Home sales skyrocket and experience the best March since the bubble

Flat on sale. / ARCHIVE

Second-hand flats register a real boom due to the scarcity of new construction, they grow more than double and account for more than 80% of operations

Lucia Palacios

The real estate sector lives oblivious to the war in Ukraine, inflation and supply problems. The sale of homes soared 25.6% in March, compared to the figures of a year ago, and a total of 59,272 operations were registered. This is the highest figure since January 2008, in the middle of the housing bubble, and the best figure for a month in March 2007, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE) published this Friday.

Despite the current moment of economic uncertainty, it has already chained 13 consecutive months on the rise and five months above 50,000 transactions, a milestone that had not been repeated since the beginning of 2008, when the Great Recession broke out. But although there are similarities with that period, there is a characteristic that differentiates both stages and that distances the threat of another real estate 'boom': on this occasion, the strong advance is mainly based on the sale of second-hand houses and not on new construction , which are scarce and are therefore far from the levels that existed before 2008.

Thus, more than 80% of the homes sold in March were second-hand (47,762 transactions, a record figure since January 2007), while the new ones represented only less than 20%, specifically there were 11,510 operations and they are at 2014 levels The increase in used sales doubles that of new ones: 28.3% compared to 15.7%.

The idealista spokesman, Francisco Iñareta, stressed that these data demonstrate the "strength" of this sector and explained that the signs of the upcoming rise in mortgage prices may have accelerated the purchase of many homes with the aim of trying to overcome the imminent rise rate announced by the European Central Bank (ECB).

The Director of Studies and spokesperson for Fotocasa, María Matos, does not fear an impact of the war and inflation in this sector. Moreover, she considers that, just as it has emerged stronger from the pandemic, in the face of a war, the investment appetite of individuals attracted by housing as a refuge value in another context of prolonged economic insecurity can be awakened.

Less than 8% of subsidized housing

92.1% of the homes transferred by sale in the third month of the year were free homes and 7.9%, protected, according to INE data. The sale of free homes rose by 26.5% year-on-year in March, to 54,614 operations, while that of protected homes increased by 15.6%, adding a total of 4,658 operations.

Seven out of ten home sales made in March (69.2%) were made between natural persons.

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