Y no creo que lo estén consiguiendo… Que no te engañe la prensa con su machacón mensaje de que los precios suben… Yo que estoy muy en el mercado, no lo aprecio. Hay demasiado stock en venta y demasiados pocos que riendo comprar… Pero el lobby es muy grande y sus tentáculos se meten por todas partes, como cuando entre los años 2000-2008 decían lo mismo, que te lo perdías y tal… Subía y subía al calor de los que decían, machaconamente, que el ladrillo no bajaba nunca y tal…, los mismos que están intentando animar el cotarro ahora mismo, esos que están cargados de pisos y que no saben cómo sacarlos de una vez a estos precios…, ante el temor a que vuelvan a bajar y tengan no sólo que provisionar lo que les falta, sino que provisionarlos más todavía.
La reactivación del sector en todos los indicadores es patente desde el año 2014 en todas las comunidades autónomas, con Baleares a la cabeza
La reciente crisis económica sigue pasando factura a la actividad del sector inmobiliario español. De acuerdo con una reciente simulación realizada por la tasadora Euroval, esta actividad, considerando diversos indicadores como las hipotecas constituidas, los ingresos y gastos de construcción o las transacciones efectuadas, se encuentra muy por debajo de los niveles que alcanzó en los años del residencial.
De este modo, y. A nivel de las respectivas comunidades autónomas, las diferencias respecto al año de referencia son igualmente drásticas, si bien varían notablemente entre ellas.
Por ejemplo, en el mencionado índice de actividad inmobiliaria sería , el mismo que para la , pero cinco puntos por debajo del de y seis del de la . El territorio donde la recuperación de esta actividad ha sido mayor es , con un índice para 2016 de y un acumulado de 28 puntos solo desde 2014.
En este sentido, los datos de Euroval llaman la atención sobre el hecho de que "no hay casos conocidos de sectores económicos" con un peso similar en el Producto Interior Bruto (PIB) de un país, como el que tuvo el inmobiliario en su momento de mayor auge, "que sufran en menos de una década
Un indicador clave, en opinión de Euroval, que refleja esta caída es el de las, que, a pesar de la significativa recuperación anotada en 2016, se encuentra todavía en niveles muy inferiores a los de 2006, de menos de la mitad: 1.399.200 tasaciones en aquel año frente a 625.000 en 2016. La comunidad con mayor número tasaciones en 2016 fue Andalucía, con 129.200, seguida de Cataluña, con 120.400, Comunidad de Madrid, 85.300, y Comunidad Valenciana, 76.700.
Otro indicador de referencia que explica esta situación es la de viviendas, que también este periodo muestra una marcha paralela a las tasaciones. Además, en este caso las conclusiones de Euroval destacan, pues "se observa, pese al importante ajuste de precios, una débil demanda ante la incertidumbre de la economía y el empleo. La persistencia de este hecho lleva a un retraimiento importante y generalizado en la oferta de nueva vivienda".
De esta manera, y mientras hasta 2010 las tasas anuales de crecimiento del en España lo hacían a ritmos del 5%, . Los datos de la tasadora Euroval también señalan que este débil crecimiento se ha concentrado, sobre todo, en las viviendas principales, que han pasado de las 15.0429.540 unidades en 2004 a las 18.968.955 el pasado año. Los análisis de Euroval también constatan que la caída desde 2004 en el número de visados de dirección de obra nueva ha sido del 90,8%. Por CCAA, este retroceso oscila entre el 82% y el 93%.
El último indicador que analiza Euroval es la, para concluir que la comparación de ambas magnitudes pone de manifiesto el fuerte contraste entre la situación pre crisis y la actual. Si en 2008 las viviendas terminadas estaban en torno a 536.600, casi el doble que el número de las iniciadas ese año, en 2016 estas cifras fueron, respectivamente, de 50.351 y 34.351 unidades. "Es de suponer -concluye Euroval- que el flujo de entradas de viviendas en el mercado tenderá a aumentar al menos en los próximos dos años".
PD1: Burbuja y más burbuja por todas partes…
We are witnessing the demise of the world’s two largest economic power blocks, the US and EU. Given deteriorating economic conditions on both sides of the Atlantic, which have been playing out for many years but were so far largely kept hidden from view by unprecedented issuance of debt, the demise should come as no surprise.
The debt levels are not just unprecedented, they would until recently have been unimaginable. When the conditions for today’s debt orgasm were first created in the second half of the 20th century, people had yet to wrap their minds around the opportunities and possibilities that were coming on offer. Once they did, they ran with it like so many lemmings.
The reason why economies are now faltering invites an interesting discussion. Energy availability certainly plays a role, or rather the energy cost of energy, but we might want to reserve a relatively larger role for the idea, and the subsequent practice, of trying to run entire societies on debt (instead of labor and resources).
It almost looks as if the cost of energy, or of anything at all really, doesn’t play a role anymore, if and when you can borrow basically any sum of money at ultra low rates. Sometimes you wonder why people didn’t think of that before; how rich could former generations have been, or at least felt?
The reason why is that there was no need for it; things were already getting better all the time, albeit for a briefer period of time than most assume, and there was less ‘want’. Not that people wouldn’t have wanted as much as we do today, they just didn’t know yet what it was they should want. The things to want were as unimaginable as the debt that could have bought them.
It’s when things ceased getting better that ideas started being floated to create the illusion that they still were, and until recently very few people were not fooled by this. While this will seem incredible in hindsight, it still is not that hard to explain. Because when things happen over a period of decades, step by step, you walk headfirst into the boiling frog analogy: slowly but surely.
At first, women needed to start working to pay the bills, health care and education costs started rising, taxes began to rise. But everyone was too busy enjoying the nice slowly warming water to notice. A shiny car -or two, three-, a home in the burbs with a white picket fence, the American -and German and British etc.- Dream seemed to continue.
Nobody bothered to think about the price to pay, because it was far enough away: the frog could pay in installments. In the beginning only for housing, later also for cars, credit card debt and then just about anything.
Nobody bothered to look at external costs either. Damage to one’s own living environment through a huge increase in the number of roads and cars and the demise of town- and city cores, of mom and pop stores, of forest land and meadows, basically anything green, it was all perceived as inevitable and somehow ‘natural’ (yes, that is ironic).
Damage to the world beyond one’s own town, for instance through the exploitation of domestic natural resources and the wars fought abroad for access to other nations’ resources, only a very precious few ever cared to ponder these things, certainly after the Vietnam war was no longer broadcast and government control of -or cooperation with- the media grew exponentially.
Looking at today’s world in a sufficiently superficial fashion -the way most people look at it-, one might be forgiven for thinking that debt, made cheap enough, tapers over all other factors, economic and otherwise, including thermodynamics and physics in general. Except it doesn’t, it only looks that way, and for a limited time at that. In the end, thermodynamics always beats ‘financial innovation’. In the end, thermodynamics sets the limits, even those of economics.
That leads us into another discussion. If not for the constraints, whether they emanate from energy and/or finance, would growth have been able to continue at prior levels? Both the energy and the finance/political camps mostly seem to think so.
The energy crowd -peak oilers- appear to assume that if energy would have been more readily available, economic growth could have continued pretty much unabated. Or they at least seem to assume that it’s the limits of energy that are responsible for the limits to economic growth.
The finance crowd mostly seems to think that if we would have followed different economic models, growth would have been for the taking. They tend to blame the Fed, or politics, loose regulation, the banking system.
Are either of them right? If they are, that would mean growth can continue de facto indefinitely if only we were smart enough to either make the right economic and political decisions, or to find or invent new sources of energy.
But what kind of growth do both ‘fields’ envision? Growth to what end, and growth into what? 4 years ago, I wrote I have still never seen anyone else ask that question, before or since, let alone answer it.
We want growth by default, we want growth for growth’s sake, without caring much where it will lead us. Maybe we think unconsciously that as long as we can secure growth, we can figure out what to do with it later.
But it doesn’t work that way: growth changes the entire playing field on a constant basis, and we can’t keep up with the changes it brings, we’re always behind because we don’t care to answer that question: what do we want to grow into. Growth leads us, we don’t lead it. Next question then: if growth stops, what will lead us?
Because we don’t know where we want growth to lead us, we can’t define it. The growth we chase is therefore per definition blind. Which of necessity means that growth is about quantity, not quality. And that in turn means that the -presupposed- link between growth and progress falls apart: we can’t know if -the next batch of- growth will make us better off, or make our lives easier, more fulfilling. It could do the exact opposite.
And that’s not the only consequence of our blind growth chase. We have become so obsessed with growth that we have turned to creative accounting, in myriad ways, to produce the illusion of growth where there is none. We have trained ourselves and each other to such an extent to desire growth that we’re all, individually and collectively, scared to death of the moment when there might not be any. Blind fear brought on by a blind desire.
As we’ve also seen, we’ve been plunging ourselves into ever higher debt levels to create the illusion of growth. Now, money (debt) is created not by governments, as many people still think, but by -private- banks. Banks therefore need people to borrow. What people borrow most money for is housing. When they sign up for a mortgage, the bank creates a large amount of money out of nothing.
So if the bank gets itself into trouble, for instance because they lose money speculating, or because people can’t pay their mortgages anymore that they never could afford in the first place, the only way out for that bank, other than bailouts, is to sign more people up for mortgages -or car loans-, preferably bigger ones all the time.
What we have invented to keep big banks afloat for a while longer is ultra low interest rates, NIRP, ZIRP etc. They create the illusion of not only growth, but also of wealth. They make people think a home they couldn’t have dreamt of buying not long ago now fits in their ‘budget’. That is how we get them to sign up for ever bigger mortgages. And those in turn keep our banks from falling over.
Record low interest rates have become the only way that private banks can create new money, and stay alive (because at higher rates hardly anybody can afford a mortgage). It’s of course not just the banks that are kept alive, it’s the entire economy. Without the ZIRP rates, the mortgages they lure people into, and the housing bubbles this creates, the amount of money circulating in our economies would shrink so much and so fast the whole shebang would fall to bits.
That’s right: the survival of our economies today depends one on one on the existence of housing bubbles. No bubble means no money creation means no functioning economy.
What we should do in the short term is lower private debt levels (drastically, jubilee style), and temporarily raise public debt to encourage economic activity, aim for more and better jobs. But we’re doing the exact opposite: austerity measures are geared towards lowering public debt, while they cut the consumer spending power that makes up 60-70% of our economies. Meanwhile, housing bubbles raise private debt through the -grossly overpriced- roof.
This is today’s general economic dynamic. It’s exclusively controlled by the price of debt. However, as low interest rates make the price of debt look very low, the real price (there always is one, it’s just like thermodynamics) is paid beyond interest rates, beyond the financial markets even, it’s paid on Main Street, in the real economy. Where the quality of jobs, if not the quantity, has fallen dramatically, and people can only survive by descending ever deeper into ever more debt.
Do we need growth? Is that even a question we can answer if we don’t know what we would need or use it for? Is there perhaps a point, both from an energy and from a financial point of view, where growth simply levels off no matter what we do, in the same way that our physical bodies stop growing at 6 feet or so? And that after that the demand for economic growth must necessarily lead to ?
It’s perhaps ironic that the US doesn’t appear to be either first or most at risk this time around. There are plenty other housing markets today with what at least look to be much bigger bubbles, from London to China and from Sydney to Stockholm. already looks to be popping. The potential consequences of such -inevitable- developments are difficult to overestimate. Because, as I said, the various banking systems and indeed entire economies depend on these bubbles.
The aftermath will be chaotic and it’s little use to try and predict it too finely, but it’ll be ‘interesting’ to see what happens to the banks in all these countries where bubbles have been engineered, once prices start dropping. It’s not a healthy thing for an economy to depend on blowing bubbles. It’s also not healthy to depend on private banks for the creation of a society’s money. It’s unhealthy, unnecessary and unethical. We’re about to see why.
PD2: Si la burbuja de EEUU en vivienda es grande, la de Canadá ni te cuento…
The price of new homes is quickly diverging in Canada and the US.
Data from the Canadian Housing and Mortgage Corporation (CMHC) show that new homes are selling for substantially more than the same time last year.
Meanwhile south of the border, data from the US Bureau of Census show that new home prices are on the decline.
This has lead to an even wider gap between the average price of a new home in Canada and the US.
Canadian New Construction Is Higher
The price of a new home across Canada is up for the second month in a row. The average sale price in April was CA$751,881 (US$559,123). This represents an 11% increase from the same time last year, when measured in Canadian dollars. When compared in US dollars, that increase drops to a much more conservative 2.64%. Even after factoring in the loonie’s decreased buying power in Canada, new home prices still climbed.
US New Construction Is Lower
American new home builders aren’t seeing such steep climbs in sale prices. Actually, they aren’t seeing climbs at all. The average price of a new home in the US was CA$495,271 (US$368,300). This represents a 3% decline from the same time last year, when measured in US dollars. In Canadian dollars, this was a 0.49% decline from the same time last year. Both forms of measurement show declining home prices in the US, curious since their economy is in a much better state than Canada right now.
US Vs. Canadian Prices
New homes are trading at substantially higher values in Canada than the US in April. The average new home in April 2017 was 51% higher in Canada than the US. The same time last year, prices in Canada were only 36% higher. It appears in a post-crash United States, new home buyers are taking much more conservative strides. In a hasn’t-crashed-in-decades Canada, new home buyers are optimistic about future values.
The gap between new home sale prices in Canada and the US is growing substantially. The US is a country with a booming economy, almost 10 times the population of Canada, and less land mass. Somehow, new home prices in the US are dropping compared to the same time last year. In sparsely populated Canada, prices are increasing – despite the precarious position of our economy.
Are Americans being overly cautious on homeownership, or are Canadians demonstrating irrational exuberance for homeownership, much like the US did in a pre-2006 America? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.
PD3: Mira qué bonito:
Decía el padre José Kentenich: “Detrás de cada amor a una persona está Dios; si no somos capaces de amar sanamente tampoco amaremos a Dios; si el amor fuera más natural sería más fácil llegar a Dios; mucha gente no llega a Dios, porque no saben amar ni han experimentado lo que es un auténtico amor“.
El amor concreto que Dios me regala. El amor visible a mis ojos. Ese amor de hijo gastado con el tiempo. O el de padre que no sabe bien cómo cuidar la vida que se le confía, en sus manos frágiles. Ese amor de amigo que se derrama en tiempo, sin exigencias torpes. Ese amor de hombre que pasea por el alma, y asciende hasta el cielo. El amor de madre que se da por entero.
Sé que si no amo a quien veo es difícil que ame a Dios cada mañana. Necesito aprender a amar sin cortapisas. Sin frenos. Sin miedos. Sin reparos. Amar en la vida que se me confía. Y cuidar en mis manos lo más sagrado oculto en el alma que se me abre. Con respeto infinito.
Quiero amar con mis manos y mis gestos tan torpes. Pero amar de forma sana. Sin retener. Sin imponer. Sin vivir exigiendo. Sin celos ni envidias. Sin quejas ni reproches.