The real estate market is once again in vogue and at the forefront of interest. Luckily, the times when renting and selling properties was stagnant, anticipating an economic recovery that was not yet complete, are now behind us.
Fortunately, the situation has changed, and the outlook is not only different but also very positive for the sector, with estimates of growth in rental/sales of properties in 2019. In fact, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics, 10.9% more homes were sold in Spain during the first half of 2018 than in the same period last year.
Similarly, granted mortgages are once again on the rise. The banks, now stabilised after some complex years, have launched a price fight and lowered the requirements for accessing a loan with a real guarantee. All this has boosted the number of transactions. Against this background, small real estate companies, those with one or two offices at street level and whose scope of action is the limited to their local and neighbouring areas, are once again coming to the market.
Moreover, they have an advantage over previous periods: price increases are being more gradual than a decade ago, which is an indication that there is no speculative bubble.
2. Barcelona and Madrid, the great engine for 2019
If, when calculating the national territory, we talk about price increases of around 11%, we must highlight the prospects for the two nerve centres by nature: by 2019, Barcelona and Madrid have growth forecasts of between six and seven percent, in what are their metropolitan areas, so they clearly stand out within the ranking of Spanish cities where it takes the least time to sell a property.
Despite the fact that it is the peripheral properties that stand out the most, in the most select neighbourhoods; however, it will be possible to continue to experience double-digit price growth, sometimes reaching 20%. The main reason for these interesting growth rates for investors lies basically in the reduced offer we have. After a decade in which hardly any new promotions have been started, the current offer is basically reduced to second hand, and within this there are many people who neither want nor need to sell.
Thus, in general terms for the whole country, the experts predict a slight slowdown compared to the data for 2018. However, they are not at all worrying, but are simply the result of this lack of supply. Given that construction companies are now launching new projects, the outlook for 2020 does suggest that there may be an increase in transactions driven by the professionalisation of real estate companies too.
3. Improved wages, key to growth
In order to improve the number of transactions, as well as the prices handled, all experts consider that a corresponding increase in wages is key. In fact, last year the variation in wages at the national level was only 0.8 per cent. If we take into account the aforementioned growth of 10.9% in the volume of transactions, and 6% in the price of flats, there is a problem of purchasing power that has yet to be resolved.
4. How to take advantage of this perspective of renting and selling properties in 2019 from an agency
With all these statistics on the table, the prospect of renting and selling properties for a real estate agency throughout 2019 seems very favourable, but we must not forget that in this market situation, competition is becoming greater and only those agencies capable of offering the best service and adapting to new needs are able to make the most of it.
On the other hand, since the “fever” for buying a home ended after the termination of the long-term contracts in 2016, the profile of the average house-hunter has changed to a more leisurely customer, with a buying or renting mentality but in less of a hurry than buyers in previous years. For this reason, the buyer not hesitate in comparing and only closing sales with the agency that has the best offer on the home they want, especially outside the market of Madrid and Barcelona.
This customer profile is interested in visiting and ensuring that the home fits within their possibilities, even on several occasions, so tools that speed up this process and increase the level of information such as virtual tour software for real estate agents are those that serve to reemphasize the decision. Therefore, the agencies that incorporate this type of tool are those that have the best growth.