Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Spanish House Price Data - "Bonkers"

This article comes from our friends at Global Edge

Spanish overseas property portal, has published a new report which aims to provide a more accurate picture of the Spanish property market.The new report analyses the three most important sources of information, official data, data from valuation companies and property portal statistics.

Here are the highlights:

1. Property transaction figures are the most reliable and show a peak-to-trough decline of 56%. Transaction levels were lowest in the early part of 2009 and have since picked up, a little.

2. Official data from the Ministry of Housing (MVIV) publishes valuation data but not information about actual sale prices, even though it has the information. Publishing actual data would improve transparency in the market and lead to more property transactions says’s Martin Dell. It should stop pursuing a political agenda and behave more responsibly.

3. Official data shows a price drop of 11.2% over two years which is clearly ludicrousPortal data from likes of Idealista, Fotocasa, Facilisimo and Kyero record asking prices but as asking prices can differ significantly to the actual prices paid, they are not accurate and can appear to be “bonkers” says Dell. The most realistic figures are from, which show a peak-to-trough decline of 23.7%4. Valuation company data shows average declines of around 15%. This is not accurate either. It is worth noting that valuation companies are employed by banks, so have a vested interest in reporting higher prices.

It is difficult not to agree with Dell’s conclusion:“What the market needs is for the Spanish government to publish actual transaction prices of individual properties so that the 'hard facts' are available for further analysis. While this will not reveal the 'actual' price paid for the property in most cases - thanks to a cash element of many property transactions - it will level the playing field"."My own belief is that when property buyers are armed with better data, they make better buying decisions. When that data is lacking or incomplete, they either make sub-optimal decisions or they decide not to buy at all. This lack of data transparency, in my opinion, is a significant factor in the continued suppression of the Spanish property market”.

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