The data on real estate transactions for the past month of March 2020 released today by the INE, reflect an interannual decrease of 18.6%, after it had returned to positive variations (2.3%) in February after six consecutive months of negative data, as a result of the entry into force of the Mortgage Law.
Thus, the decrease in the month of March is a direct consequence of the declaration of a state of alarm by the Government of Spain due to the situation of the coronavirus, which caused the Property Registers to attend exclusively by e-mail in mid-March or by phone for those cases that were essential.
For this reason, “many operations that were already underway during the month of March had to be stopped and those that had not yet started and were not urgent in nature have been postponed until normal activity resumes,” he explains. Anaïs López, Communication Director of Fotocasa.
These data are similar to those of the entry into force of the Mortgage Law during 2019
The figure of the 34,806 operations closed during the month of March returns us to data for the same month in 2016, when 31,877 operations were closed. However, this March data is not far from others that we saw during 2019 as a result of the entry into force of the Mortgage Law, which caused many operations to be delayed.
Thus, in months of the past year such as August (35,371) or September (37,995) of 2019, data similar to those of this month of March were recorded. “It is possible that many operations that have been paralyzed during the month of March, due to the state of alarm, will resume once they have returned to normal. So the data for the coming months may reflect these operations that have been postponed along with the new sales that are closed, ”explains the Director of Communication.
“What is very possible is that the fall we see during the month of April is more pronounced than that of March, since the month of March includes 15 days of normality and without alarm. For this reason, in April, that the Property Registries have only dealt with essential cases, it is possible that few operations could have been closed. ”
Recovery may be faster than expected
However, from Fotocasa they foresee that the recovery may be faster than expected. “The interest that there is currently for housing is very high. And the figures that we manage from the portal indicate that the Spanish have a great intention of looking for new housing.
In the coming months we are going to meet both the demand for housing that we were looking for before the pandemic and a new demand for housing as a result of confinement. And it is that many Spaniards have realized that their current home does not adapt to their needs. This demand can be very important for the recovery of housing in the coming months ”, concludes Anaïs López.