Land market in deep trouble

Land doesn’t get as much attention as housing, but it’s problems are just as serious.

Building land sales hit a record low of 3.9 billion Euros in 2010, down from 23 billion Euros in the peak of 2004, according to figures from the Government (Fomento).

That’s a decline of 83pc, almost as bad as the collapse in new planning approvals, down 90pc since the peak.

Land sales and planning approvals are the pipeline of the home-building industry, which in Spain has all but collapsed. Once upon a time, it was the motor of the Spanish economic “miracle”.

Land prices are also down heavily, by more than 50pc.

Banks have 20 billion Euros of land on their books, which will take years to sell.



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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