Following sharp rises in property prices over recent years Estate Agents suffered a sudden fall in value on the Spanish stock market yesterday.
This collapse in value brought back memories of the damage suffered by internet companies when the technology bubble finally burst. Many analysts believe that property prices have blown up far out of proportion partly due to property speculation. Yesterday the Valencian Estate Agent, Astroc, suffered a spectacular fall in value on the stock market. However, what is not yet clear is whether this precedes a crisis in the housing market or is just an isolated incident.
The evolution of the small estate agent, Inbesòs, showed how important speculation is. Following a fall of 26% at the opening of the market it then shot up by 37% giving respite to some nervous investors. Infact Inbesòs has risen by 700% in three years and it is not even one of the most profitable in the sector.
The government played down the importance of what happened in yesterday’s stock market saying that some sectors had experienced excessive growth.
It considered that people should not talk of a collapse but that it was a mere correction following historic highs in recent years. It also said that the value of Estate Agents continued to be higher than 12 months ago although some companies had grown out of proportion to their value which gave rise to the idea of a crash in this sector of the stock market.
The Governor of the Bank of Spain, Miguel Ángel Fernández Ordóñez, denied that the collapse in the value of various companies in the sector could be considered as an indicator of the property bubble bursting. He said that on the stock market rises and falls were never slight.
Fernández Ordóñez repeated that there is a gradual slow down in the property market and that prices were still far from crashing.
The Governor of the Bank of Spain reminded the press that property prices grew 7% last year compared to 17% the previous year.