Spain’s current slowdown: Reduced real estate and financial risks

Spain’s current slowdown: Reduced real estate and financial risks

Fecha: noviembre 2019

Santiago Carbó Valverde, Francisco Rodríguez Fernández, Pedro Cuadros Solas

Riesgo inmobiliario, Riesgo del crédito, Precios de la vivienda, Crédito

Spanish and International Economic & Financial Otlook, SEFO, V. 8 N.º 6

In its World Economic Outlook report in October 2019, the IMF noted a considerable slowdown in the eurozone, with growth in Spain expected to ease to 1.8% in 2020. While there is no indication that a recession is looming, emerging economic dynamics suggest credit and real estate risks should be watched closely. Typically, growth in both these risks has accompanied financial crises in Spain. For example, the estimated probability of default in 1977 and 2009 was 20% and 13.8%, respectively, while the correction in house prices from peak levels stood at 33.3% and 45% for both those years. Interestingly, contemporary data show moderate price level growth in Spanish real estate compared to the run-up to the recent financial crisis, suggesting the real estate market does not pose a risk of amplification in the face of the anticipated cyclical slowdown of the Spanish economy. Furthermore, lending to both businesses and households has remained timid since 2017. Still, concerns have focused on Spain’s public debt, which is equivalent to 98% of GDP. Taken together, these data suggest Spain is headed for a soft landing alongside that of the global economy.

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