Number of mortgages still falling

INEThe National Statistics Institute has released figures showing the average value of mortgages taken in March decreased 4.3% compared to the same period in 2011. The average value stands at 112,635 euros.

The number of mortgages with changes to conditions decreased 22.8%, while registered mortgage cancellations decreased 20.3%.

Mortgage Statistics  – March 2012

During the month of March, the average amount of mortgage constitutions recorded in the land registries stood at 112,635 euros, a figure 4.3% lower than the same month the previous year and 0.4% higher than that recorded in February 2012.

In the case of mortgages constituted for dwellings, the average amount was 103,782 euros, 7.8% less than in March 2011, and 1.0% less than that registered in February 2012.

The value of the mortgages constituted on urban properties was 4,351 million euros in March, indicating an interannual decrease of 42.5%. In dwellings, the capital loaned exceeded 2,586 million euros, 46.5% less.

Mortgages by institution

Banks were the institutions that granted the largest number of mortgage loans in March (70.2% of the total), followed by Savings Banks (14.1%) and Other financial institutions (15.7%).

Regarding the capital loaned, Banks granted 73.0% of the total, Savings Banks 12.4%, and Other financial institutions 14.6%.

Mortgage interest rates

The average interest rate in March 2012 was 4.37%, indicating a 10.8% increase in the interannual rate, and 0.5% as compared with February 2012.

By institution, the average interest rate of Savings Bank mortgage loans was 4.43%, and the average term was 21 years. Regarding Banks, the average interest rate for mortgage loans was 4.50%, and the average term was 21 years.

94.1% of the mortgages constituted in March used a variable interest rate, as opposed to the 5.9% that used a fixed rate. Within the variables, the Euribor was the reference interest rate most used in constituting mortgages, specifically in 87.0% of new contracts.

Mortgages with registration changes

In March, the total number of mortgages with changes in their conditions recorded in the land registries stood at 25,747, with an interannual decrease of 22.8%. For housing, the number of mortgages with modified conditions decreased 22.4%.

Considering the type of modification of the conditions, in March 21,678 novations (or modifications produced within the same financial institution) were produced, for an interannual decrease of 21.2%. The number of transactions that changed institutions (subrogations creditor) was 2,955, that is 31.7% less. In turn, 1,114 mortgages changed the holder of the mortgaged property (subrogations debtor), which implied an increase of 27.0%.

Number of mortgages with changes in interest rate conditions 

Of the 25,747 mortgages with changes in their conditions recorded in the land registries in March, 39.3% were due to changes in interest rates.

The percentage of mortgages at a fixed interest rate decreased after the change in conditions (from 3.9% to 1.9% of the total), since most of these loans were referenced to a variable interest rate. Within the interest rate structure, the Euribor was the main reference.

The lowest average interest before the change was that corresponding to Active Reference Rate of Savings Banks (3.62%) and after the change was MRTI of Savings Banks (4.13%).

After the modification of conditions, the average interest of the loans decreased 0.3 points in fixed interest rate mortgages, and decreased 0.08 points in variable interest rate mortgages.

Registered mortgage cancellations 

In March, 44,390 mortgage cancellations were registered, 20.3% less than in the same month of 2011. Mortgages cancelled on rustic properties increased 2.8%, whilst those cancelled on urban properties decreased 20.9%. Cancellations of mortgages on dwellings decreased 24.4% in the interannual rate.

Geographical distribution

The highest numbers of mortgaged properties per 100,000 inhabitants¹ was in Castilla y León (148). There is no community that presented a positive variation rate. The greatest negative variation rates was registered in La Rioja (-57.2%).

Principado de Asturias registered the highest average mortgaged amount (154,234 euros), and presented the highest positive variation rates (39.3%).

The Communities showing the highest number of properties with modified conditions in March per 100,000 inhabitants¹ were Comunitat Valenciana and La Rioja (both with 121). Those having the greatest number of registered mortgage cancellations per 100,000 inhabitants¹ were La Rioja (191), and Castilla – La Mancha (156).

¹ This data was calculated from the revision of the figures of the Municipal Register for the year 2011. Only the population aged 18 to 84 years old was considered.

You can download the complete report here: Mortgage Statistics – March 2012

Property sales decreased 12.8% in March

INEThe National Statistics Institute (INE) have released data showing the number of property transfers in March decreased 12.8%, compared to the same period in 20122.

The number of property transfers recorded in the land registries, from public deeds previously registered, was 146,303 in March, that is, 12.8% less than for the same month in 2011, and 2.7% lower than in February 2012.

In the case of registered merchantings of property, the number of transfers was 58,536, representing an interannual decrease of 20.0%, and a decrease of 12.9%, as compared with the previous month.

Merchantings recorded in the land registries

83.4% of the registered merchantings corresponded to urban properties and 16.6% to rustic properties. Among the urban properties, 52.1% were merchantings of dwellings.

The number of merchantings of rustic properties decreased 10.5% in the interannual rate in March, while that of urban properties decreased 21.7%. Within the latter, merchantings of dwellings decreased 22.7%.

Registered merchantings of dwellings, by protection system and status

86.7% of transfers of dwellings by merchanting in March were free housing, and 13.3% were protected housing. In interannual terms, the number of transfers of free dwellings by merchanting decreased 20.9% and that of protected dwellings decreased 32.8%.

47.9% of the dwellings transferred by merchanting in March were new, and 52.1% were used. The number of transactions on new dwellings decreased 24.3%, and the number of used dwellings decreased 21.3%, as compared with March 2011.

Geographical distribution

In March 2012, the total number of property transfers recorded in the land registries per 100,000 inhabitants¹ was highest in the Autonomous Communities of Extremadura (687), and La Rioja (640).

The Autonomous Communities showing the highest number of registered merchantings of property per 100,000 inhabitants¹ were La Rioja (278) and Castilla-La Mancha (253).

By registered merchantings of dwellings, the Autonomous Communities in which the number of transfers per 100,000 inhabitants¹ was highest were Canarias (87) and Comunidad Foral de Navarra (87).

58.4% of merchantings of dwellings in March 2012 were recorded in four Autonomous Communities: Andalucía, Comunidad de Madrid, Comunitat Valenciana and Cataluña.

You can download the full press release here: Statistics on Transfer of Property Rights – March 2012

¹ This data was calculated from the revision of the figures of the Municipal Register for the year 2011. Only the population aged 18 to 84 years old was considered.

Hotel stays down 3.5% in March

Hotel in Spain
Hotel stays down in March

The National Statistics Institute (INE) have released figures showing that overnight stays in Spanish hotels decreased 3.5% in March, as compared with the same month in 2011.

The hotels earned an average of 33.4 euros per available room and invoiced an average of 66.9 euros per occupied room.

During the month of March, 17.4 million overnight stays were recorded in hotel establishments, indicating a 3.5% decreases as compared with the same month in 2011. This decrease in overnight stays took place for both residents, whose interannual rate stood at –3.1%, and non-residents, with an interannual variation of –3.8%.

The average stay decreased 3.0% as compared with March 2011, standing at 3.0 nights per guest.

During the first quarter of the year, overnight decreased 0.7% as compared with the same period in 2011.

In turn, the Hotel Price Index (HPI) registered a 0.3% decrease in March. Regarding the indicators on the profitability of the hotel sector, invoicing per occupied room reached an average value of 66.9 euros, and income per available room stood at 33.4 euros.

In terms of occupancy, 44.6% of the available bedplaces were filled in March, indicating a 3.8% decrease as compared with the same month the previous year. The weekend occupancy rate by bedplaces stood at 49.3%, with a decrease of 7.7%.

Overnight stays of guests resident abroad

Guests from Germany and the United Kingdom registered rates of 27.7% and 20.9%, respectively, of the total overnight stays by foreign nationals in March. The German market experienced a 4.0% interannual decrease in overnight stays, while the British market registered a 2.1% increase.

Overnight stays of guests from France, Italy and Sweden (the following countries of origin) registered interannual rates of –8.3%, –23.3% and –1.7%, respectively.

Main destinations

The main destination chosen by non-residents was Canarias. In this Autonomous Community, overnight stays by foreign nationals decreased 7.2% as compared with March 2011. It was followed by Cataluña, with an interannual rate of 5.9%, and Andalucía, with an increase of 0.9%.

Andalucía, Comunitat Valenciana and Cataluña were the main destinations of guests resident in Spain, with interannual rates for overnight stays of –4.1%, –1.6% and –5.3%, respectively.

Results by Autonomous Community, tourist area and tourist site

During the month of March, Canarias was the Autonomous Community with the highest occupancy rate by bedplaces (70.1%), followed by Illes Balears (55.2%) and Comunitat Valenciana (47.2%).

The tourist areas with the highest occupancy and overnight stay rates were located on the islands and the coasts. The south of Gran Canaria recorded the highest occupancy rate by bedplaces (75.6%), while La Gomera registered the highest weekend occupancy rate by bedplaces (75.5%). Tenerife registered more than 1.9 million overnight stays in March.

The tourist sites with the highest number of overnight stays were Madrid, Barcelona and San Bartolomé de Tirajana. Mogán reached the highest occupancy rate by bedplaces (78.2%) and Puerto de Santa Cruz the highest weekend occupancy (80.4%).

Indicators on the Profitability of the Hotel Sector

The average invoicing by hotels per occupied room (ADR) in March was 66.9 euros, indicating a decrease of 0.1 euros as compared with the same month in 2011.

In turn, income per available room (RevPAR), conditioned by the occupancy registered in the hotel establishments, reached 33.4 euros, with a decrease of 1.9 euros as compared with March 2011.

By category, the average invoicing was 144.6 euros for five-star hotels, 72.4 euros for fourstar hotels and 51.9 euros for three-star hotels. Income per available room for these same categories was 75.3, 43.4 and 28.7 euros, respectively.

You can find the full press release here: Hotel Tourism Short-Term Trends – March 2012.

Spanish unemployment approaches 5 million

Spanish unemployment
The queues keep growing

The number of registered unemployed is creeping closer to 5 million following an extra 38,769 job losses during March, slightly higher than the increase of 34,406 in the same month in 2011.

The total figure for people registered at the offices of public employment stands at 4.75 million at the end of March, an increase of 0.82% compared to the previous month, according to figures announced on Monday by the Ministry of Employment and Social Security. The official number of people registered unemployed is 4,750,867.

Compared to the same time last year unemployment is up by 9.6%, an increase of 417,198, and is the highest single increase since records began in 1996. The previous highest figure for March was in 2009 when 123,543 people registered as unemployed.

March is the eighth straight month in which unemployment figures have risen and also the represents the largest monthly increase of those eight months.

Secretary of State for Employment, Engracia Hidalgo, used the figures to justify the recent labour reforms stressing that the current situation was “unsatisfactory” and that the reforms introduced a framework of “trust and flexibility” for businesses. I’m not sure what it introduced for workers though! Not much, in my opinion.

The new figures suggest women are finding it harder to find or retain employment with an increase of 20,251, compared to the increase for men of 18,518. The same is true overall with the total number of unemployed women at 2,379,085 compared to the total for men which is 2,371,782

It’s not bad news for everybody though. In March 1,026,858 people found a new job and of those, 98,485 were permanent contracts, although the figure is 11.4% lower than the same time last year.


House prices fell 11.5% in March

TINSA have released their house price index report for March 2012.

The General IMIE Index recorded the highest year-on-year decrease in the historical series during the month of March, with a drop of 11.5%, leaving the index at 1631 points. Since peaking in December 2007, house prices have seen a fall in value that now stands at a cumulative figure of exactly 28.6%.

With regard to the performance of the different market segments, “Capitals and Major Cities” once again recorded the steepest decline of 12.6% in March, followed on this occasion by the “Other Municipalities” with a fall of 12% compared with the same month last year. In both cases the reduction exceeded the market average. Below the market average were the municipalities of the “Mediterranean Coast” which saw a year-on-year decrease of 10.8%, followed by the “Balearic and Canary Islands” and the “Metropolitan Areas”, which both presented a drop of 9.8%.

Below the market average were the municipalities of the “Mediterranean Coast” which saw a year-on-year decrease of 10.8%, followed by the “Balearic and Canary Islands” and the “Metropolitan Areas”, which both presented a drop of 9.8%.

In relation to the overall decline since the market peaked, the “Mediterranean Coast ” showed a fall of 34.9% in March; followed by “Capitals and Major Cities” with 30.8%, “Metropolitan Areas” with 29.4%, the “Balearic and Canary Islands” with 25% and “Other Municipalities”, which refers to those not included in the other categories, with 24.9%.

You can download the full press release here: March 2012 Imie Index

Russian Meeting Point gets under way

Russian Meeting PointThe “Russian Meeting Point” opened yesterday in a bid to boost the sale of Spanish coastal property to Russian investors.

This years event is being held at the Hotel Villa Padierna and so far has attracted large numbers of investors and property agents, all here to find investment opportunities on the Costa del Sol. The main focus of the group is the so-called “Golden Triangle” which includes Marbella, Estepona and Benahavis. However, other areas are also being marketed at the event including the Canary Islands, Balearic Islands, Alicante and Andalucía. The three-day event will close tomorrow (Friday).

Ángeles Muñoz, Mayor of Marbella, visited the event on Thursday morning accompanied by Enrique Lacalle, the president of the organizing committee, and the President of the Andalusian Federation of Developers and Residential Tourism, Ricardo Arranz.

Muñoz attended the event to see first-hand the level of interest from various investors and property agents for the Spanish property market and, more specifically, that of the Costa del Sol.

Many of the exhibitors have already expressed their satisfaction with the volume of contacts made at the exclusive real-estate forum.

Sr. Lacalle thanked the exhibitors for their attendance and is convinced that the event will prove to be profitable for all involved.

David Scheffler, Director of Expansion of Engel & Völkers, said “This initiative is a great opportunity for the Spanish real estate sector in general and particularly for us, so we could not pass up this opportunity. At The Russian Meeting Point we are presenting over 6,000 real estate properties to potential buyers from Russia. ”

The event also included talks presented by some of Spain’s business leaders. One such talk, entitled “What the Russians want to know before buying a property: How to get a mortgage in Spain.” was given by Alberto Pulido, Director of Business Mortgages in Spain’s Banco Santander.

There will be further talks on Friday including “Managing visas and residence permits” which will be presented by the National Association of Developers.

This is the second edition of the Meeting Point and will be followed by a third which will take place in Barcelona in October at the Fira de Barcelona.

Second Place Expo – Belgium

Second Place Expo
Second Place Expo

Second Place Expo – The only Belgian second home exhibition.

The 12th edition of the Second Place Expo will be held from March 16-18, at Flanders Expo Ghent, Belgium.

This years event is expected to bring over 250 exhibitors showing over 250,000 properties from 25 countries, on over 100 stands.

“The fair is aimed at a very specific audience: the “mediors” (between juniors and seniors). It is usually two-income families (40 +) with higher than average net income and children have left home. It used to be that age group that was more likely to save, but now they want to enjoy. There is also a difference in the type of buyer: those who buy for pure holiday pleasure, others hope to find a spot where they finally go to emigrate and the third group sees the purchase as a pure investment. Just like last year the more traditional destinations such as France, Spain, Italy and Turkey did very well.” [from official website]

The entry price per ticket per person is €10,00, entry for children under 12 is free. If registered through the official website, you will receive a 50% discount (max. 2 persons), the ticket price is €5,00 after registration. Click here to register.

For more information visit the website or contact the exhibition manager, Henkjan Prins, with the following details:

Flanders Expo, Maaltekouter 1, 9051 Ghent (B)

Tel: +32(0)9 241 99 97

Fax: +32(0)9 270 32 56


Russian investors invited to ‘Golden Triangle’

Russian Meeting Point

The towns of Benahavis, Estepona and Marbella, together known as the ‘Golden Triangle’, are inviting Russian investors to help reduce the stock of property for sale on the coast.

‘The Russian Meeting Point – Marbella’ will be held at Hotel Villa Padierna between March 14th and 16th and will see representatives of the Spanish real-estate sector meet with Russian investors.

The initiative seeks to present all of the properties for sale in those areas with significant discounts on the original price. The meeting will have an area of ​​approximately 1,000 sq/ft to promote contacts and trade between marketers, Spanish development and construction companies and other professional investors.

The organisers of the meeting said “We have the support of major Russian real estate associations that will present a significant presence of investors interested in buying Spanish property, or promoting it in the Russian market, one of the most powerful in Europe, and generate more interest in Spanish real estate, especially in the ‘Golden Triangle’. ”

The warm reception received by Russian investors in the last edition of “Barcelona Meeting Point” led to the sale of luxury homes on the Costa del Sol, thanks in part to an influx of buyers from the East, and also led to the organising of this event.

Ricardo Arranz, current president of the Andalusian Federation of Developers and Residential Tourism recently said that luxury homes valued between four and 10 million euros are being purchased mainly by buyers from Saudi Arabia, U.A.E. and Russia.

‘The Russian Meeting Point – Marbella’ comes with great expectations for the sale of both luxury properties and other stock due to the heavy discounting currently available.

More information is available on the official website: Marbella Meeting Point 2012