According to Premier Marbella news sources, a property sales boom in 2018 resulted in over 500,000 homes exchanging hands. Last year 515,051 operations were accounted for in the property registry, the highest figure in ten years, according to the National Statistics Institute (INE). The figure supposes an increase of 10.1% with respect to the previous year when 467.6400 transactions were registered.

This is the fifth consecutive annual increase after the sale of homes rose by 2% in 2014, by 11.5% in 2015, by 14% in 2016 and by 15.4% in 2017, mainly due to the push of second-hand transactions which represents 80% of operations. The 2018 has been, nevertheless, the most moderate annual advance since 2014. In the period of crisis, the worst years for housing transactions were 2009 and 2008, in which these operations plummeted 25.1% and 28.8%, respectively. In 2012 and 2011, double-digit declines were still recorded (-11.5% and -18.1%), while in 2013 the fall was moderated to 1.9% due to the end of tax benefits for the acquisition of housing.

Second-hand homes are still the main players in the market. On the one hand, due to the lack of supply of new work and the significant gap between the prices of both types. In fact, new housing transactions have not been able to beat the psychological figure of 100,000 units. We must remember that from the Association of Promoters of Madrid (Asprima) ensure that a healthy market should move around an annual production between 120,000 and 150,000 new homes annually.

The lack of finalist land, the high construction costs and the difficulties in accessing financing both on the part of individuals and developers are preventing, for the moment, reaching these figures. However, during the past year, transactions in both types rebounded. Thus, for example, purchases of second-hand flats increased by 9.9% to 422,531 transactions, their highest figure since 2007, while operations on new homes increased by 11.1% last year, adding up 92,520, its highest volume since 2014.

In fact, the pressure of demand on used housing is moving to prices. According to Fotocasa, during the past year, this type of housing increased by 8% compared to 2018, the highest increase registered since 2006. On the other hand, 90.3% of the homes transmitted by purchase during the past year were free homes and 9.7% protected. In total, the sale of free homes rose by 10.1% in 2018, to 465,083 transactions, while the sale of protected housing rose 10.3% to 49,968 transactions, the highest figure in eight years.

With this increase, the sale of protected housing chains four consecutive years of increases. In 2018, the highest number of home sales per 100,000 inhabitants occurred in Comunidad Valenciana (2,010), Baleares (1,641) and Andalucía (1,537). The property sales boom was particularly noted in Andalusia, which was the region that carried out the most housing operations last year, with 101,330 sales, followed by Catalonia (81,020), Comunidad Valenciana (78,800) and Madrid (75,845).

Leading Marbella property specialist Romano Keogh commenting on the property sales boom said that the 2018 data reflects a slower pace in the growth of transactions. Could we be facing an indicator about a possible change in the market cycle? Most experts consider that we are in the stabilization phase and still see several more years of increases, both transactions and prices, although the escalation of the latter will be somewhat more moderate than in previous years. All is pointing to healthy increases for the market of 5%.

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