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Mortgages in Spain fall 13.8% year-on-year in February but recover pre-pandemic levels

Apr 28 (Reuters) – The number of mortgages on homes contracted in Spain registered a 13.8% year-on-year drop in February compared to the same month in 2020, just before the COVID-19 outbreak in Spain, although the number of contracts returned to pre-pandemic levels.

The data published on Wednesday by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) showed an increase of 15% compared to January, with the number of mortgages on homes in February standing at 31,647.

“This figure places the granting of mortgages at levels prior to the pandemic and in the usual data for 2019,” said María Matos, Director of Studies and Spokesperson for Fotocasa.

“Month by month we are seeing how the data improves and that shows the great capacity for recovery that the sector has and that the perception of uncertainty is decreasing. The Spanish are once again having a very active behavior, something that shows that the sector is recovering , and also, at a very good pace, “he added.

The average amount of mortgages constituted on homes in February was 131,380 euros, with a year-on-year decrease of 25.0%.

Taking into account that the comparison is established with a period in which the sector had not yet been affected by the crisis and that the fall in February has been reduced compared to that of January, which was 31.6% year-on-year, it is observed signs of gradual recovery.

The fall in interest rates, which has caused a fall of 1.0 points in the average interest of loans in fixed-rate mortgages and of 0.3 points in variable-rate mortgages, has contributed to the increase in the number of fixed mortgages, which reached a record level in February, constituting 55.0% of all mortgages constituted on homes.

“Given the current predisposition of banks to lend, the scenario of minimum interest rates and the foreseeable rebound in demand, we believe that in the coming months – albeit gradually – we will see a change in trend, with a rebound in the demand and the volume of mortgages formalized, “said Juan Villén, director of Idealista / mortgages in a note.

(Information from Flora Gómez, edited by Tomás Cobos)

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