Holiday homes make up almost half Spain’s glut of new properties


Spain has close to 1 million newly built properties languishing on the market in search of a buyer, and almost 50% of them are holiday homes on the coast, claims a recent article in the Spanish financial daily Expansion.

As a result, coastal areas of the Valencian Region, Murcia, and Andalucia have gone from being the stars of the holiday home boom to leaders of Spain’s growing glut of unsold new homes. According to the latest figures there are 46,366 unsold new homes in Alicante province (Costa Blanca), 30,027 in Valencia, 27,279 in Murcia, and 21,902 in Malaga province (Costa del Sol), a total of more than 150,000 unsold new homes, though the true figure could be much higher, claims the article.

Spain’s holiday home sector is going through one of the worst periods ever thanks largely to a collapse in both domestic and foreign demand, argues the article. Rising unemployment has throttled domestic demand, whilst Spain’s deteriorating reputation as a place to invest in property has squashed foreign demand. “Our Achilles heel has been the inexorable rise in prices and the bad image attached to Spain as a residential property investment destination,” says one expert, quoted in the article.

Offering big discounts to stimulate sales isn’t as effective with holiday homes as primary housing, we are informed. A recent property bazaar for second homes on the coast, organised in Madrid by one of the country’s leading estate agents, delivered disappointing results, despite discounts of 20% to 30%. Only 28 sales were made, compared to 184 at a similar bazaar for principal homes in Madrid and other cities.

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One thought on “Holiday homes make up almost half Spain’s glut of new properties”

  1. indala

    If the Spanish authorities are to create a better environment for Northern Europeans buying property in Spain, land laws should be improved to the standards laid out in the Aucken report in the European parliament. As an example, we personally own a property in a development sector where the developer is taking half of our land and making us pay towards infrastructure costs. When we purchased the property the land registry records showed we were urban land in the nucleus of a small village. The village boundary was changed by the Town Hall without notification to ourselves. There needs to be complete transparency in all matters relating to planning.

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About Mark Stücklin

Mark Stücklin is a Barcelona-based property market analyst and consultant, and author of the 'Spanish Property Doctor' column in the Sunday Times (2005 - 2008). He can be reached by email on ms@spanishpropertyinsight.com.