Spain has a population of 43.5 million people, compared to 60 million in the UK, so the UK’s population is 38% bigger. Spanish GDP per capita in 2005 (PPP) was $26,840, compared to $32,548 in the UK, so British GDP per capita is 21% higher than Spain’s. However, for the last 5 years, Spain has been building more than 3 times as many properties per year as the UK, despite having a smaller population, a smaller economy, one of the highest levels of properties per capita in the EU, and the highest ratio of empty properties in the EU. It makes one wonder why Spain is building so many new properties. Having said that it should also be pointed out that not enough properties are being built in the UK to satisfy demand.
Housing starts in figures: Spain vs UK
UK source: Department for Communities and Local Government
Spain source: Consejo superior de los colegios de arquitectos de España