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Residential construction completions start to decline

The building frenzy starts to abate
The building frenzy starts to abate

Demand for properties in Spain stated falling in 2007, but the number of completed new properties kept growing steadily in 2008, rapidly inflating Spain’s excess housing inventory. Now, finally, the number of construction completions has started to decline, according to data from Spain’s Ministry of Development.

There were 33,670 construction completions in January, 34% less than the same time last year, and 24% less than in December. Experts expect housing completions to decline steadily for the rest of the year, helping to take some pressure of a property market struggling to absorb a glut of new homes.

Figures from the same source reveal that there were 615,072 residential construction completions in 2008, just 4% less than the 641,419 homes completed in 2007. So in 2008, a year in which the Spanish property market crashed, the number of new homes coming onto the Spanish property market was almost triple the equivalent number in the UK.

Construction completions are the end result of a process that begins with housing starts, which have collapsed this year. Construction completions will continue to decline as the fall in housing starts feeds through the system, and should fall below 200,000 in the next couple of years.

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