Spain: Housing permits improve in September; housing prices record softest decline in three years in Q3
November 29, 2013
In September, the Spanish Board of Architects (Colegio de Arquitectos Tecnicos) granted 2,228 new construction permits, according to data published by the Ministry of Public Works (Ministerio de Fomento). The figure was an improvement compared to the all-time low of 1,585 permits approved in August. On an annual basis, permits plunged 29.4%, which, nevertheless, marks an improvement over the 39.9% drop recorded in August.
As a result of the monthly figure, the moving three-month sum of permits totaled 7,792 in September, which represents a 20.8% decline over the same period last year and highlights that the housing market remains depressed. The current level represents just a fraction of the 268,266 permits that were granted during the July-September 2006 peak.
Home prices continue to decline as the housing market remains depressed. In Q3, the general index of housing prices produced by the Ministry of Public Works dropped 4.5% year-on-year to EUR 1,495 per square meter. The print was up from the 6.5% fall recorded in Q2. The price per square meter in Q3 marked the lowest level since Q1 2004 and remains well below the peak of EUR 2,101 per square meter 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.