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New housing prices in Spain grew by 7 percent in 2022

The price of new properties in Spain continued to rise in 2022. Here's where they grew the most and least.

New housing prices in Spain grew by 7 percent in 2022
The average price of new housing in Spain increased by 7.1 percent over the last twelve months to reach €2,732/m2 in December 2022. Photo: Pixabay.

The average price of new housing in Spain increased by 7.1 percent over the last twelve months to reach €2,732/m2 in December 2022, according to a report published by the Sociedad de Tasación, a company that specialises in property valuations, appraisals, and housing market data.

New house prices accelerated their growth in the second half of 2022, due to “a series of factors such as the lack of new housing stock, the high demand for this type [new build] of property, which exceeds the supply available on the market; the increase in construction costs and raw materials; [and] the congestion of supply chains and the increase in the cost of financing,” according to the report.

In the report, Juan Fernández-Aceytuno, Sociedad de Tasación’s CEO, explained that “the real estate sector has been performing well in recent months despite the macroeconomic context in which we find ourselves”. 

READ ALSO: Property in Spain: What changes about renting and buying in 2023?

“The market’s performance during the final stretch of 2022 shows the impact of the rise in interest rates on the levels of real estate activity, but, in the case of new housing, at the close of the year there is still sustained growth that is higher or equal to that recorded in 2019,” he added.

Not only are the prices of new houses rising, but the cost of constructing new properties in Spain is also on the up, reaching €1,182/m2 in December 2022 – an increase of 2.3 percent compared to a year ago.

Yet despite this rise, the December 2022 price/m2 is still nowhere close to the 2007 pre-housing bubble bursting price, when the average price of a new home in Spain reached €3,000/m2.

Thinking about buying a new home in Spain? Or perhaps building one?

You’ll need to know where in Spain prices have jumped the most.

The Local breaks down the price rises region by region and highlights some of the provinces where prices have jumped.

READ ALSO: Six things to know about Spain’s new housing law

Regional variation

By region, the largest annual increases were in the Balearic Islands, where the average price of a new build home went up by a whopping 9.1 percent, and in Madrid, where it increased by 8.5 percent.

Prices grew the least in La Rioja (3.9 percent), Castilla-La Mancha (4.2 percent), and Extremadura (4.4 percent.)

On the Canary Islands, prices were up 6.9 percent, and the other regions favoured by foreign buyers like Andalusia (7.1 percent), Valencia (7.0 percent) Catalonia (6.2 percent) and Murcia (6.2 percent) all saw significant rises.

House price increases by region

  • Balearic Islands – 9.1 percent
  • Madrid – 8.5 percent
  • Navarra – 7.2 percent
  • Andalusia – 7.1 percent
  • Valencia – 7.0 percent
  • Basque Country – 6.9 percent
  • Cantabria – 6.5 percent
  • Gran Canaria – 6.3 percent
  • Murcia – 6.2 percent
  • Catalonia – 6.2 percent
  • Aragón – 6.1 percent
  • Asturias – 5.7 percent
  • Castilla y Leon – 5.6 percent
  • Galicia – 5.4 percent
  • Extremadura – 4.4 percent
  • Castilla-La Mancha – 4.2 percent
  • La Rioja – 3.9 percent

At the provincial level there are also some notable rises. Annual price variation ranged from just 2.2 percent in Ávila to 9.3 percent down in Málaga, the provincial capital where the price of new housing increased the most in Spain in 2022.

In fact, the year-on-year increases in the wider Málaga province (11.2 percent) and Alicante (9.3 percent) stand out not only due to the steep increase in costs but because both are traditionally popular with foreign homeowners.

On the other hand, provinces such as Cáceres (4 percent), Lleida (3.7 percent), Jaén (3.2 percent) and Zamora (2.4 percent) experienced much more sluggish growth in 2022.

Price/m2

In terms of price/m2, the most expensive regions in Spain were, perhaps unsurprisingly, Catalonia (€4,358/m2), followed by Madrid (€4,125/m2) and then the Basque Country (€3,027/m2).

In terms of provincial capitals, it was Barcelona (€4,917/ m2) that maintained the highest average price/m2 of new housing anywhere in Spain. Next up was Madrid (€4,125/m2) and San Sebastián (€4,048/m2), the only other capitals exceeding the €4,000/m2 threshold.

On the cheaper end, Badajoz (€1,290/m2), Cáceres (€1,271/m2) and Ciudad Real (€1,268/m2) had the lowest average prices/m2 in Spain in 2022.

Saving up

Sociedad de Tasación’s ‘Real Estate Effort Index’, an affordability indicator that measures the number of years of full salary that an average citizen needs to purchase a medium-sized home in a particular area, increased by a tenth during the fourth quarter of 2022 and now sits at 7.6 years.

Like with the price rises, however, there are some major variations in this index based on where exactly in Spain you are. In Madrid, this figure is 9 years, for example, but in La Rioja it takes just 4.6 years to save up to buy a property.

Much like with its eye-watering annual price rise, the Balearics also buck the national average in terms of the affordability index: according to Sociedad de Tasación’s index a buyer would need 16.4 years of full salary to be able to save up and buy a home there.

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TAXES

Spain’s deputy PM proposes freezing mortgage rates

Yolanda Díaz, Spain's Deputy Prime Minister and Labour Minister, has called for a freeze on variable mortgage rates amid news that Spain's biggest banks have enjoyed a bumper year of record profits.

Spain's deputy PM proposes freezing mortgage rates

Yolanda Díaz, Spain’s Labour Minister and the ideological force behind sweeping labour market reforms, has called for a freeze on variable rate mortgages following news that some of Spain’s biggest banks reported billions in record profits last year.

On Wednesday, BBVA reported a 2022 profit of €6.4 billion, the largest profit in its history. Driving this profit, the bank’s interest margin grew by a whopping 30.4 percent, commission income by 12.3 percent, and loans by 13.3 percent.

Banco Santander posted an annual net profit of €9.6 billion, up 18 percent from 2021 and higher than forecasted by analysts polled by financial data firm FactSet.

READ ALSO: Banco Santander posts record profit as rates rise

Given these record-breaking profits, especially against the backdrop of a prolonged cost of living and inflationary crisis in Spain, Díaz has said the government must act decisively to “freeze mortgages” and “moderate profits.”

“The crisis cannot be an excuse to earn more,” she said, adding that the rise in the Euribor rate is “very serious”, with the average increase (estimated to be €258 per month) “impossible to bear” for normal Spaniards.

Euribor is the interest rate most often used to work out mortgage payments and calculate both variable and fixed rates.

READ ALSO: What the Euribor rise means for property buyers and owners in Spain

It is anchored to the interest rate set by the European Central Bank (ECB), and, as we are now seeing, quite responsive to global economic events. By the end of January, the rate had risen to almost 3.4 percent, the highest level since December 2008.

“While the rise of the Euribor will increase the average mortgage payment by €250 per month, BBVA’s profits grow by 38 percent to reach €6.4 billion, the largest in its history. The crisis cannot be an excuse to earn more. Freeze mortgages, moderate profits,” Díaz wrote on Twitter on Wednesday January 31st.

Banks respond

Unsurprisingly, Spanish banks are not exactly keen on Díaz’s idea. BBVA President, Carlos Torres, said “I trust what will happen is that the benefits of a market economy continue to be defended”. 

Torres also tried to remind people of the “negative years” that BBVA has endured, with “many billions of negatives”. 

It remains to be seen how persuasive Spaniards or the Spanish government find this comparison, or whether Díaz’s Twitter idea will translate into policy.

Windfall tax

Díaz’s call for a mortgage rate freeze is in line with the Spanish government’s approach to the excess profits of banks and energy companies. In July, the Spanish government introduced a temporary windfall tax on excess profits in order to fund some of the extraordinary measures it was implementing to help the most vulnerable in Spanish society deal with the cost of living crisis.

The government in July introduced a draft bill to slap a temporary 4.8 percent charge on banks’ net interest income and net commissions in 2023 and 2024 to fund measures to ease cost-of-living pressures. Between the new taxes on banks and energy companies, they should generate around €7.0 billion for the state coffers in 2023 and 2024. 

However, in November the ECB published a non-binding legal opinion that suggested Madrid undertake a “thorough analysis of potential negative consequences for the banking sector” of the tax.

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