21 April 2019 – El Confidencial
There is barely any real estate activity in more than 100 Spanish municipalities with more than 10,000 inhabitants. In 42, not a single building permit to construct a new home was issued in 2018. Not one. And in another 100, fewer than five permits were issued, whilst in 200, fewer than ten permits were issued.
That is according to data from the Ministry of Development, which reveals the extent of the disparity between the booming areas of Madrid, Barcelona, the Costa del Sol and the islands, amongst others, and the complete dearth of activity in other parts of the country.
Asturias and Murcia are the autonomous regions that are suffering the most where construction activity has been all but suspended. The driving factors are multiple, but a lack of demand is key. Moreover, even where there is buyer interest, there is not enough buildable land to develop, construction costs are high, financing is hard to come by and qualified labour is scarce.
Even at the national level, although 100,000 new home permits were issued last year, that figure is still eight times lower than it was in 2006, when 865,561 new build permits were awarded. And although the experts agree that a healthy market will never see a return to the pre-crisis figures, the volume of new home construction is still well below the 150,000-200,000 benchmark that property developers consider sustainable.
By contrast, in certain parts of the Community of Madrid, lots more building permits were granted last year than during the height of the boom, for example, in Tres Cantos (657 in 2018 compared with 6 in 2006) and Rivas Vaciamadrid (1,345 compared with 831 twelve years ago). There was also a lot of activity in Boadilla del Monte, San Sebastián de los Reyes and Alcobendas. Beyond the capital, more new build permits were granted last year than in 2006 in Pamplona, Lasarte and Santiago de Compostela, amongst others.
Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)
Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake