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SPANISH HOME SALES – APRIL 2019: Market shrinks, seasonality partly to blame

Posted by admin on 13.06.2018
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Spanish residential property sales data published for April 2019 shows home sale deeds inscribed in the Land Register down 2.3% in April (if you count VPO subsidised housing, 3.4% if you don’t) according to figures from the National Institute of Statistics (INE). Home sales figures from the Association of Spanish Notaries based on sales witnessed in the month show sales rising by 1%. All the data points towards a slow down in the Spanish property market, which has been recovering since 2014.

Though both sets of figures relate to April, they correspond to sales that took place in slightly different periods. The notary figures refer to sales completed in the month, whilst the INE / Land Registry figures refer to sales inscribed in the month, but completed in the previous few months. As such the notary figures are more timely, but as I have pointed out before, they are surprisingly volatile, and often significantly revised months later, so I prefer the figures from the INE when it comes to understanding the trend.

There were 36,644 residential property deeds of sale inscribed by the property registrars in the month, down 3% in a year, and 41,049 if you include VPO subsidised housing to get the overall market, down 2%.

However, we have to consider that Easter fell in April this year, compared to March the previous year, and registrars don’t work on public holidays, so the regional and national holidays between the 18th and 23rd of April would have reduced the number of working days for inscribing sales in the month. That should at least partly explain the decline in Spanish home sales figures inscribed in the month and published by the INE.

The seasonal effect of Easter notwithstanding, the breakdown between new homes and resales shows the former up 8% and the latter down 4%, resulting in an overall market decline of 2% as mentioned above. New home sales have grown in double digits for most of the last twelve months, and will continue to do so in the absence of seasonal factors as more new developments are completed and delivered.

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