Planning approvals slump another 44pc in July

Once the engine of Spain’s economic growth, the Spanish residential building industry has collapsed to a shadow of its former self, and is still shrinking.

There were 4,022 residential planning approvals in July, down 44pc on the same month last year, and down 95pc compared to July 2006, according to the latest figures from the Government (Fomento).

Year to date (end July), planning approvals are down 41pc compared to last year (from 50,172 to 29,492), and 94pc compared to the same period in 2006.

An excess new housing inventory (estimated at around 900,000 homes) plus lack of finance explains why no new homes are being built today.

Developers can expect little help from the Government, which has just announced a 10-year plan for housing that will focus on renting and refurbishment.

However, there has been some good news for developers in Malaga Province (home to the Costa del Sol), where planning approvals in the year to end of September have risen by 9pc, the first rise since the crisis began (as reported by Sur.es)

As a result of all this, I can almost guarantee that there will soon be a shortage of the kind of new homes that people want to buy today, demand that is not satisfied by the excess housing inventory that was built in the boom.

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