According to BBVA, the recovery in the real estate sector in Spain “is really taking hold”. The entity forecasts a 7% increase in property sales in 2017 and that investment in homes will grow by 3.2% during the same period. Meanwhile, it predicts that house prices will rise by 2.5%.

These are the most recent forecasts about the sector for 2017 from BBVA, which highlights that the “positive evolution” of the real estate market in 2016 displayed significant geographical heterogeneity, with Madrid, a large part of the Mediterranean Coast and the two island regions leading the recovery.

The entity said that 2017 will be marked by more moderate economic growth forecasts, of 2.7%, compared with 3.2% in 2016, and positive expectations in terms of property price rises.

In this way, the entity expects residential sales to grow by around 7% this year, and for prices to continue their recovery, with an increase of 2.5% YoY.

The revival of the mortgage market in recent years is helping to fuel growth in residential demand, says BBVA. In fact, new loan operations to households to finance the acquisition of a home increased again in 2016 to reach €37,500 million, up by 5% compared to the previous year.

Similarly, construction is continuing to respond positively to the growth in demand and prices, which is why the real estate sector is expected to generate growth for the economy once again. Investment in housing is expected to increase by 3.2%.

Growth with uncertainty

Nevertheless, BBVA warns that a number of risk factors have been building up in recent months, which could limit the scope and speed of the recovery.

Firstly, it warns that uncertainty persists relating to the outcome of Brexit. In addition to this geopolitical factor in Europe, the potential effects of decisions taken by the new administration in the USA and the increase in energy costs should also be taken into account.

Meanwhile, the increase in inflation in the Eurozone may lead to a change in monetary policy. During 2017, the ECB’s stimuli are expected to decrease, which could lead to an increase in interest rates at the end of 2018. “This increase in financial costs represents a risk for the Spanish economy”, said the entity.

In any case, BBVA highlighted that positive financing conditions, and the strong economic outlook, mean that the real estate sector closed 2016 with 460,000 transactions, up by 13.5% compared to 2016 (…).

Last year, the stock of finished housing continued to decline and prices grew by 1.9% on average, which shows that “the industry responded once again to the boost in demand”. Similarly, the number of building permits grew by almost 30% in 2016 to reach 64,000 permits, to record the third consecutive year of recovery. (…).

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