House prices in Spain increased by 0.8% compared to the previous quarter.

 

According to the press release published by El Colegio de Registradores, its Real Estate Registry Statistics for the first quarter of 2024, analyses the current trends that reflect the behaviour of Spaniards in the purchase of homes. It also includes a report on average prices, in addition to the traditional Case & Shiller price index applied to Spain.

 

average prices of registered sales and purchases
average prices of registered sales and purchases

 

 

The average house price experiences a slight increase compared to the previous quarter, making three consecutive quarters of increases. The 1,998 €/m² of the first quarter represents an increase of 0.8% compared to the previous quarter. This increase is mainly due to the performance of new housing, which grew by 3.0%, while used housing fell by 0.2%. It should be borne in mind that new housing barely accounts for 2 out of every 10 transactions and sometimes includes purchase and sale agreements with an average of two years in advance, with the evolution of used housing prices therefore being more representative.

 

average price of registered dwellings. First quartes 2024
average price of registered dwellings (€ / m2). First quarter 2024

 


The data for the last twelve months for Spain as a whole, with a more structural behaviour, show that in the first quarter, the average price of 1,984 €/m², represented a cumulative year-on-year increase of 1.9%.  This increase is mainly due to the greater strength of new housing (4.1%), while used housing recorded a much more moderate increase (1.1%) in prices.

By Autonomous Communities, in the first quarter, the highest average prices were in Madrid (3,344 €/m2), followed by the Balearic Islands (3,325 €/m2), the Basque Country (3,031 €/m2), Catalonia (2,463 €/m2) and the Canary Islands (2,212) €/m2. In the opposite direction, the lowest prices were recorded in Extremadura (804 €/m2) and Castilla - La Mancha (893 €/m2), the only regions below €1,000 per m2.


Registered sales of dwellings

Between January and March, 151,476 property sales were registered in the land registries, an increase of 16.6% over the previous quarter. This data breaks the downward trend of the last three quarters and shows the strength of the residential market, insofar as, compared with the same quarter of 2023, the fall was only 5.9%.

 

Number of registered sales-purchases registered. Quarterly results and quarterly variation.
Number of registered sales-purchases registered. Quarterly results and quarterly variation.

 


In new housing, 31,226 sales were registered, an increase of 30.1% over the previous quarter, which is the highest result since the first quarter of 2022. Used housing registered 120,250 transactions, with a quarterly increase of 13.6%, at levels close to the average of the last ten quarters.

The accumulated data for the last twelve months show that 573,494 home sales and purchases were constituted in Spain, down 10.8% compared to the previous quarter, confirming the downward trend despite the good quarterly performance. The 646,241 sales in the fourth quarter of 2022 were the highest since mid-2008.

 

Number of residential mortgages

In the first quarter of the year, the number of mortgages taken out on dwellings showed a significant quarterly increase in 2024, after six consecutive quarters of declines. There were 108,910 transactions, an increase of 21.1% compared with the previous quarter (-1.0% in Q4 2023). The increase in mortgage activity has been more intense than that of the number of home sales, changing the trend with respect to previous quarters, despite the fact that the expected drop in interest rates has not yet occurred.

The quarterly percentage of mortgages taken out as a proportion of registered home sales and purchases has increased, specifically by 2.7 p.p. during the last quarter, reaching a ratio of 71.9% of mortgages to sales and purchases.

 

Evolution of the number of mortgages as a percentage of the number of sales. Quarterly results.
Evolution of the number of mortgages as a percentage of the number of sales. Quarterly results.

 


Purchases of dwellings by foreigners

In the first quarter, foreign demand for housing reached 14.2% of sales and purchases, which represents a progressive move away from the maximum level of the historical series, with sales and purchases in Spain reaching (15.4%) in the third quarter of 2023. Compared to the previous quarter, this percentage represents a decrease of 0.9 p.p. However, due to the increase in total sales and purchases, in absolute terms the number of sales and purchases by foreigners has increased, exceeding 21,500 transactions, compared to less than 21,000 in the previous quarter. The British again lead the results with 9.1% of sales, followed by Germans (6.8%), Moroccans (6.1%), French (5.9%) and Belgians (5.5%).

By Autonomous Communities, fourteen have reduced their percentage weight, while three have increased it. The largest volumes correspond to the Balearic Islands (31.7%), Valencia (28.8%), the Canary Islands (26.0%), Murcia (23.4%) and Catalonia (15.6%).


Registered home sales and purchases by nationality of the buyer. First quarter 2024
Registered home sales and purchases by nationality of the buyer. First quarter 2024

 


Data for the month of March on mortgages and home sales and purchases

Continuing with the monthly series, this quarterly report includes the data from the Real Estate Register Statistics corresponding to the month of March, in terms of sales and purchases and mortgages, compared with the same period in 2023. Total mortgages fell once again, while sales and purchases, which in previous months had held up better than mortgages, fell even more sharply.

Specifically, total sales and purchases registered in March fell by 20.1% compared with the same month the previous year, after increases in the first two months of the year, which had been preceded by thirteen months of consecutive falls, September being the month with the biggest fall in the period, with a drop of 20.6%. From 107,455 registered transactions in March 2023, the figure fell to 85,832 last March, a reduction of more than 21,000 transactions. Housing sales and purchases fell slightly less, by 19.5% year-on-year, and from 54,002 transactions in March 2023 to 43,473 last March, a reduction of more than 10,000 transactions.

 

sales / mortgages 2024 vs 2023
sales / mortgages 2024 vs 2023 

 

 

In terms of total mortgages, there were sharper declines than in sales and purchases until September 2023. Since then, there has been a progressive slowdown in the fall in mortgages, with a similar evolution between total mortgages and residential mortgages. In 2024, positive mortgage data were observed in February, while in March, as in the case of sales and purchases, there was a sharp fall of 18.8%. In terms of total mortgages, 46,410 operations were constituted in March last year, compared with 37,708 last March, which represents a decrease of 18.8%, with a negative difference of 8,700 operations. As for residential mortgages, from 34,823 transactions in March 2023, there were 28,618 last March, with a slightly lower percentage decrease than that of total mortgages, of 17.8%, with some 6,200 fewer transactions.

 

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