The price of housing registered an increase of 7.6% in 2017, continuing the rise observed in the last quarters, and registered a quarterly increase of 1.8% from October to December, according to the Real Estate Registry Statistics published by the College of Registrars of Spain.
The increase registered in 2017 confirms the upward trend in house prices, so that the growth rate of the last quarters leaves the index falling by 21% from the maximum levels, marked in 2007. On the contrary, with compared to the recent minimum of 2017, an increase of 20.9% is accumulated.
Between October and December, 111,921 home purchases were registered in property registries, 6.1% less than in the previous quarter, which is why it was the quarter with the lowest number of home sales registered in 2017. However, compared to the same quarter of 2016 there has been an "important" increase of 19.8%.
However, the four quarters of the year have registered a number of home purchases and sales exceeding 110,000 operations, "something that has not happened since 2008".
The distribution of housing sales according to type has registered stability in its structure and has been placed at 82.73% of the total in the case of used housing and in 17.27% in the case of new housing. New housing has registered 19,325 purchases, with a decrease of 7.47% with respect to the previous quarter, and used housing has registered 92,596 operations, 5.77% less than in the third quarter.
Compared with the last quarter of 2016, an increase of 19.8% has been obtained. In the last twelve months, 464,233 operations have been registered, the highest year-on-year figure since 2008, with a year-on-year increase of 15%.
However, unlike in previous years where used housing grew while the new one decreased, the behavior of both types has been solid in 2017. In fact, 80,765 new home purchases have been registered (+11.27% ) and 383,458 of second-hand housing (+ 15.79%).
All Autonomous Communities have presented increases in home purchases registered in 2017 with respect to 2016. At the head, Castilla-La Mancha (23.1%), Asturias (20.7%), Madrid (19%), have been located. 1%) and Comunidad Valenciana (17.8%). In addition, in thirteen autonomous communities growth rates have reached double digits.
As for the purchase of housing by foreigners, the fourth quarter of the year has closed with the highest percentage of purchases by foreigners in the last eight quarters, 13.6% of home purchases. In absolute terms, they represent around 15,300 operations, slightly below the close to 15,600 in the previous quarter.
In addition, cumulative year-on-year terms reached 13.1% of purchases by foreigners, remaining at historic highs, with figures close to 61,000 annual home purchases, compared to 59,200 per year in the previous quarter.
By nationality, the British have maintained their usual leadership (15.6% of purchases of foreigners), followed by French (8.2%), Germans (7.8%), Swedes (7.1%), Belgians ( 6.8%), Italians (5.2%) and Romanians (5.1%). These seven first nationalities account for almost half of the total home purchases made by foreigners.
MORTGAGE DEBT UP 1.4%
On the other hand, the mortgage debt for housing in the fourth quarter has increased by 1.3% over the previous quarter, standing at 120,945 euros.
The College of Registrars explains that the pace of growth of the contracting of new mortgage loans at a fixed interest rate, stabilized already a couple of quarters ago, has meant one out of three operations and has remained stable again reaching a weight of 36.6%, similar to the previous quarter.
This causes the variable indices to accumulate 63.4% of the hirings, being the Euribor the reference in 62.5% of the total of the new credits contracted. The average initial interest rates of the new loans remained stable at historical lows and stood at 2.3%, a figure also very similar to the result of the three previous quarters and being the lowest inter-annual result of the historical series.
In turn, the average mortgage debt in 2017 registered "a significant increase" of 5.7% over 2016, after standing at 118,027 euros.
In addition, the duration of the new mortgage loans has continued "its progressive rhythm growing in recent quarters", with a result of 23 years and 6 months, 0.4% higher than the previous quarter.
Similarly, the indicators of accessibility to the purchase of housing continued to show some continuity