Property Rental Prices Increased in Q1

Expect to pay more for rentals in 2016
Expect to pay more for rentals in 2016

According to data released by property portal, Idealista, the cost of rental property increased by 4.3% across Spain during the first quarter ending March at 7.4 Euros per square metre, per month. Comparing on the annual rate the increase is 5.2%.

The rental market appears to be recovering more strongly than the sales market. Head of research at Idealista, Fernando Encinar, said “with the report data in hand it is clear that there is a huge demand for rental housing, and that supply is rising strongly.”

The recovery in rentals has to take into account the large amount of rental property available to the market. Excessive construction, leading up to the crisis, means there is a large stock of good quality housing resulting in a large and varied choice for tenants.

Encinar explained “Given that the construction during the years of the housing bubble left a large housing stock of good quality properties, the rise of rents can be a boost for many owners and a good choice for small and medium savers who want to seize the moment to invest in housing.

“With rates at zero and banks giving historically low yields many small investors are seeing good returns by buying homes and placing them on the rental market.”

Rentals by Community

All communities recorded an increase in rental costs during the first quarter, except for Euskadi where prices fell by 4%.

The largest increase was recorded in the Balearic Islands where rental prices have increased 11.2% to 10 Euros per square metre, since the start of the year. The closet “runners-up” were Madrid where prices increased 5.2%, Valencia which saw a 5% increase, and Catalonia where the cost of renting has increased by 4.7%.

Madrid remains as the most expensive location to rent a property. In the capital you should expect to pay 11.5 Euros per m². Catalonia follows as the second most expensive with prices of 11 Euros per square metre.

Andalucia saw prices increase 2.5% on the quarterly basis. The region shows an annual increase of 4%, remaining popular and closely matched to the average for Spain. The price of property for rent in Marbella increased 8% on the annual rate, showing a quarterly increase of 4.7%.

The Costa del Sol showed rental price increases in most areas with Estepona leading the way with a 27% annual increase. Prices in Malaga increased by 15.5%, followed by Fuengirola where rental prices increased 15.1% on the interannual rate.

Results by Province

Increases in rental costs were recorded in 38 of the country’s provinces with the largest increase registered in the Balearic Islands. Valencia saw prices increase by 6.7%, while prices in Madrid increased 5.2%. The largest decline in rental prices through Q1 was recorded in Tarragona where prices fell 8.6%.

When ranking the provinces in order of the most expensive, Barcelona leads with a price per square metre, per month, of 12.6 Euros. Madrid comes in second with 11.5 Euros per square metre p/month.

 

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Licences for Housing Increased in January

The once familiar cranes are returning to Spain
The once familiar cranes are returning to Spain

As I’ve been saying lately, the Spanish property market is recovering well from the tumultuous few years following the crisis and the number of building licences issued in January this year appears to back me up.

January saw an increase of 39.7%, when compared to January 2015, in the number of building licences issued with 4,774 authorised new constructions, according to data released by the Ministry of Public Works.

47.8% More Apartments

Of the total, 3,572 licences were issued for apartments within a block representing an increase of 47.8% over the same period last year. Licences for single-family homes increased by 20.3% with 1,201 new properties given the go-ahead.

This continues the upward trend that began in 2014, a year which saw the first positive signs following seven years of negativity, and culminating in 2015 with the number of licences up to 38,873, an increase of 1,.7%.

The Spanish property market suffered terribly after the 2007 crisis with 2013 marking a record-low in the number of construction licences approved, down to 34,288 units. This was less than a tenth of the 2006 peak of 865,561 licences, a collapse of 96%.

 

Q1 2016 Saw Property Prices Fall 0.7%

Prices have gone up and down across the country
Prices have gone up and down across the country

Property portal Idealista have released data showing the prices of resale property in Spain fell an average of 2.8% during Q1, 2016, when compared to the same period in 2015.

A square metre will now cost an average of 1,552 Euros compared to 1,597 Euros 12 months ago.

However, the results are very different when looking at different areas of Spain.

In Barcelona, for example, you will now see an average cost per square metre of 3,478 Euros, an increase of 6.6% on the inter-annual rate. However, prices in the city are still 26.9% lower than during the peak of 2007.

Madrid saw a 2.2% average increase leaving a square metre at 2,832 Euros. Again, this is far below the pre-crisis peak when the same space would have cost you 4,035 Euros.

Despite the community of Valenciana seeing a drop of 2.2% in the inter-annual rate, property owners in Valencia city have seen their property values increase during the first quarter by an average 2.9% over the same period in 2015, leaving a square metre costing 1,471 Euros. This is 47.5% lower than the pre-crisis peak prices.

The two island communities, The Canary Islands and The Balearic Islands both saw increases in the average cost of a square metre with inter-annual increases of 4.1% and 3.9%, respectively.

Andalucia and the Costa del Sol

In Andalucia, the average price has fallen a slight 0.2% in the inter-annual rate, leaving a square metre costing 1,385 Euros.

Of the Costa del Sol areas it appears most are well into the recovery and many have seen price increases, some quite substantial. For example, in Manilva, prices have increased 15.7% in the last 12 months meaning you will now be looking at 1,324 Euros per square metre.

Estepona, Torremolinos and Coin also saw increases well above average with prices going up 7%, 6.3% and 5.6%, respectively.

In Marbella, arguably the most famous area of the coast, prices have increased by an average of 4.8% leaving a square metre with a cost of 2,425 Euros. At the end of Q1 in 2015 this cost was 2,313 Euros.

Of all the towns in Andalucia the majority finished the quarter on a positive with the exception of Antequerra, Caleta de Velez, Cártama, Ronda, Torre del Mar and Torrox.

This confirms the general feeling amongst agents here on the coast who have noticed a renewed interest in property for sale, as well as a very notable increase in tourist numbers. Some of the increases are due to security concerns in other countries with many tourists feeling Spain is the only “safe” option for a European holiday. These threats are not likely to continue indefintely and we will surely see a drop-off in tourist numbers as people start once again to visit Turkey, Tunisia, Greece, Cyprus and Egypt, all countries that have suffered of late. Hopefully, by the time that happens Spain, and specifically the Costa del Sol, would have had a great year for both tourism and the beleaguered property market.

You can see the full report from Idealista here.

Property Rental Prices Lowest Since Crisis

The cost of renting a property in Spain has fallen by an average of 239 Euros since the peak of 2007, according to analysis by property portal Fotocasa.

Pre-crisis the average cost of a rental property in Spain with an area of 80m² was 810 Euros, or 10.12 Euros per m². In February 2016 the average price had fallen to 571 Euros, representing a 29.6% fall over the last nine years.

Rental costs lowest since 2007
Rental costs lowest since 2007

Beatriz Toribio, responsible for fotocasa studies, said “Renting a home today is almost 30% cheaper than in 2007, but in the last two years we have seen rental prices have begun to recover due to growing interest and increased demand since the crisis erupted. This explains why owners are increasingly reluctant to lower prices and closed 2015 with the highest increase (3.6%) in the history of fotocasa’s real estate index.”

By Community

The autonomous community that registered the largest fall in rental costs was Aragón where rental prices have fallen an average of 349 Euros over the last eight years. Prices in the community peaked in June 2008 at 10.85 p/m², or 868 Euros per month for a property of 80m². The fall is 40.3% with the same example property now costing only 519 Euros per month.

Conversely, Castilla and Leon has seen the slightest fall in prices over recent years. The average reduction in Castilla and Leon is 81 Euros since its peak in May 2008 when an 80m² property would cost 532 Euros to rent. In february this year the cost stood at 451 Euros.

High / Low

During February this year the most expensive part of Spain to rent a property was the Basque Country where the average rent is 813 Euros. Here, prices have fallen by 13.5% since the peak, an equivalent value of 127 Euros.

The cheapest place to rent a property is Extremadura where the average cost to rent an 80m² property is 358 Euros. This area saw its peak in June 2008 when the average price was 443 Euros. February’s costs represent a reduction of 85 Euros, or 19.2%.

By Province

When looking at the rental prices across the country’s provinces, Huelva recorded the largest fall. Prices in the province have fallen considerably since their peak in May 2007. Back then, a rental property would have an average monthly rental cost of 851 Euros. By February this year this cost had fallen a massive 43.9% to only 478 Euros per month for an 80m² property.

The lowest fall by province was recorded in Palencia. Here, property rental costs, while still cheaper than they used to be, have only fallen by an average of 38 Euros over the last nine years. Renting a property in Palencia in February 2016 would have set you back an average of 438 Euros, 7.9% lower than prices in 2007 when the average stood at 475 Euros.

 

Property Discount is No Guarantee of a Sale

Selling your property became more difficult in 2015, according to data released by online property portal Fotocasa.

Owners who had a property for sale in 2015 found they had to reduce the original asking price by an average of 14% in order to sell. This is the equivalent of 33,400 Euros, one percentage point below the previous year. Fotocasa reported that the 14% decrease was the slightest reduction required to sell over the last six years, and indicates a continuing recovery in the property market.

Discounts Applied to Properties by Year

On average, 36% of owners who put their property on the market were able to close the deal, an increase over 2014 when only 28% of owners managed to sell. On average it took 10.6 months to sell a property, one month shorter than in 2014 when it took an average of 11.5 months.

In 2015, 44% managed to sell their property in under six months, while 25% needed between seven and 12 months to sell. A further 16% took between 13 and 24 months while 15% took over two years to complete a sale.

Beatriz Toribio from Fotocasa, said “The housing market has not yet recovered, but has been reactivated and therefore is more dynamic than in the worst years of the crisis. In 2015 those who managed to sell their property took less time to complete and applied a lower discount. But to sell, you need to lower the price: 81% of the owners who sold a property in 2015 had to do this,”.

Type of Residence

Of the sellers surveyed for the report, 46% said the property they sold was their main residence, followed by those selling a second home (22%), while a further 18% said the property sold had been inherited.

By types of property 52% were flats and 19% were houses. Apartments made up 7%, with 4% being duplex properties, and 4% penthouses.

Price Reductions Don’t Guarantee a Sale

According to the data, 64% of properties for sale in 2015 failed to sell, despite an average time on sale of 14 months. Of those that didn’t sell, 66% said they had applied a discount to the asking price with an average discount of 14% of the asking price. This translates into 32,797 Euros but this was not a guarantee that the property would sell.

Toribio explained that “The price is one of the factors that influence the purchase of a house, but also the location, distribution, quality and housing characteristics. Not everything is sold,”.

Despite the findings the survey also showed that there is still some resistance to reducing prices with 52% of owners who did not manage to sell said they had not applied a discount and were not willing to do so.

“For the first time during a study we found owners who, despite not selling, are reluctant to lower the asking price, which is very surprising after all that has happened in the housing market,” added Toribio.

How to Sell?

The data also shows that more people are turning to Spanish real-estate agents in order to market and ultimately sell their property. 68% of people who sold their property in 2015 did so through an agent.

Sellers citied the main reasons for using agents rather than selling privately as being the quality of potential buyers (43%), convenience (24%), and avoiding red-tape (16%).

You can read the full report here.

Housing in 2014 continued rising

Property Sales in Spain rose again in 2014HOUSING sales in Spain have again for the third consecutive quarter risen, as 13.5% more houses were sold in the third quarter of the same period last year.

Sources in the Ministry of Development stated that the amount of sales completed before a notary between the months of July and September was 80,136. January to March also saw a rise of 48.5% in sales, with an additional 12% increase in the second quarter.

These are indeed encouraging statistics, especially when viewed with latest figures from the Institute of National Statistics (INE) which showed a 16% increase in October compared with the same month last year.

There`s still a way to go before reaching the same figures prior to the housing crash. The record remains for houses sold in a single at 251,649 homes, which was set in the second quarter of 2006.

Whilst 95% of transactions were for private houses, a majority of the resale market, just 15.1% of sales were for new homes. Even though signs of recovery are encouraging for the new homes market, a huge repository of houses still remain that need to also be sold. Slightly surprising is the fact that new housing sales are not rising quicker as stated recently in another report that new houses are being sold for less than the construction cost, enabling house buyers a unique opportunity which may not return for many years.

At the top the sales chart in the third quarter was Andalucia (16,360 transactions); that was followed by Valencia (12,116); then closely by Catalonia (11,983) and finally Madrid (10,272).

A major contributor to slaes figures were foreign residents of Spain. In the third quarter their purchases accounted for 12,764 transactions, which is an increase of 17.2%, the 13th quarterly rise.

Total number of sales to foreigners which also includes non-residents reached 13,789, or 17.2% of the total house purchases in that quarter.

The most popular areas were Alicante (3,323) Malaga (1,918), Barcelona (1,103), Madrid (839) and Tenerife (721).

Why Chinese property investors choose to buy property in the UK?

UK and China has an improved trade relations. A rising number of Chinese children are now being admitted in top schools along, which is among the key factors that drive Chinese investment in properties at prime central London.

W.A. Ellis, an agency in prime central London, made a research that stated the liberalization of China’s currency, the Renminbi (RMB), has created a rising price of newly constructed residential properties in China’s first tier regions and an increasing number of Chinese high net worth personas seek offshore investments. This adds attraction to London’s real estate.

The agency’s recent research pointed out that about £3.5B was spent exclusively on UK properties made by Chinese investors in 2013. The current Chinese currency strength means that the price of buying properties as assets in London is around 8% cheaper than it was a few years back.

The research done by Hong Kong-based property firm – Centaline – on the first quarter of the year 2013 emphasized the impact of around 15% tax introduced on foreigners that invest in Hong Kong. This resulted to four-year low decrease in the sales of luxury houses to mainland Chinese investors.

Lucy Morton – a senior partner and head of lettings at W.A. Ellis has returned from a trip to Hong Kong – said that there is confidence in the real estate market in London. Investors have become frantic to buy and the liberalization of RMB has immensely helped, which is partly the responsible for widening the profile of buyers.

She also stated that around 20 years before buying London properties are exclusive to the rich. Today, there are high net worth personas, in large numbers, who are interested in investing within the capital.

She highlighted the interest of buying through exhibitions. People are interested looking at exhibitions considering that they have researched about the area where they want to buy as well as the schemes and developers of the property they are going to buy. Deposits are made ready and so they leave right after making their purchase.

Morton also pointed that South East Asian investors have purchased new luxury property developments within central London, which are usually one or two bedroom apartment. There are majority, however, that are buying just one apartment but other high net worth families can spend millions.

Apart from the ones mentioned, she also explained that there has been an increase in property portals such as Juwai.com and search engines that are in Chinese dialect such as Baidu. She added that this has helped the marked and will play a major role in the near future.

According to Morton, education has prompted this residential investment. There are children who attend private schools in London and they are in greater numbers. Mandarin is currently becoming part of the curriculum in a lot of schools. When they reach university age, a lot of students arrive and because of this their families seek private rented sectors. The steady growth of South East Asian students’ number has been seen, which also increased the rental numbers of centrally located properties.

Property Sales increase in Spain

Property Sales increase in SpainThe Spanish property market because of the rise in sales of residential properties grew by eight per cent in June 2014 compared to last year.

Sales statistics just released from the National Statistics Institute, shows that Spain has seen a year on year increase in property sales for four consecutive months, ending a ten month duration of year on year declines.

Valencia boasts the largest increase of house sales per 100 thousand people, followed closely by the Canary and Balearic Islands.

In relation to this, Madrid performs the highest, with a 30.4 per cent increase. Extremadura, with 25.7 per cent, and Navarra, at 19.3 per cent, placed at second and third.

There has been very positive movement on the Costa del Sol this year. to put it into perspective: there have been four new housing developments within the Costa in 2013 compared with none throughout the previous 3 years. Potential developers need to stay grounded, however, as thirty per cent of recent homes on the Costa are still to be sold.

An average two-bedroom apartment on the Costa del Sol can go for €196,956, while a family home comes in at €393,520.

Experts predict that Spanish property markets is likely to stabilise towards latter part of the year.