Spain: Fall in housing permits softens in December; housing prices hit ten-year low in Q4
March 27, 2014
In January, the Spanish Board of Architects (Colegio de Arquitectos Tecnicos) granted 2,608 new construction permits according to data published by the Ministry of Public Works (Ministerio de Fomento). The figure was broadly in line with the 2,465 permits approved in December. On an annual basis, permits declined at the fastest pace in four months, falling 20.3%, which was markedly down from the 4.7% drop recorded in December. As a result of the monthly figure, the moving three-month sum of permits totaled 7,562 in January, which represents a 15.7% decline over the same period of the last year and emphasizes that the housing market is still depressed. The current level represents just a fraction of the 268,266 permits that were granted during the July-September 2006 peak. In Q4, the general index of housing prices produced by the Ministry of Public Works dropped 4.2% year-on-year to EUR 1,467 per square meter. Although the decline was slightly up from the 4.5% fall recorded in Q3, the print marked the lowest price per square meter since Q1 2004. As a result, the square meter price sits well below the EUR 2,101 peak recorded in Q1 2008. The housing market remains in the doldrums as widespread unemployment and a sluggish recovery continue to erode consumption and investment capacity.