In the midst of all the gloomy news generated by the economic crisis, it appears there might be something to celebrate.
In September, the last month analyzed by the ‘Instituto Nacional de Estadística’ (national institute for statistics), 1287 properties were sold in Malaga province, according to a report issued earlier this week.
While this figure is fractionally smaller than at the same time last year (by a mere 11 sales), Malaga has seen twice as many properties sold as in Aragón and as many as in Galicia, Castile and Leon and Castile and La Mancha put together. The province has the most house sales in the whole of Andalucía and is only overtaken nationwide by those in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Alicante.
This positive figure, when added to the growth in sales of the previous two months compared to the same time last year, is a great relief in the current harsh economic climate.
Buying before tax rises
One of the deciding factors involved in buying a property this year, apart from falling prices, is the fact that next year tax relief on mortgages is to be removed. Additionally VAT is set to rise significantly in January, from four per cent up to 10 per cent.
Added to these two new factors is the traditional seasonal rise during this time of year.
Violeta Aragón, the general secretary of the ‘Associacíon de Constructores y Promotores’ (AGP or the association of property builders and promoters), explains that “the summer months are always the best for sales in Malaga because it’s a tourist destination. Most of the sales are made to foreigners for second residences”.
For Violeta Aragón the fact that this September property sales almost match those of the same month last year is a positive one, “taking into account that most provinces still have falling numbers of sales. We have rising sales figures, when other Andalusian cities have fewer. Although we would like to have even better results and for the market to recover fully, we feel lucky in the light of the current economy”.
She adds that, in her opinion, the continuing fall in property prices next year isn’t going to compensate for the steep rise in VAT and the removal of tax relief.
“While we have seen the positive side of these two factors with increased property sales recently, the start of 2013 is going to be very difficult with the market at a standstill”, she says.
National property sales
On a national level, almost 26,000 properties were bought in September, a rise of 0.9 per cent in comparison to the same time last year. This makes it the second month in a row that figures have risen, following 17 previous months of falling numbers.
Sales in the independent sector rose by 2.9 per cent while that of subsidized housing fell by as much as 10.8 per cent. Of the houses sold, 12,747 were new.
Again, the increase in sales nationwide follows the announcement of the end of mortgage tax relief and the rise in VAT in 2013.