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Property sales: operations grew after 29 months of year-on-year decline

The market cut a streak of year-on-year decline that had lasted 29 months (Adrián Escandar)
The market cut a streak of year-on-year decline that had lasted 29 months (Adrián Escandar)

After 29 consecutive months of year-on-year decline, in November the streak was cut and the sale of properties in the city of Buenos Aires had a rise of 4.2% compared to the same month of the previous year. According to data from the Buenos Aires Notaries Association, last month 2,512 deeds of sale were signed for a total amount of $ 38,601 million.

However, the rise is far from representing a rebound for the sector -impacted first by the devaluation, the controls for the purchase of dollars and then by the pandemic-, since the number of operations fell with respect to the month of October, somewhat unusual because November is historically one of the best-selling months of the year.

After 29 consecutive months of year-on-year decline, in November the streak was cut and the sale of properties in the city of Buenos Aires had a rise of 4.2% compared to the same month of the previous year

In this case, the basis of comparison is November of the previous year, which had also been a month with a very low record. From the sector, they assure that despite the increase with respect to the number of operations of the previous year, the sale of properties registers an interannual fall of more than 50% in relation to 2019, which was the worst year of the series that relieves the school.

To get an idea of ​​the level of activity: in the year just over 13,000 operations were registered when, in general, in the same period in previous years there are usually more than 50,000 or 60,000 in the area of ​​the city of Buenos Aires. October was the best month of 2020 with 2,528 deeds, but in the same month of 2017 (in the middle of the UVA mortgage loan boom) some 6,800 operations had been registered, for example.

The sector numbers are still below 2019, which was one of the worst records of the series (Adrián Escandar)
The sector numbers are still below 2019, which was one of the worst records of the series (Adrián Escandar)

The situation was similar in the real estate market in the province of Buenos Aires, where during November there were a total of 7,349 purchases. The figure, surveyed by the College of Notaries of the province of Buenos Aires, reflects an interannual increase of 1.64%. In the same month of 2019, 7,230 deeds had been registered.

In turn, the amounts grew by 38.38% compared to November 2019 ($ 25,144 million in 2020 and $ 18,170 million in 2019). The average value of each deed had a year-on-year increase of 36.1% ($ 3.4 million in 2020 versus $ 2.5 million in 2019).

Compared to the previous month, there was a fall of 9.3%, since 8,110 deeds had been made in October. The amounts decreased 10.5% in the same period. In addition, in November, 254 operations with mortgage loans were registered, which represented a decrease of 33.7% compared to the same month last year.

“In the variation of mortgages month by month, a drop of 6% was noted with respect to the numbers of last October, a period in which 270 had been registered. The amounts decreased by 36.4% in said period”, they detailed from the college of notaries of the province.

Prices down

The impact of the pandemic and the economic crisis on the real estate sector is also increasingly reflected in prices. According to the data correspond to the survey carried out by the consultancy Reporte Inmobiliario, property prices registered a decrease of 16.7% in November compared to the same month last year.

The value of the average square meter of a used apartment —standard quality, without amenities— based on the survey was USD 1,870 in November. The fall reaches 22.09% if this current value is compared with the USD 2,400 corresponding to February 2019, where the peak was registered.

“With the deepening of the crisis due to the pandemic and quarantine and the successive devaluations, the adjustments of the initial publication values ​​began to become more evident, with interannual drops of two digits. This issue had shown much greater inflexibility until the beginning of this year despite the fact that a strong contraction of demand had already been dragged on the market, ”explained José Rozados, head of the Real Estate Report.

All in all, these are the listing prices of the properties and in some cases there may be some rebates negotiated with the owners at the close of the deal.

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