The purchase and sale of homes resumes the falls after the oasis of recovery at the beginning of the year. Operations fell 6.6% in February compared to the same month last year, to a total of 50,186 property transfers, in a context of higher interest rates to contain inflation that is making the cost of financing more expensive , as reported this Thursday by the National Institute of Statistics (INE).
With this year-on-year decline, the sale of homes returns to negative rates after more than 56,300 operations were registered in January, 6.6% more than in the same month of 2022. In December the first signs of slowdown were already perceived with a decline of 10.2%, the first drop in 21 months. In the month-on-month rate (February over January), the sale of homes intensified the fall to 11%, its largest drop in a month of February in the last five years.
The decline in the sale of homes in February was due to the drop in both second-hand flats and new homes. Specifically, the sale of used homes fell by 5.5% in the second month of the year, to a total of 40,479 operations, while the transactions carried out on new apartments decreased by 11.1%, to 9,707 operations.
92.2% of the homes transferred by sale in February were free homes and 7.8% were protected. In total, the sale of private homes fell by 6.5% year-on-year, to 46,255 operations, while the sale of subsidized homes fell by 7.9%, to a total of 3,931 transactions.
The director of studios at pisos.com, Ferran Font, highlights that “forecasts are being confirmed and the market is beginning to moderate, with a greater impact on new construction. He points out that “if we analyze the accumulated figures for the last twelve months, they are once again below 650,000” and maintains that the next data “will continue to depend on the evolution of inflation, the rate policy of the European Central Bank and the possible increases in the Euribor, and the uncertainty that the implementation of the new Housing Law may generate”.
The Bank of Spain detects that “credit has begun to contract” and the criteria for granting it have been tightened. This is stated in the ‘Financial Stability Report’ for spring this year, published yesterday. The reasons would be a greater perception of risk on the part of the entities and an increase in financing costs. The report reflects that the concession criteria for households and companies have tightened at the same time that the demand from families has decreased. Specifically, credit for households for the purchase of housing fell by 0.2% and for companies it did so by 1.5% compared to 2021.
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