This is how home donations and inheritances have grown in your province during the pandemic
“We are seeing data that reflects what happened in the pandemic, but there is also a lag, because that excess mortality, when talking about when inheritances are formalized, is seen later, in six months or a year and a half, even in more weather". This is how María Teresa Barea, spokesperson for the General Council of Notaries, explains the latest data on inheritances and donations of real estate published by the National Statistics Institute (INE).
The figures indicate that in 2021 the highest number of inherited homes registered to date was reached, in a statistic that the INE has been carrying out since 2007. In the last year, 199,000 inherited flats and houses were reached, almost 30% more than in 2020, when 153,495 homes transferred under that formula were registered; and there were almost 20,000 more properties than those registered by the INE in both 2018 and 2019.
But not only the number of inherited homes is growing. It also increases, in a sustained way, that of donated real estate. Something that, in fact, was already perceived before the pandemic.
In 2021, a total of more than 25,000 homes were donated in Spain, 25% more than in 2020 and almost 54% more than in 2018, according to the Property Rights Transmission Statistics, published by the INE .
Behind these data, although it is obvious, is above all the impact of COVID. Luis del Amo, general secretary of the Registry of Tax Advising Economists (REAF) of the General Council of Economists, explains that what has happened in the last two years has also accelerated the willingness to donate living homes. "With the pandemic, people think about the future and, in addition, they are talking about a fiscal issue, about eliminating the differences between the Inheritance tax and donations", he justifies.
At the moment, the INE has not published the mortality data for 2021 as a whole. The figures for the previous year, which include the severest months of mortality by coronavirus, they reflect that 493,776 people died in Spain, almost 18% more than in 2019.
If the data on housing inheritances by autonomous community is observed, the four that concentrate the highest figures in the last three years are Andalusia, Catalonia, Madrid and the Valencian Community.
On the other hand, the evolution in the last three years has not been the same in all of them. For example, in Andalusia it went from 2,040 inherited homes in 2019 to 2,620 houses and flats a year later and to 2,863 in 2021.
Meanwhile, in the Community of Madrid, in these three years the evolution has been from 1,479 to 2,357 and a slowdown in 2021, with 1,870 properties.
In Catalonia, in these three years it has gone from 2,357 homes to 2,939 and 2,406 inherited homes. And in the Valencian Community it has gone from 1,873 to 2,139 and 2,249 properties in the year that ended less than two months ago.
On the other hand, while these communities, with a larger population, concentrate more inherited homes, the greatest growth in the last year is above all in inland Spain, in the provinces of Castilla y León and Castilla-La Mancha, but also in Andalusia and Galicia.
As an example, territories such as Toledo, Segovia, Salamanca, Granada or A Coruña have seen property transfers via inheritance grow by more than 30% during the last year.
The numbers of inherited homes are growing and it is foreseeable that this trend will continue. "Rather than talking about a wave of inherited flats, we are talking about staggering because people sometimes take six months to formalize a deed and, other times, it takes a year or it takes 20, because the whole family is fighting," explains María Theresa Barea.
"In the case of inheritances, there is a period of six months to settle the taxes and extensions can be requested, but the inheritance award deeds do not have deadlines, they are not subject to six months or a year," he adds.
“This temporary difference is what makes it difficult to attribute inheritances temporarily, but they will continue to grow in the following years, in three or five, in those that come after the pandemic,” adds the spokeswoman for the General Council of Notaries.
The donation data also points to a progressive growth in recent years, which has been accentuated, above all, in 2021. If in 2019 there were 18,900 donated properties, in 2020 the figure stood at more than 20,100 and a year later exceeded 25,000 homes.
"Behind the donation figures there are two causes that are equally relevant," argues María Teresa Barea. "One, the taxation of the donation. In those territories where the donation tax has discounts, especially from parents to children, people are encouraged to donate, such as Andalusia, Madrid or Murcia. We must remember that the discount is the tax of donations, because then there is the patrimonial tax, the profit, in the IRPF; and that of municipal capital gains", he clarifies.
"A second factor is that, in times of economic crisis, difficulties and uncertainty, there are more donations. They increase because it is a mechanism of intra-family solidarity and that factor is generalized in all communities," they add from the General Council of Notaries.
One of the relevant aspects regarding the evolution of donations is the growth in the provinces of Castilla y León, with increases of more than 80% in Salamanca or Valladolid during 2021. On the other hand, in Andalusia, in provinces such as Granada, Córdoba, Huelva or Almería grew by around 10%.
It must be remembered that, in April of last year, the Junta de Castilla y León, chaired by Alfonso Fernández Mañueco eliminated the Inheritance and Gift Tax and assured that, at most, it would benefit 0.6% of the population.