Spanish property news roundup: Number of homes for sale dips but positive outlook forecast

From the regulation of the rental market in Barcelona to mortgage values in 2021, stay up-to-date on the latest Spanish property news with The Local's weekly roundup.

Spanish property news roundup: Number of homes for sale dips but positive outlook forecast
The Local's weekly property roundup. Photo: hoelli / Pixabay

The number of homes for sale fell in the past year

The number of secondhand homes available fell by four percent in the last year in most provincial capitals, as a result of the increase in the sale of houses in the months after the first wave of the pandemic, according to a study published by the real estate giants Idealista on Tuesday. 

The availability of homes for sale has gone from 196,000 properties in September 2020 to 187,000 in September 2021.  

Pamplona was the place where it was most difficult to find a home, compared with a year ago, as the number of available houses has fallen by 28 percent.  

The number of properties for sale has also fallen in Soria, Santander, San Sebastián, Teruel, Zaragoza, Guadalajara, Lérida and Castellón de la Plana. 

However, this trend is not the same in all areas, because, in some places, the number of homes for sale has increased, particularly in Ceuta, with 19 percent more properties available than a year ago. 

The number of homes for sale also increased in Ourense, León, Córdoba, Jaén, Girona, Palencia and Cáceres. 

Barcelona was the only big city where the number of available properties had increased (seven percent) compared with a year ago, however, in Madrid and Valencia, the numbers dropped by six percent each. It also fell by six percent in Seville, five percent in Malaga, and two percent in Bilbao.  

Barcelona extends the regulation of its rental market

The Barcelona City Council announced last week that it will continue to regulate the citys rental prices for five more years and stop rent increases.

The regulation has been in force for a year and prevents increases above the official reference index, created by the Generalitat.

In new contracts, prices cannot exceed this index. If in the previous contract the rent was higher, it must be lowered.

It is now easier to apply for a mortgage in Spain. Photo: IndiraFoto / Pixabay
Mortgages in 2021: what is the average value in Spain?

Good news for those interested in applying for a mortgage for a home in Spain. The average value of a home on which a mortgage is requested was €171,809 in August, the lowest figure so far this year.

This is 11.21 percent lower than in July, which also implies a decrease in the average value, which currently stands at around €127,000.

This is demonstrated by the data, according to the recent study carried out by Centro de Estudios Trioteca, a Spanish company specialised in obtaining mortgage loans.  

The research also showed that almost 95 percent of candidates who apply for a mortgage are looking for a fixed rate with an average duration of 27 years. On the other hand, only 5.2 percent of requests are made for variable rate search.

Positive outlook forecasted for Spanish real estate 

According to a report recently published by Allied Market Research entitled ‘Residential Real Estate Market in Spain By Budget and Size: Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2020-2027’, the outlook for the Spanish real estate market is positive.  

In 2018, the Spanish residential real estate market was $128.3 billion (€109.3 billion) and it is expected to reach $149.9 billion (€127.7 billion) in 2027, registering a compound annual growth rate of eight percent from 2020 to 2027.

The report also added that the current market encourages foreign investments, due to the favorable rules and regulations established by the government for foreign investors.

If you want to read more property news, you can see last week’s round-up here

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EXPLAINED: What you need to know about locksmiths in Spain

If you get locked out, have a break-in or need to change or fix the door lock at your home in Spain, here are the rates and advice you need before calling a Spanish locksmith (cerrajero).

EXPLAINED: What you need to know about locksmiths in Spain

Like anywhere, locksmiths are generally expensive and the price can vary greatly depending on the service you need and where you are.

It also depends on when you need them, as it’ll cost much more to call them out on a Saturday night than a Monday morning, for example.

Nor would it cost the same to open your front door as it would a reinforced security door.

But locksmiths don’t just make copies of keys and bail you out when you’re stuck outside your flat.

They also offer a whole host of different services including, but not limited to, opening safes, creating master keys, installing security doors, anti-drill doors, cutting specialist locks that reject copied keys, and even unlocking the boot of your car.

How much does a locksmith cost in Spain?

Given all these variables, the price can range massively.

According to Cronoshare, the average price for a nationwide call out in Spain can start from €80 anywhere up to €400.

On average, for a basic service, you can expect to pay anywhere between €40-€70 an hour for the labour, with the price of changing or installing a basic lock anywhere between €80-€200. 

For basic door openings, it depends on the situation you find yourself in: for doors locked with a key, which is a more complex task, prices average around €200, and for doors that are jammed or slammed shut, slightly cheaper in the €80-€100 range.

For an armoured or security door, prices can start at around €300.

In short, a general rule is that the more complex the task is, the higher the prices.

And as always, prices can vary depending on where you are in Spain, the quality of the locksmith, the time of the day and week you need his or her services, and if its a public holiday or not. 

So, as always, compare prices to try and find the most economical solution without skimping on quality.

As such, the following rates are estimations taken from average prices from locksmith.

Weekend/holiday rates

Where prices can really start to add up, however, is when you have an emergency situation requiring a locksmith’s assistance at the weekend, on a public holiday, or outside of normal working hours.

And if you live in Spain, you probably know there’s quite a few of those days throughout the year.

If you really need a cerrajero on a public holiday or during non-working hours (usually defined as anything between 8pm-8am) prices can reach €300 or €500 due to the fact you’ll have to cover the cost of travel, which starts from around €40 plus the increased rate.

Then you must also include the price of labour to the flat rate, which is usually somewhere between €40 and €70 an hour regardless of when you call them out.

Key vocabulary 

We’ve put together some of the basic vocabulary you might need if you find yourself needing a locksmith while in Spain.

el cerrajero – locksmith

la llave – the key

la llave de repuesto – the spare key

la puerta – the door

la cerradura – the lock

la bisagra – the hinge

día festivo – public holiday

cambio de bombín – change of cylinder lock

puerta blindada – armoured door

coste de mano de obra – labour costs

quedarse afuera – get locked out 

puerta cerrada de un portazo – door slammed shut

puerta cerrada con llave – locked door

Tips relating to choosing a good locksmith in Spain 

If you’ve just started renting a new place or have bought a property, it’s advisable to change the lock as you don’t know who has keys to your front door. If you’re a tenant, try to negotiate this with your landlord as it’s in both of your interests that only you two have keys to the property.

If there has been a burglary in your property while you’re living in it and there’s no sign of forced entry, then there’s a very big chance that the burglars had a copy of your keys, and you should definitely change the locks. 

If you’ve lost your keys and you think it happened close to your home, again it’s advisable for you to change the locks.

One of the best ways to avoid being locked out and having to cough up a hefty sum is to give a spare set to someone that you trust that lives in your town or city in Spain. 

When it comes to choosing a locksmith in Spain, you should make sure he or she is a reputable one. Asking friends and family first can be your first port of call.

If not, make sure you read reviews online if available to get any insight beforehand.

In order to avoid any nasty surprises, ask them on the phone for a budget (presupuesto) for all the costs attached to their services before accepting.

Be wary of cerrajeros that automatically want to change the whole lock when a simpler and less costly option is possible. 

Usually they should offer you a contract for you to read carefully before signing. It should include a three-month guarantee for the potential new lock or at least a breakdown of the costs.

Make sure that they are not charging you an excessively high price if it’s an emergency, as this is not actually legal.

There’s also asking them to prove their accreditation with the Unión Cerrajeros de Seguridad (UCES).

Weekend and holiday rates can be higher nonetheless, so consider your options and if it’s worth staying with a friend or family member for a night to save some money. A trustworthy and honest cerrajero will let you know about the money you could save if you choose to wait as well.