New Urban Planning PGOU Approved for Málaga

25 November 2017 – Diario Sur

Following the annulment of the PGOU approved in 2010, the route map towards the normalisation of urban planning in Marbella has taken a step forward with the initial approval of some new urban planning rules. The latest document seeks to “update” the plan approved in 1986, which is still valid now and which will serve as the basis for drafting the new PGOU that the city needs. The process, which was approved by the plenary with votes in favour from the government’s team (PP and OSP) and the PSOE, and votes against from IU and Costa del Sol Sí Puede, must now be completed with text from the provincial delegation of the Junta’s Environment Board, prior to the issuance of a mandatory report. Subsequently, it will be presented to the plenary again for definitive approval (…).

In practice, and as the councillor for Land Planning, María Francisca Caracuel, explained, modifications have been made to the framework, amongst others, “which affect many homes” and which mean that “extensions, improvements and renovations will now be allowed” on buildings that were left out of the guidelines after the 2010 plan was annulled.

Another change will affect plots of land, for which it is not currently possible to grant construction licences because no approved urban planning projects exist, in accordance with the plan approved in 1986 “even though, in reality, they are already partially developed”. In these cases, the common rules open the door for the plots to be developed, by submitting an urbanisation work project “which is less complex and which can be processed in less time”.

The new rules will authorise hospitality use on the first floors of homes in the Casco Antiguo (Old Town) and will allow hotel establishments to expand their facilities onto adjoining plots even if the use of those sites is not strictly for hotel purposes (…).

Established urban plots

In the field of urban planning, the plenary also ratified (with votes in favour from the government team, against from IU and CSSP, and abstentions from the PSOE) the proposal made by the Councillor for Land Planning to incorporate established urban plots into the urban development plans, after they have been declared as such by binding legal rulings, administrative declarations, own acts, plenary agreements or by the Local Government. The councillor insisted that, given that it does not require any structural changes, there is no need for the document to be subjected to a new public consultation period, as had been requested by the other municipal groups.

In other matters, the municipal corporation also gave the green light, unanimously, to the proposal from the deputy mayor of San Pedro Alcántara, Rafael Piña (…) to begin the paperwork for the construction of a new secondary school in the south of San Pedro (…).

Finally, the plenary also approved, amongst other items, a proposal from IU to create a network of roads to connect the urbanisations between Bello Horizonte and Elviria, to form a 10km network that will offer a safe alternative to the A-7 motorway, which is “always packed and dangerous”.

Original story: Diario Sur (by Mónica Pérez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

AECC: Sales At Spain’s Shopping Centres Rose By 3.6% In 2016

3 March 2017 – Mis Locales

The health of the Shopping Centre and Retail Park sector in Spain is still good. In 2016, sales rose by 3.6% compared to 2015, to reach €42,464 million. The market share held by Shopping Centres and Retail Parks over the Spanish retail sector as a whole remained stable at 17.8% and average sales per visit grew by 2.1% with respect to 2015.

It is estimated that 1,935 million visits were made to Shopping Centres and Retail Parks during 2016, up by 1.5% with respect to the previous year, according to data from the Spanish Association of Shopping Centres and Retail Parks (AECC).

Investment through transactions in Shopping Centres and Retail Parks amounted to €2,000 million in 2016, with 19 operations closed, involving domestic and international investors.

The importance of this sector within the country’s overall economy is also clear, thanks to the employment being generated. Six new shopping centres were opened in 2016, with the resulting creation of 4,500 new jobs.

There are currently 550 Shopping Centres and Retail Parks in Spain, with a combined GLA (Gross Leasable Area) of 15,595,800 m2, which are home to almost 33,500 shopkeepers. Between 2017 and 2019, 27 new projects are expected to be launched, including new centre openings and extensions, to create more than 1,300,000 m2 of new retail space.

For Javier Hortelano de la Lastra, the President of the Spanish Association of Shopping Centres and Retail Parks, the sector is the key to the consolidation of the Spanish economy “given that during 2016, it continued to grow not only in terms of sales but also in terms of visitor numbers and the creation of employment”. Hortelano also emphasised the high profile role that shopping centres and retail parks play in the real estate context of the country.

Original story: Mis Locales

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ministry Of Dev’t: New Home Permits Soared By 17% In 2016

4 January 2017 – Expansión

Moreover, loans to build new homes have grown by 37%, despite the tightening of controls by the banks.

A decade later, the cranes are back on the skyline of Spain’s major cities once again. The economic improvement and return of credit to the property sector boosted the construction of new homes by 17% in 2016, according to the construction permit statistics published by the Ministry of Development.

The growth was driven by a 37% increase in the financing granted to construction companies and property developers, which received €1,025 million between January and October, according to the General College of Notaries. The banks have now digested the majority of the toxic assets left over from the bubble and are opening the credit tap to the construction sector once again, albeit including more restrictions and controls to avoid repeating the errors of the past.

On the one hand, in most cases, financial institutions are demanding that 80% of developments are pre-sold before the construction of any new buildings can begin. Moreover, the banks are requiring project monitoring to audit the execution of the work and, in the same sense, a more detailed control of the clients that choose to buy properties.

With the money loaned by the banks, property developers and cooperatives have started to design buildings aimed at capturing the demand for new homes that exists in the market. “Clients believe that the worst of the crisis is over and that prices are not going to decrease any further. Moreover, financing conditions for buyers are unique given the low level of Euribor”, explains Daniel Cuevo, Chairman of the Association of Property Developers in Madrid (Asprima).

But the doors to the new real estate market have not been opened to everyone. Most of the new homes sold are “reposition” properties, in other words, they are properties that replace homes that have become too old or too small for their occupants. Young people are finding it the hardest to form their own homes, due to the high rate of youth unemployment, the level of wages and the instability in the market. (…).

In total, during the first ten months of 2016, 16,043 permits were requested to build new homes. The sector expects to reach the 20,000 permit threshold by the end of the year, a figure that exceeds the number of permits requested in 2015 by 17%, but which is still well below the 113,000 permits requested in 2006, a record year, at the height of the real estate bubble. (…).

On the other hand, the new homes that are being built post-crisis are not the same as those that were built during the boom years. Now, property developers are designing buildings with three-bedroom homes that cost the same as a two-bedroom home back in 2006. Urbanisations, which become so fashionable at the beginning of the century, are also back in demand. “People want homes with padel courts and a swimming pool, plus they now also want specific spaces to celebrate parties for children and adults”, explains the President of Asprima. In total, the Ministry of Development granted 1,175 permits to build urbanisations in Spain during the ten months to October 2016.

The increase in property construction has been accompanied by more transactions involving land. The number of land purchases by companies recorded an average growth rate of 23% during the nine months to September 2016, across the country as a whole. In certain regions, such as Madrid, the increase during the first three quarters of the year amounted to 135%. (…).

The improvement in new build construction work also extended to renovations. Thousands of households took advantage of the economic recovery to undertake home improvements and even to extend their properties. Thus, during the first 10 months of 2016, 21,801 requests were filed to renovate or restore homes, up by 2.1% compared to a year earlier. Meanwhile, demand for permits to extend homes soared by 39%, to 1,634. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Victor Martínez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ministry Of Development: Housing Permits Soared By 57% In Q1 2016

31 May 2016 – Expansión

More signs of acceleration in the construction sector. The number of permits to construct new homes have recorded their highest figure since 2011, although they are still a long way below the figures seen in 2006.

The number of housing permits granted by the college of architects to construct homes soared by 57% during the first quarter of the year to 16,782, the best figure recorded during the first three months of a year since 2011, according to the latest statistics from the Ministry of Development.

Despite the increase, the number of housing permits are still a long way below the highs recorded in 2006, at the height of the boom in the real estate sector (…).

The total number of permits granted for new builds, renovations and extensions during the three months to March amounted to 16,979, which represents an increase of 36% with respect to 2015.

By type of property, permits to construct housing blocks rose by 64%, to 12,425; whilst the number of permits granted to build family homes increased by 39% to reach 4,356 permits.

In terms of surface area, the average size of family homes amounted to 203.6 sqm, whilst the average size of flats stood at 118 sqm.

The number of permits granted started the year with a bang, up by 44% in January to 4,943. In February, the YoY increase amounted to 35%, with 5,663 permits, whilst in March the number doubled to reach 6,176.

Since the Ministry of Development began to compile these statistics in 1991, the number of permits granted hit a historical monthly low in August 2013, when just 1,585 licences were granted. The maximum high was recorded in September 2006, with 126,753 permits granted.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ministry Of Development: Housing Permits Rose By 39% In 2015

29 January 2016 – Expansión

Permits for the construction of new homes are at a five-year high, but the figures are still tiny compared with their pre-crisis levels.

The number of permits requested for the construction of new homes soared by 39% last year, to around 48,600, according to official data published by the Ministry of Development for the 11 months to November.

In this way, requests for the construction of new homes recorded a second consecutive year of increases and reached a five-year high, not seen since 2011.

Between January and November, requests were made for 44,577 permits to construct homes, which represents an increase of 35% compared to the previous year.

If we assume that this rate of demand was maintained during the last month of the year (around 4,050 per month), then the total would have amounted to around 48,600 permits by year end.

Despite these figures reaching their highest levels for five years, they still fall a long way below the series maximum, recorded in 2006, just before the crisis when the sector was at the height of its boom and 865,561 permits were requested. To put this into context, the number of permits requested during the whole of last year was equivalent to the number requested in just one month in 2006.

During 2015, 69% of all permits requested related to the construction of new blocks of flats, with 33,900 units, representing a YoY increase of 45%.

The other permits requested last year related to single-family residences, with 14,700 requests in total, up by 27% compared with the previous year.

More renovations

Similarly, in 2015, the number of permits requested to renovate or restore homes increased by 14%, to reach 25,668.

By contrast, during the same period, the number of requests for home extensions decreased, albeit more moderately (by 3%), from 1,485 in 2014 to 1,428 in 2015.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ministry of Development: Housing Permits Up By 27% YoY

30 September 2015 – El Economista

According to the latest information from the Ministry of Development, the number of permits granted by the college of technical architects for the construction of homes shot up by 27.5% during the first seven months of the year to 28,870, the best figure recorded during that period since 2011.

Housing permits started the year (2015) with an increase of 37% to 3,466 in January. In February, the YoY growth rate shot up to 57%, before decreasing in March by 13.5%. In April, the number of permits increased again by 50%, then by 22% in May, 48% in June and 12% in July.

This growth in the number of permits comes after a slight increase (0.003%) was recorded during 2014 to 34,873, the first rise in the construction sector indicator after seven years of decreases.

Despite the increase recorded during the 7 months to July, the total number of housing permits still falls well below the maximums registered in 2006, during the height of the boom in the real estate sector, when 496,071 permits were issued during the first seven months of the year, 94% more than this year.

New builds, renovations and extensions

The total number of permits granted for new builds, renovations and extensions during the seven months to July was 45,345, which represents an increase of 20.3% with respect to 2014.

By type of property, permits to construct blocks of housing increased by 31% (to 20,184 licences), whilst the number of permits for detached homes rose by 19% to 8,671.

In terms of surface area, the average size of detached homes was 202 m2, whilst the average size of flats was 112 m2.

The number of housing permits began to decrease in 2007, when it fell by 24.8%, since when the downwards trend continued to record its lowest ever annual figure last year.

Since the Ministry of Development began compiling these statistics in 1991, the number of permits reached its historical minimum in August last year, when just 1,585 permits were granted. The historical maximum was recorded in September 2006, with 126,753 permits granted.

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake

Housing Permits Rose Slightly In 2014 After 7 Years In Decline

27 February 2015 – Expansión

The Colleges of Technical Architects granted 34,873 permits for the construction of homes in 2014, a very small increase, of 0.003%, but still an increase and the first sign of growth after seven years of decreases, according to the most recent information published by the Ministry of Development.

Despite this increase, (the number of) housing permits remains well below the peaks recorded in 2006, during the height of the real estate sector boom, when they exceeded 865,000 in one full year. Since then, the cumulative decrease amounts to 96%.

The number of housing permits started to fall in 2007, by 24.8%, and since then have continued on a downwards trend to reach their lowest levels at the end of last year.

Since 1991, when the Ministry of Development first started to compile this data, the number of permits reached their historic monthly low in August last year, when there were only 1,585 granted. The historical (monthly) peak was recorded in September 2006, with 126,753 permits granted.

In total, the number of permits granted for new builds, renovations and extensions amounted to 58,776 (last year), which represented an increase of 0.06%, with respect to 2013.

By type of property, permits to construct housing blocks increased by 1.6%, with 23,301 licences, whilst permits to construct family homes rose by 1.4%, to 23,301.

In terms of size (surface area), the average size of family homes was 198 square metres and the average size of apartments was 112 square metres.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake