housing prices

Housing prices in Catalonia increase by 1.6% in the second quarter

September 8, 2014 10:53 PM | ACN

The value of homes in Catalonia increased by 1.6% during the second quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2013, according to the House Price Index of the Spanish Institute of Statistics (INE). In relation to the first quarter of this year, prices registered a 1.8% increase between March and June, whilst cumulatively over this year there was a 1.3% increase in property value in Catalonia. However, the prices of new flats rose by 8.7%, whilst second hand properties only saw a 0.1% growth in their value. In Spain as a whole, the House Price Index reached a 0.8% rate in annual terms, the first time this has happened at Spanish level since March 2008. 

Housing prices rise again in annual terms after 6 years of continuously dropping in Spain

September 1, 2014 07:17 PM | ACN

The real estate market has stopped its downward trend and has started its recovery in Spain. Housing prices already registered an increase in September of 2013 in quarterly terms, but now the prices grew for the first time in annual terms, a phenomenon not registered for the last 6 years. By the end of June 2014, prices grew by 0.97% compared to June 2013. In quarterly terms, housing prices increased by 1.53% compared to March 2014. Since the start of the economic crisis in 2008, housing prices have plummeted an average of 32% throughout Spain, with prices equivalent to those registered in 2003. In the second quarter of 2014, Catalonia was the Autonomous Community with the second highest number of housing sales, registering 11,980 operations.

Catalonia's economic recovery gets stronger as GDP grew by 0.6% between April and June 2014

August 6, 2014 07:14 PM | ACN

The Catalan economy grew by 1.3% from July 2013 to June 2014. However, the economic recovery has particularly sped up and got stronger over the second quarter of 2014, when it grew by 0.6% in quarterly terms, according to data released on Wednesday by the Catalan Statistics Institute (Idescat) and the Catalan Finance Ministry. The GDP growth between April and June was higher than the one registered during the first quarter of the year, set at 0.4%. With the 0.6% registered at the end of June, Catalonia has achieved 5 consecutive quarters of posting positive figures, leaving the recession more than a year behind. Regarding economic sectors, services have led the economic recovery, posting a 1.8% annual growth at the end of the first half of 2014.

Catalan Government finally approves tax on empty flats owned by financial institutions

July 15, 2014 08:54 PM | ACN

The Catalan Government approved on Tuesday a measure to impose a tax on empty flats owned by financial institutions. The aim of the tax is to incentivise banks to rent out the empty homes. Santi Vila, the Catalan Minister for Planning and Sustainability, said that the "mere announcement" of the tax has already caused Sareb [Spain's public 'bad bank'], Catalunya Caixa and Bankia to yield to the Government 1,230 apartments for social rent. During the press conference after the weekly Cabinet meeting, Vila pointed out that the new tax will not apply to individuals and will only be intended for flats that have been taken out of the market for more than two years. The Minister also said that the measure is not simply about "tax collection" but is instead to ease the access to housing market in the midst of a housing crisis.

Catalonia’s new tax on 15,000 empty flats owned by banks as “incentive” to have them rented

March 5, 2014 08:05 PM | ACN

The Catalan Minister for Territory and Sustainability, Santi Vila, who is also in charge of housing policies, presented on Tuesday the draft of a new tax bill on empty flats and houses owned by financial institutions in Catalonia. During a press conference, Vila explained that such a tax is looking to be an “incentive” for banks to make available their 15,000 flats spread across 70 municipalities with “proven demand” for housing, mainly around Barcelona, Tarragona, Lleida and Girona, and which have been empty for more than 2 years without a justified cause. The amount of the tax will be based on the total number of square meters owned by the banks and will include significant accumulative bonuses if the institutions decide to rent their properties, notably for social housing. The Catalan Government estimates that banks own around 40,000 empty flats, including in areas with housing demand.


Italian and German investment funds buy two Catalan Government buildings

December 20, 2013 08:42 PM | ACN

The Catalan Government put 4 buildings up for auction this Friday, following a plan to rationalise the spaces it uses, reduce spending and increase revenue in order to reduce public deficit. The headquarters of the Catalan Finance Ministry, located in a 8,000 square metre Art-Nouveau building in Barcelona’s Rambla Catalunya, has been bought by an Italian pharmaceutical company through FINAF 92 for €23.2 million. The other building, with a surface of 7,200 square metres, was used by the Catalan Police and is located in front of Barcelona’s Ciutadella Park. It has been bought by the German hotel company MO Düsseldorf Immermannstrasse GmbH & CO. KG for €14.1 million. On Thursday, the Catalan Government announced a plan to reduce its office space by 45% in the coming year by concentrating services. The plan includes selling the most attractive buildings.

Housing prices rise in Catalonia for the first time since June 2010

December 17, 2013 03:24 PM | ACN

Housing prices increased by 0.8% in Catalonia during the third quarter of 2013, which is the first quarterly increase in the last three years. However, despite the positive figures, in annual terms prices at the end of September were 8.1% lower than those registered 12 months ago, due to the price falls registered in the second half of 2012 and the first 6 months of 2013. Between July and September 2013, prices of newly-built flats and houses in Catalonia rose by 5.7%, while those of second-hand housing were still decreasing (-0.3%). However, overall figures suggest that the real estate market may have reached the bottom and that its recovery might be about to start. In the whole of Spain, housing prices rose by 0.7% in the third quarter of 2013.

The Catalan Government raises the tax on second-hand real estate sales to earn an additional €150 million

June 19, 2013 01:44 AM | CNA

The Wealth Transfer Tax, which is levied on sales of second-hand housing units and any other used real estate, will be raised from 8% to 10% as from the 1st of August. The Catalan Government expects to earn an additional €50 million in 2013 and €150 million in 2014. The Catalan Finance Minister, Andreu Mas-Colell, argued that the rise in the tax rate is equivalent to the VAT charged on sales of new housing units and that both taxes should be “parallel”. He also added that other Autonomous Communities had previously raised this tax to similar levels.

The Catalan Government is considering the implementation of a tax on empty flats to be paid by the owning companies

April 23, 2013 12:02 AM | CNA

The new tax would not affect individual citizens neither would it be implemented in areas without housing demand. The tax aims to put apartments and houses, owned by banks and real estate companies that remain empty despite being in areas with a demand for housing, back on the market. The expected effect is an increase in the amount of housing on offer in those areas and to make renting cheaper. The Catalan Minister for Public Works, Santi Vila, announced the new tax on Monday morning. A few hours later, the Catalan President confirmed they are considering it, although no final decision has been made. The Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC) stated that the measure was part of the agreement reached with the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU).

The number of home mortgages in Catalonia grew by 47.1% in January compared to the previous month

March 26, 2013 11:12 PM | CNA / Josep Molina

The increase is the highest one registered in Catalonia over the last year. 3,751 home mortgage contracts were signed in January. At the end of 2012, the fiscal benefits for purchasing houses were diminishing and were non-existent by January. Despite this fact, there was a peak in the number of mortgage loans taken out. For the whole of Spain, the number of mortgage loan contracts signed in January reached 25,447, a 44.7% increase in relation to December last year. This is the highest increase since January 2007. Furthermore, the average price of the mortgages signed in January in Catalonia reached €110,418. In year-over-year terms, the number of mortgages signed in Catalonia in January 2013 was 18.58% lower than those signed in January 2012.

Catalonia led the number of evictions ordered in Spain in 2012

March 22, 2013 11:25 PM | CNA

Catalan first instance courts ordered 25,422 evictions last year, representing 25.1% of the total number in Spain. Two weeks ago the European Court of Justice declared the Spanish Mortgage Law to be abusive towards citizens. Home evictions have increasingly become a social drama in Catalonia and in the whole of Spain, particularly over the last two years, as the crisis became harsher. In 2009, a platform to unite people affected by house evictions was created in Barcelona and it has managed to stop hundreds of cases throughout Catalonia and Spain.

CatalunyaCaixa earns €1 billion by commercialising 6,700 houses in 7 months

August 9, 2012 11:14 PM | CNA

The Catalan savings bank, which the Bank of Spain intervened in last September, is selling part of its real estate stock. During the first seven months of 2012, the bank has commercialised 6,700 housing units, 40% more than last year’s same period. Around 90% were sold and the rest were rented. 56% were newly built houses and 44% were second hand properties. Regarding the location, 54% were in Catalonia, 12% in Valencia, 12% in Andalusia and 8% in Madrid.

House sales fall by 19% in the first half of this year in Catalonia

August 9, 2012 11:12 PM | CNA / Josep Molina / David Tuxworth

House sales maintain a decline as results show that sales have fallen by 19% in first half of 2012. Despite the negative overall trend, Lleida and Tarragona saw a boost in sales last month, making up for the reduction in sales experienced in Barcelona and Girona, culminating in a 2.7% overall increase in sales this June for Catalonia. In Spain, the fall in the first half of the year was 21% and in June, in contrast to the increase Catalonia, there was a fall of 11.2% compared with June 2011.

Spanish property prices dropped by 41.7% between 2006 and 2011

April 30, 2012 10:58 PM | CNA / Laura Quintana

A research study carried out by Barcelona’s Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) has concluded that there is a constant trend of decline. Between 2006, when prices peaked, and the end of 2011 Spanish property prices have dropped by 41.7% as average. The coordinator of the study, José García-Montalvo, pointed out that there has been an accelerated fall from the second half of 2010 and the same period in 2011 when prices dropped 19.7% in Spain. García-Montalvo added that this trend would not change in the short or mid- term if the credit market does not recover.