14/10/2014 – El Mundo
Although the Spanish boarders encompass a 500.000 square kilometer area, nearly 65% of its population lives in blocks of flats. The fact explains why the country takes the lead in the entire world with almost 20 elevators per each 1.000 inhabitants. Looking out for the number two could take some time as Italy scores much below with 14.7 lifts for each thousand of citizens.
The information proceeds from a study drawn by Credit Suisse and business portal Quartz. According to the report, the phenomena may be cleared out by the fact that most of Spaniards are property owners. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) points out that some 83.2% of the Spanish homes are privately owned, while in countries like Germany or Switzerland the percentage showes 41% and 38% respectively.
Ireland, that also got through a real estate bubble, ranks the second with 81.4% properties in ownership, but the difference is that only 4.7% of the Irish lives in apartment blocks, therefore closing the other list. Similarly to Spain performs Italy, which has got 14.7 elevators per each 1.000 inhabitants and 51.1% of its population lives in multistory buildings. Some 67.9% has a home for their own.
In the context of living in apartment blocks, as we already know, Spain wins as the European leader. The country is followed by Greece and Switzerland (in both 59.7%) which are facing spacial problems as they cover much smaller areas than the Iberian leader. Above the average, there posts the whole Eurozone (46.2%) and the European Union (41.4%). Behind Ireland, though in a distance, there arrives Norway (13.3%), the United Kingdom (14.5%) and the Netherlands (18.6%) as the countries where the citizens avoid living in tall buildings.
Spain became the number one in the elevators scope for several reasons having their roots in the past. Firstly, industrialization of the country provoked a rural exodus as many people flocked to cities. Housing demand was already high and it was additionally boosted by the total destruction caused by the Civil War.
Ruined and damaged buildings were being replaced with apartment blocks during the dictatorship of Franco to meet the wave of internal immigrants. Quintessentially, rental received strong support from the Government of that time.
For instance, tenants practically could not be evicted, they paid stable monthly dues and even a close relative could inherit renting right to a property. In the 50s, facing next huge migration movements, the ruling Authority ordered to sell the homes to the tenants at very low prices. In 1957, the Minister of Housing in office that time, Jose Luis Arrese said: ‘We want a country of owners, not proletarians’.
Sales shot up. Newly created neighbor associations wished to improve their buildings and the elevator business flourished. No wonder then, that 94% of surveyed Spaniards are pleased with their dwellings (statistics by the OECD).
Quartz adds that the nation shows a very long-established inclination towards their environment and work place and they rather reluctantly consider job offers in other parts of Spain.
Original article: El Mundo
Translation: AURA REE