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Home sales have hit their lowest levels historically

54,512.  The number speaks for itself. It reflects the scarce number of home sales closed during the first trimester of 2013, according to the Ministry of Public Works’ Statistics on Housing Transactions, based on signatures given before a notary.  Never before in this official time period-which started in 2004-has the housing market fallen so low.  A collapse that could have been even worse if not for the important increase in purchases completed by foreign residents, who are behind 15.5% of the total.

The previous low point was in the first trimester of 2012: 69,420

The previous low point of this statistic was from the first trimester of 2012, when the number of transactions rose to 69,420.  The cause of the new fall seems more than evident: the end of the fiscal incentives for buying in January 1st of 2013, which provoked notable progress for transactions-in the last semester of the last financial year, 132,609 transactions were signed-.

From numbers to statistics: Home sales sag 24.7% since March

Home sales fell 24.7% in the first trimester of 2013 in comparison with the same period of the previous year because of the change in the taxation, which produced temporary progress in the decision to buy, according to the General Council of Notaries.

Between January and March of 2013, the average price per square meter suffered an adjustment of 16%, while in the case of apartments, the price was reduced 17.3% and the number of contracted transactions 25.1%.

In addition, the statistics highlight that the total number of new mortgage loans signed during the first three months of the year were reduced by 27% in comparison with the same trimester of 2012, and those destined for home sales were reduced 35.1%.

In March alone, the number of sales registered a year-to-year setback of 31.1%, and, in the case of apartments, the volume of transactions fell 32.3%.  So, free market apartment transactions were reduced by 28.7% year-to-year.

This fall was led by the reduction of transactions in first-hand, free-market apartments, which registered a cutback of 51.2%.  At the same time, second-hand apartments saw a fall of 21.1%.  Lastly, the sale of single family homes fell 26.1% in March.

The price per square meter in March was situated around 1,196 euros, which means a descent of 10.2%, according to notaries.  The price of apartments during the same month was 1,322 euros per square meter, which represents a year-to-year reduction of 10.5%.

At the same time, the cost of free market apartments experienced a fall of 10.8%, to 1,342 euros per square meter.  New apartments purchased registered an average price of 1,786 euros, which entails a slight increase of 1.1%, given the reduced number of transactions exchanged on the market, explain the notaries.

The cost of second-hand apartments in March registered a fall of 11.5%, to 1,266 euros per square meter.

With respect to mortgage loans in the month of March, the year-to-year adjustment was 35.1%, and the average quantity was reduced by 19.8%.

Regarding the creation of new societies during the same month, a slight fall of 5.8% was produced, and an additional contraction of average capital of the same from 6.3%, to 17,841 euros.

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