New builds hit by drop in purchases

FIRST FALL: January saw the number of property purchases fall for the first time in nine months. CREDIT: Shutterstock

IT HASN’T been the best start to the year regarding the number of property purchases in Alicante Province.

In fact, according to a study published by the National Statistics Institute (INE) based on data collected from the Property Registry offices (which actually corresponds to purchases made a few months before), the number of property purchases fell by 4.7 per cent in January this year from the month before, with a total of 3,685 transactions registered.

There could be a number of reasons for this. First of all, with the international economy slowing down during the last few months of 2018, this led to a slight drop in the number of foreign buyers and investors interested in Spanish real estate. And secondly, the chaos caused by the Supreme Court’s ruling on who must pay the Stamp Duty when a purchase goes through may also have had a negative effect on figures.

Whatever the reason or reasons, statistics show that the number of property purchases registered with the Property Registry office fell in January in almost every part of the country. However, in the majority of other areas, the drop wasn’t quite as sharp as that recorded in Alicante and averaged around 0.2 per cent less.

In January, the number of purchases of new-build properties in Alicante Province took the biggest hit, with only 545 operations – a reduction of 17.7 per cent.

There was a huge reduction of people buying new builds across the country in January and their purchases only made up 15 per cent of the whole market for that month.

Resale properties fared much better, as is to be expected, with a total of 3,140 transactions in January, which translates to a reduction of 2.2 per cent from the previous month, according to the INE’s figures.

Whilst on first glance these figures don’t look that positive, we must also take into account that Alicante Province experienced a great year for property purchases in 2018, with almost 40,000 transactions and an increase of around 14 per cent.

Looking at the whole of the Valencia Region, in January a total of 7, 239 property purchases were registered, which is a reduction of 2.7 per cent. Nationally, property purchases fell just 0.2 per cent and this is after nine months of steadily increasing figures and therefore, the first decline since March 2018. In total, 47,645 operations took place.

The number of property purchases fell in 11 of Spain’s autonomous regions, with the most significant declines being registered in the Canary Islands (-22.4 per cent), Asturias (-18 per cent) and the Balearic Islands (-13.7 per cent).

House purchases saw fairly notable increases in the regions of Extremadura (+36.9 per cent), Galicia (+17.5 per cent) and Aragón (+16.9 per cent).

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