Posts Tagged ‘Property market trends’

 

April 17th, 2010

There’s a growing feeling of confidence amongst prospective overseas property buyers, according to Conti, the overseas mortgage specialist. It’s just had its busiest month for almost a year in terms of mortgage ‘go aheads’, the point where prospective buyers take their mortgage quotes through to the application stage. These increased by 48 per cent during March, compared with the previous monthly average. The proportion of prospective buyers progressing from the quote stage to the go ahead stage has also increased, suggesting that buyers are becoming more serious about their intended investment.

Despite the turbulence unleashed on the UK mortgage market by the global banking crisis, Conti says that overseas mortgage providers have a healthy appetite for lending to foreign investors. But a combination of factors, not just mortgage availability, are contributing to the attractiveness of this market. Falling property prices, in some cases by up to 50 per cent, and historically low interest rates are making it much more affordable, despite the current strength of the euro.

Clare Nessling, Conti’s Operations Director, says: “Falling property prices across many European destinations 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. The most popular destinations amongst our clients are still France and Spain, both of which come with easy access and good rental opportunities. Confidence is definitely growing, but there’s also an element of buyers snapping up bargains in traditional hotspots while they have the chance.”

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April 16th, 2010

The latest figures from the National Institute of Statistics (INE) show that the Spanish property market grew by 16% in February compared to the same month last year, building on the trend started in January. This suggest the market has touched bottom and is starting to recovery after 2 years of declines, at least in some areas. Not including social housing, there were 35,720 home sales in February, 21,368 of them newly built and 19,665 resales.

Story by Mark Stucklin

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March 17th, 2010

The report from Savills International Research revealed how far the overseas property market in the UK had fallen over the last year. Just 2% of the 430,000 foreign-home owners in the UK bought their property in 2009, compared to 70% who bought between 2003 and 2008.

“By spring 2009 Savills International noted that interest in international holiday homes had returned, albeit at far lower levels than previous years,” said the report. “The market has now reverted back to traditional, end-user buyers (as opposed to investors), and mostly in traditional, established hotspots.”

The high number of distressed sales that have contributed to oversupply and falling prices has helped keep pure investors out of the market, it added. “In contrast to previous years, investors solely seeking to capitalise on upward price movement are no longer active in the market place.”

Savills’ head of international, Charles Weston-Baker, told OPP that mid-market buyers had also started to return to the market. “We have started to see more grassroots sales coming through,” he said. “The very top of the market has largely been unaffected, but now end-users who are looking for lower-priced but quality property are buying to enjoy the product.

“We’ve also noticed how important sport has become to buyers, especially for baby boomers and those retiring. There’s a new enthusiasm for experiential holidays and buyers need a reason to be somewhere, such as golf or horseriding. We seem to have jumped 20 years in aging, where people are slowing down at 80 rather than 60.”

The report predicts another quiet year for the UK holiday home market, with most sales taking place to high-income lifestyle buyers in traditional locations, with little activity in the speculative or off-plan markets.

The proportion of people buying in major cities and in villages grew substantially at the expense of smaller towns and isolated rural locations. The popularity of purpose-built resorts also increased.

“This reflects not only the growth in preference for such developments but also the rise in quality and quantity of such communities,” said the report. Interest in buying property to renovate or improve also fell, mirroring the rise in resorts where ready-to-go homes maximise letting potential.

Savills’ market has become skewed towards mid-to-top end buyers, and properties worth more than £200,000 now form the majority of purchases, with a particular fall in popularity of homes worth less than £100,000.

Story from OPP (registration)

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March 15th, 2010

The bust is dead, the Spanish property market’s recovery has begun! That’s how some leading daily papers like El Pais are interpreting the latest figures from the National Institute of Statistics (INE) showing the market grew ever so slightly in January. Well, I wouldn’t try to claim a vigorous recovery is underway, but there’s no denying the market appears to have found a floor, which is an improvement on the 2 years plus of monthly declines we had before.

So what happened? Well, figures for January from the INE show that, excluding social housing, there were exactly 34,000 sales in January, up 1.4% over 12 months. A year-on-year increase of 1.4% is no big deal, but it’s a much needed respite when it is the first time in 3 years that the market has actually grown. And it’s difficult to dismiss it as a one off, because it is clear that the market has now found a floor around 30,000 transactions per month.

But, of course, we have to keep in mind that the market in January was 56% smaller than it was in January 2007, when it stood at 77,400 sales per month. So a year-on-year improvement is good news, but peak-to-trough the market is still just a shadow of its former self. Until that situation changes, there’s not much to cheer about.

If you dig into the figures you find that most of the improvement is now coming from resales, not new builds, as the chart shows. New build sales kept the market from total annihilation last year, but I’ve been warning for months that, sooner or later, they might fall off a cliff.

Story by Mark Stucklin

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March 9th, 2010

The Spanish house price index figures for February 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 - February 2010

Spanish property prices fell by 5.5% over 12 months to the end of February, according to the property price index published monthly by Tinsa, one of Spain’s leading appraisal companies. However, prices inland fell by only 3.8%, which is similar to last month’s 3.6%, 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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March 9th, 2010

There was a small uptick in Spanish housing sales during the fourth quarter of last year, according to data released yesterday by the Ministry of Housing. Small, maybe, but enough for the Government to get excited about.

Beatriz Corredor, Minister for Housing

Beatriz Corredor, Minister for Housing

“The transactions in the fourth quarter represent a rise of 4.1% with respect to the same period last year, this being the first year-on-year rise since the fourth quarter of 2006,” goes the first sentence, in bold, of the Ministry’s press release.

In fact, if you just look at the ordinary housing market, the uptick was even better. Excluding social housing there were 116,664 house sales in Q4, a rise of 5.5%. Sales in the province of Malaga went up 3.6%. Regrettably, that’s where the good news ends.

Take the year as a whole, there 413,112 transactions last year, a fall of 19% compared to the previous year, and a whopping 46% down on 2007. Even the Q4 was down 33% compared to 2 years ago.

Some regions did better than others. Looking at a selection of regions popular with holiday home buyers, the inland province of Teruel suffered the most in 2009, down 36%, followed by Las Palmas in The Canaries, down 32%. At the other end of the scale, Spain’s two big cities did the best, down just 1.7% in Madrid and 3.9% in Barcelona.

Story by Mark Stucklin

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February 19th, 2010

The Spanish house price index figures for January 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 - January 2010

Spanish property prices fell by 5.5% over 12 months to the end of January, according to the property price index published monthly by Tinsa, one of Spain’s leading appraisal companies. However, prices inland fell by only 3.6%, which is a mayor improvement on the -6.8% last month, 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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January 15th, 2010

The Spanish house price index figures for December 2009 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 - December 2009

The Tinsa property price index for December shows average prices falling by 6.6% over the last 12 months, the same rate as which prices fell in the 12 months to November. So this represents a pause in the trend towards moderating price declines. Last month we reported that, on present trends, prices will be rising again in a few months. Well, not if the latest figures have anything to do with it.

On the other hand, the price of property in the coast, where most foreigners buy holiday homes, did continue its positive trend, with prices down 7.6% over 12 months, compared to 8.9% last month. On a peak to present basis, prices have fallen the most on the coast (-20.8%).

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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December 13th, 2009

The Spanish house price index figures for November 2009 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 - November 2009

As can be seen from the chart, price falls stabilised at around 10% in the first half of the year, and started shrinking from July onwards. On present trends prices will be rising again within a few months. Even the price of property on the coast is falling at a slower rate, narrowing to -8.9% in November, just above what it was a year ago (-8.5%). Coastal property prices have been hit the hardest thanks to the surplus of holiday homes for which there is little market in a recession.

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 registered 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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November 28th, 2009

I recently read an interesting interview with Mikel Echavarren, head of Irea, a Spanish real estate consultancy, talking about the state of the real estate sector in Spain. As an experienced professional in touch with many different companies in the sector it is worth listening to what he has to say. Here is a selection of comments from his Q&A with Idealista News, the news section of the property portal Idealista.

Do you think there are any good investment opportunities in Spanish real estate today?
I think so but they are risky. In three years we’ll probably be kicking ourselves for not advising investors to invest now. There aren’t many opportunities in commercial real estate because there isn’t much product and rents haven’t yet adjusted. In residential, on the other hand, the correction has been very strong and fast. The ideal profile now is an opportunistic investor buying properties off banks by taking on the existing debt, a type of real estate venture capital.

So you think there are opportunities in a residential sector because the adjustment has already taken place?
There are hundreds of thousands of possible transactions, but not many genuine opportunities. What there is not is any financing, so anyone who wants to take advantage of this market has to take the debt with the asset, but there are still very few people prepared to do that today.

Has the price of housing and land touched bottom?
House prices touched bottom some time ago, they have already fallen all they had to fall. And the price of land has fallen faster than house prices although it could even fall a bit more. We have been saying at the top of our lungs that the price statistics published by the government are worthless, and damaging to the sector because they give international analysts the impression we are a country of idiots. In the US and the UK prices have fallen around 20% from the peak whilst here we have only fallen by 8%. We work with close to 28 property companies that have been restructured, and you see that valuations are down 30% in 2 years, and then banks buy those assets with discounts of 10-15% off valuations.

Do you think there is any residential property that will never sell?
What there is is a stock of land that will never be sold, at least not in 10 years. There are areas of Spain where the town plans look like they were designed for an invasion of extraterrestrials, parts of Almeria, Murcia and Alicante. There is an overdose of land that will lie in the warehouses of banks for many years. On the other hand, the stock of finished property will be absorbed sooner.

Is there any real demand for housing at the moment?
Yes, quite a few homes are being sold. We would have to place it at more than 200,000 homes a year. What is not selling is off-plan, as there you take the risk of the developer or builder going bankrupt. It’s a good time to buy newly built homes with Euribor at 1.24%. They won’t be any cheaper next year. And when prices start to rise they will do so at a rate of 10% per year.

How does one get the Spanish property sector to recover?
The residential sector is already recovering, just not the developers, who won’t see the light at the end of the tunnel for three years; it is very bleak for them. Clients of ours tell us they have sold a lot this summer, and some banks tell us that they have had more mortgage requests this summer than in all 2009. Furthermore, we believe that developers have dropped their prices to the minimum. There is mortgage financing available, not much, but there wasn’t any at all in 2008, and now there is. Mortgage costs are low, and it appears that the future is not going to get any worse. The recovery is underway, although this won’t show up in the official statistics until the first half of 2010. As soon as there is a general perception that things are getting better, house prices will stop falling and start rising.

Story from Idealista News

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