Spain: Fall in housing permits softens in December; housing prices hit ten-year low in Q4
February 27, 2014
In December, the Spanish Board of Architects (Colegio de Arquitectos Tecnicos) granted 2,465 new construction permits according to data published by the Ministry of Public Works (Ministerio de Fomento). The figure marked a slight deterioration compared to the 2,489 permits approved in November. On an annual basis, permits contracted at the softest pace in five months, falling 4.7%, which was up from the 19.9% drop recorded in November.
As a result of the monthly figure, the moving three-month sum of permits totaled 7,778 in December, which represents a 12.4% decline over the same period of the previous 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.