House sales up for first year since crisis began
Fiona Govan · 10 Feb 2015, 14:25
Published: 10 Feb 2015 14:25 GMT+01:00
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The number of property transactions grew 2.2 per cent during 2014, according to statistics published by Spain´s National Statistics Institute (INE) on Tuesday, marking the first year-on-year rise since 2010.
Experts say that foreign investment and improved access to credit were both factors that contributed to the growth amounting to 320,000 homes changing hands last year.
A report by Spanish notaries showed the number of mortgages issued on purchases rose 35 percent in November, 2014 compared to a year earlier, while the Sociedad de Tasación showed that the value of the average Spanish home rose 1.3 percent in the year.
The number of second-hand homes sold rose by 18.4 percent to almost 200,000 during 2014, meanwhile the number of new properties sold continued to fall, dropping 16.9 percent during 2014, according to the INE data.
That drop was significantly less than during the worst years when the crisis began in 2008 and 2009.
Prices across the board were still on average 40 percent less than at their peak in 2007, meaning there are still bargains to be found, although in some places more than others.
"Despite prices having dipped to their reported lowest, not every location in Spain offers the property bargains that one might expect," Martin Dell, director of leading Spanish property portal Kyero.com told The Local.
"It means that buyers looking for good value properties need to be choosy about the areas they are considering. Buying on Fuerteventura, for example, can get you a property for just 68 percent of the national average price, while Mallorca will cost you 180 percent more than the average," Dell said.
A house price index produced by the site, which lists more than 175,000 homes from 2,500 estate agents, revealed prices ranging from 260 percent above the national average in Barcelona all the way down to just 16 percent of the average in Zaragoza.
The national average property asking price, according to Kyero.com was €232,000 ($261,911) by the end of 2014.
"The variations that currently exist in the Spanish market make it the ideal time to purchase property there,” he said adding: “Interest from foreign buyers looking to pick up bargain second homes remains high, particularly from UK buyers enjoying the current strength of the pound against the euro."