Spain: Housing prices continue to fall
April 18, 2012
In January, the Spanish Board of Architects (Colegio de Arquitectos Tecnicos) granted 4,698 new construction permits, according to data published by the Ministry of Public Works (Ministerio de Fomento), which was down from the 5,414 permits approved in December. On an annual basis, permits declined 30.7%, a slight improvement over the 32.1% drop recorded in December. As a result of the monthly figure, the moving 3-month sum totalled 14,709 permits in the period ending in January, which represents a 34.4% decline over the same period last year and marks, in fact, a new record low, indicating that the housing market remains depressed. At the current level, permits are only a fraction of the number given during the peak in the July-September period of 2006, when 268,266 permits were granted. In addition, housing prices continue to decline. The general index of housing prices, produced by the Ministry of Public Works, dropped 7.2% year-on-year in the first quarter, which is down from the 6.8% decline observed in the fourth quarter of 2011. The price per square metre reached EUR 1,649 in Q1 2012, which is 21.5% below the peak of EUR 2,101 per square metre recorded in Q1 2008.