18/01/2018

Trends in the housing market in 2018: What factors will define the year?

The consolidation and recovery of the housing market in Spain was the story of 2017, during which year we saw record numbers that had not been reached since 2008 in our country, and during which the number of conveyance transactions increased by over 25% compared to 2016. So in view of the challenges and opportunities facing us in 2018, what will be the key trends that will define the housing market?

The new Mortgage Law

New measures have been approved by the Government aimed at improving transparency for future buyers. They enter into force during the first quarter of the year, and we highlight some key aspects below:

  • The possibility of accelerated repayment, so that you can pay off the value of your mortgage, in full or in part, in advance of the agreed date.
  • Converting variable-rate loans into fixed-rate loans, thereby reducing commissions.
  • Purchasers will be allowed to change the transaction currency into euros or into any other currency in which they receive the majority of their income.
  • New limits on foreclosure are established:
    • During the first half of the contract: where the default exceeds 2% of the loan or 9 monthly instalments.
    • During the second half of the contract: where the default exceeds 4% or 12 monthly instalments.

Digitalization

As in all other sectors, the digitalization of the housing market will be one of the key factors when facing new challenges and opportunities, adjusting to the current context in which an online presence and services linked to this channel will result in changes with one clear objective: to improve the experience and adapt to the needs of all future buyers.

Some of the new features arriving with the current digital revolution that the sector is undergoing include virtual 360° tours, the inclusion of apps that allow properties to be personalized (finishes, distribution, etc.), while also streamlining conveyance transactions or the possibility of offering information in (near) real time on the progress of the project, both via the website or direct to your smartphone.

In Madrid, greater transparency

With the aim of boosting confidence among buyers and establishing a new benchmark position in the housing sector improving the quality of this activity, the Madrid Regional Authority has announced that it will shortly publish a decree for the creation of a register where estate agents will be able, on a voluntary basis, to provide proof that they have the economic and technical solvency necessary to guaranty the viability of the project. Will this measure be extended to the rest of the country?

What influence will tourism-related holiday lettings have?

Some weeks ago we discussed what one needs to take into account in one’s annual tax return if one rents out one’s house during the holiday season, and in 2018 this question will be fundamental given that may people consider that it ‘has forced’ the increase in residential property lettings, but what future do these kinds of lettings have? According to Fernando Encinar, head of research at the Idealista estate-agency portal, it is expected that profitability considerations will drive a ‘migration’ in the use of dwellings from tourist-related lettings to permanent lettings, but even so the trend in rental prices will continue to be upward. Will some kind of new regulations be proposed for holiday-related lettings?

 

If you are thinking about starting a new project this year, we recommend you take a look at our post on the advantages and disadvantages of buying or renting your home. What best suits what you are looking for?

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