C. Ocaña and R. Torres (Funcas) | After several years of recovery, Spain housing market shows signs of deceleration, opening a debate about whether this is the prelude to the outbreak of a new bubble. At present there is no real estate bubble in Spain and, therefore, the effects of the slowdown in the real estate sector itself and in the rest of the economy will be limited. In other words, in the current scenario, an adjustment can be expected but not a “flat tire” of the real estate sector.
spain housing market
Caixabank Research | The Spanish housing sector is entering a more mature phase in the cycle, characterised by a weakening in growth in demand and prices. The factors which support the expansion of the housing market (creation of employment, favourable financial conditions and elevated external demand) continue evolving positively but are losing dynamism.
The housing market continues to show an intense dynamic. Sales increased 9.7% in September, and drives an accumulated figure of 395,534 operations in the year so far, the largest volume in this period since 2008. Although the vigour is seen in all segments, sales of new houses stand, up 11.5% up to Q318.
Ratings agency Fitch has warned that a property bubble is evident in the centres of Spain’s large cities. But it makes it clear that it does not anticipate any generalised bubble in housing prices in the country in the short-term. This is due to the high level of stock which still has to be absorbed and the restrictions on buying a home.
Housing prices have grown 16% since end-2014, according to the Bank of Spain. This is after a decline of 37% in nominal terms (45% in real terms) since their peak at end-2007.
Spain’s mortgage system, which is one of the cheapest and with the best financing conditions in Europe, has allowed more than 80% of families to own their own home. So a priority should be put on maintaining the system’s characteristics, in terms of depth and stability.
Julio Rodríguez | The economic recovery continues to boost a market which has seen prices rise 10.8% in the last three years. But this dynamism contrasts with the problems for accessing the housing market which young aspiring home owners are experiencing. A more energetic government policy is required to establish a pool of homes for rent and strengthen the creation of social housing.
The lack of investment alternatives, coupled with the fact that prices and returns are good, are two strong enough reasons for people to take their money out of bank deposits and fixed income securities and buy property.