Buyer Insights

Mortgage approvals: The whole story

The latest mortgage statistics show big headline rises in Spanish property market activity. But is that the whole story?

INE’s recent release of December 2015 mortgage data lets us take a deeper look at what happened in 2015, and the headline news is good: Mortgage approvals in December were up 22% year-on-year, and the full year’s data showed there were 17% more mortgages issued in 2015 than 2014.

This is a remarkable 19-month run of growth:

Year-on-year growth in mortgage approvals

Year-on-year growth in mortgage approvals

It’s reassuring to see solid increases and confirms the view we’ve held for some time: The Spanish property market is getting back on its feet.

Keeping some perspective

It probably isn’t time to relax yet: Mortgage activity is still 80% below its peak in 2006 and the provincial picture is very mixed:

Annual mortgage approvals, 2006 - 2015

Annual mortgage approvals, 2006 – 2015

December 2015 No. mortgages Total value (€) YOY change
A Coruña 558 61m 11.8%
Álava 167 14.6m -5.1%
Albacete 242 20.8m 36.7%
Alicante 1092 87.4m 10.5%
Almería 578 41.9m 8.0%
Asturias 526 51.9m 39.2%
Ávila 61 5.7m -4.7%
Badajoz 370 28.2m 14.2%
Balearic Islands 892 143.1m 24.6%
Barcelona 3056 421.8m 38.5%
Biscay 666 131.7m 14.6%
Burgos 205 12.7m 17.8%
Cáceres 156 12.9m -16.6%
Cádiz 607 59.5m 17.0%
Cantabria 423 39m 44.9%
Castellón 303 26m 6.7%
Ceuta 18 2.2m 125.0%
Ciudad Real 166 14.3m -40.9%
Córdoba 430 42.6m 33.5%
Cuenca 145 8.6m 107.1%
Girona 546 57.7m 41.1%
Granada 598 50.3m 47.7%
Guadalajara 134 39.8m -29.1%
Guipuzkoa 613 100.8m 42.9%
Huelva 378 37.6m 9.9%
Huesca 179 18.9m 57.0%
Jaén 294 29m 20.0%
La Rioja 181 13.9m 4.6%
Las Palmas 1267 86.4m 115.5%
León 184 18.2m 67.3%
Lleida 233 16m 20.7%
Lugo 182 12.1m 32.9%
Madrid 4341 768.1m 7.0%
Málaga 1759 198.6m 56.2%
Melilla 24 1.9m -52.0%
Murcia 904 67.5m 12.7%
Navarre 404 53.2m 15.8%
Ourense 126 12.4m 28.6%
Palencia 93 7.6m 34.8%
Pontevedra 467 46.1m 55.2%
Salamanca 133 12.6m -34.8%
Santa Cruz de Tenerife 519 58m -8.8%
Segovia 70 10.4m 7.7%
Seville 1050 126.9m 20.1%
Soria 37 6.3m 27.6%
Tarragona 534 58.4m 9.4%
Teruel 36 3.5m 80.0%
Toledo 342 27.8m -1.2%
Valencia 1301 117.2m 24.3%
Valladolid 247 39.6m 12.3%
Zamora 88 6.1m 22.2%
Zaragoza 590 117.6m 19.0%

With the economy improving and unemployment continuing to come down, we’re certain the domestic market will be back – albeit it could be a long journey. One of our agents said it a whole lot more succinctly:

“If you’re still alive after the tough times, better times will be a no-brainer. The trick is staying smart until they come.”

We think better times are coming.

Leer este artículo en español ›


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