Spain: Housing permits recover in September; housing prices in Q3 record softest decline in six years
November 27, 2014
In September, the Spanish Board of Architects (Colegio de Arquitectos Tecnicos) granted 2,883 new construction permits, according to data published by the Ministry of Public Works (Ministerio de Fomento). The figure was above the 2,082 permits approved in August. On an annual basis, permits expanded a strong 31.6%, which was slightly larger than the 31.4% increase recorded in the previous month and marked a six-month high.
As a result of the monthly figure, the moving three-month sum of permits totaled 9,606 in September, which represents a 23.9% increase over the same period last year. The expansion followed the 15.6% increase tallied in August. Despite the improvement observed in recent months, the current level is a mere fraction of the 268,266 permits that were granted during the July-September 2006 peak.
In Q3, the general index of housing prices produced by the Ministry of Public Works dropped 2.6% year-on-year to EUR 1,456 per square meter. The decline was up from the 2.9% fall recorded in Q2 and marked the weakest drop since Q3 2008. Nevertheless, the price per square meter remains at levels last seen in Q4 2003 and is well below the EUR 2,101 peak that was 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.