is holding back prices,’ says Liam Bailey, head of residential research at international estate agents, Knight Frank.

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