Last year 615,00 new homes were finished in Spain, just 4% less than in 2007. At the same time, only 333,500 new homes were sold in 2008, 54% less than the year before, according to figures from the Ministry of Housing. The result is that one in two newly built Spanish properties can’t find a buyer, says a recent article in the Spanish daily ‘El Mundo’.
As a consequence the country’s inventory of unsold new homes is expected to break the one million mark in the course of this year.
Nevertheless, this year will also start to see the beginnings of a pronounced fall in construction completions, as the dramatic fall in housing starts begins to work its way through the system.
There were 253,000 planning approvals last year, 58% down on the year before. This year developer associations forecast housing start will fall below 150,000, the lowest level on record, and well below structural demand for new housing, estimated at around 400,000 homes per year.