Home sales sign the biggest drop since the hardest period of the pandemic

Home sales increased the pace of declines in September and plummeted by 23.7%, nine points more than in August and its biggest decline since June 2020. The number of operations reconfirms the change in cycle that began a few months ago: 44,086 registered represent the lowest level of sales for the month of September since the first year of the pandemic.

The latest results of the statistics on Transfers of property rights published this Friday by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) raise to eight months of consecutive declines, that are framed in the context of high interest rates. In the first nine months of the year, home sales have decreased by 8.5%.

Francisco Iñareta, spokesperson for idealista, explains that although “there is no doubt that the falls in the volume of operations are very relevant and that they have exceeded a 20% year-on-year decrease for the first time since the pandemic […] The steepness of the descents is also caused by the step effect which means comparing it with a year of so much activity like 2022.”

In this sense, it indicates that in the first three quarters of this year, 19% more homes were sold than in the same period of 2019 and represent the same volume as those sold in the entire year 2017. “The data indicates that the market will close 2023 with a lower number of homes sold than in 2022, but still It will continue to be one of the best exercises of the last 15 years“.

The decline in home sales is reflected in both second-hand apartment transactions, which fell by 24.5% (35,908 transactions), and new home transactions (-19.7%, to 8,178 transactions). .

The monthly comparison consolidates the negative trend. From August to September, home sales plummeted by 10.5%, in contrast to the monthly increases experienced in this month since 2019.

“The housing market shows symptoms of exhaustion in the final phase of 2023”

Economic uncertainty has a direct reflection on real estate. The rate of decline in sales has been accelerating for months in the midst of a context of high inflation and high rates that makes it difficult to acquire homes, leading families to postpone “making economic decisions, including those related to housing.” stand out from the General Council of the Official Associations of Real Estate Agents (COAPI).

“The housing market shows symptoms of exhaustion in this final phase of 2023,” indicate the property agents, who remember that “the real estate market is cyclical.” The figures in the periods 2016-2019 and 2021-2022 were very positive, “so it is logical that there is a stabilization of the macrostatistical data,” they clarify.

The price seems to follow a different script. Despite the complexity of accessing the real estate market, the lack of supply in the face of high demand maintains the tension that prevents the price of housing from falling. “This trend has not yet reached the price level, which is still registering an upward trend, but could change for the first quarter of 2024 in areas with a lower demand”, indicates Ferran Font, director of Studies at Fotocasa, who also leaves the development of this period in the hands of the evolution of interest rates as well as the housing policies carried out by the new Government of Pedro Sánchez.

Tom Roeser Staff

Tom Roeser Staff

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