Homes Sales Rose 18.9% in January

Housing sales rose 18.9% in January compared with the same month of 2012, to a total of 39,670 operations, the National Statistics Institute reported on Tuesday. This is the best figure since February 2011, when it exceeded 45,000 purchases.

The year-on-year advance in January, the second consecutive after the 2.3% increase reached in December, is a result of sales of both new and second-hand homes, although transactions on the latter have increased somewhat more.

Specifically, transactions on resale properties rose by 25.1% in January, year-on-year, amounting to 19,447 operations, while sales of new homes increased by 13.5%, with 20,223 transactions.

Most of the homes passed for purchase during the first month of the year, namely 87.8%, were private housing. Sales of this type of housing increased by 21.4% to 34,831 operations, while public housing operations totalled 4,839, with a rise of 3.8% over January 2012.

Month-on-month (January over December), housing sales jumped 68.6%, its biggest increase since 2009.

Moreover, the appraiser Tinsa reported that the average price of housing slowed its descent, year-on-year, to 11.6% in February, with the tax benefits for home purchase already having been eliminated, bringing the cumulative adjustment for house prices to 35.6%, since the maximum values reached in December 2007, before the crisis.

By areas, the capitals and major cities experienced the sharpest cuts in February, with the price of their homes falling by 14.2%, year-on-year, followed by the metropolitan areas, with a decrease of 12.8%, and then the Mediterranean coast, whose prices fell by 12.2%, completing the set of areas with decreases higher than the market.

Below the average stood the Balearic and Canary Islands, with a decrease of 2.8%, year-on-year, and the rest of the municipalities, with a decline of 10.3%.

In January, the highest number of house sales per 100,000 population occurred in La Rioja (147) and Extremadura (146). Nearly 60% of house sales made in the first month of the year were registered in Andalusia (8,137 operations), Catalonia (5,662), Valencia (5,121) and Madrid (4,455). The regions which registered fewer house sales in January were La Rioja (379 transactions), Navarra (522) and Cantabria (558).

In relative terms, the regions where house sales increased most year-on-year were Extremadura (+103%) and the Canary Islands (+44.8%), while the only declines recorded corresponded to Madrid (-1.3%), Navarra (-9.5%) and the Basque Country (-10.6%).