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'Annus horribilis' for real estate: these are the catastrophic forecasts for 2020

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The forecasts of the real estate market for 2020 are not at all hopeful and his particular 'annus horribilis' is expected to live. All experts agree that the coronavirus crisis is going to hit with great virulence a sector that already seemed recovered after the bubble burst, and they estimate strong setbacks both in the number of operations and in house prices.

With the state of alarm, the buying and selling of homes has been brought to a halt. At the moment, the INE has only offered February data, but everyone agrees in affirming that March and April are going to be two disastrous months. In fact, nobody believes that the 500,000 operations that were made in 2019 and place their forecasts far from this figure.

"The reality has completely changed," says the head of Idealista Studies, Fernando Encinar. In his opinion, "let's end the year with a fork between 350,000 and 370,000 homes sold"This represents a drop of up to 30% compared to last year's records." 2020 will be dramatically low, "but he expects the market to begin to progress during 2021," if the appropriate economic and labor measures are taken. "

From Pisos.com they are somewhat more optimistic, but not flattering. Its Director of Studies, Ferran Font, considers that the decrease in sales will be "between 15% and 20%", for under 450,000 operations. His hope is that a change in trend will occur in the third quarter, after overcoming "the critical period" that the sector will experience from March to May.

In this situation, a part of the real estate agencies will have to lower the blind. The real estate consultant and founder of Red Expertos Inmobiliarios, Eduardo Molet, has calculated that up to 25% of these companies will have to close, for the most part SMEs that will not bill for several months and will not have sufficient liquidity to continue. He believes that if the stimulus policies go hand in hand, the recovery could be faster than expected, but regrets that "many businesses will have stayed on the road."

6% FALLS IN HOUSING PRICES

The fall in demand will lead to a lowering of house prices. UBS has quantified that the fall will be 6% by 2020, although next year it will return to pre-crisis levels. In his report, he explains this decline in the residential market with the "brutal rise" in unemployment in Spain, a damage that he considers temporary, but which will cause fewer sales operations.

Large cities will notice less the fall in prices, because they are areas where there is strong demand and low supply. For this reason, the estimates of the Swiss firm consider that in Madrid, Barcelona or the Basque Country; the houses they will only lose between 3% and 5% of their value. It also includes in this group the Canary Islands and some coastal areas, benefited by its tourist activity. However, "on the periphery of large cities, inland areas and secondary tourist sites, property prices may fall more than average."

Gloval Analytics, which foresees a 6.5% drop in prices if a recession comes. This is the worst scenario of the three that this entity values, although right now it seems the most likely after knowing that the Bank of Spain expects the economy of our country to decrease by 6.6% this year in the best case scenario.

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