Housing starts slump 60pc in Q2 whilst construction ouput dives 20pc

Housing starts (excluding social housing) slumped by 60% in Q2 compared to the second quarter last year, reveal figures out today from the Ministry of Housing. There were just 29,689 housing starts in the period, a fall of 5.4% on the previous quarter.

Including social housing, there were 49,306 housing starts in Q2, 5% more than the previous quarter, but 47% less than a year before. 40% of all housing starts in Q2 were social housing, a massive increase compared to the boom years, when social housing was almost non-existent.

Looking at construction completions, there were 96,473 new homes finished in Q2, 6.3% less than first quarter, and 43% down on last year.

More than 429,000 new homes have been finished in the last 12 months, adding to the glut of properties for sale.

Construction output dives, taking the economy with it

Meanwhile, Spanish construction activity fell an annualised 20.5% in July, the biggest fall in the EU and almost double the EU average fall of 11.1%, according to the latest figures from Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office. After Spain came Rumania, where construction output fell 17.5%.

On a monthly basis, Spanish construction output fell 4.1% in July, double the EU average monthly fall of 1.1%.

Plummeting construction activity helps explains why Spain is suffering one of the worst recessions in Europe. There will be no recovery in the housing market without an economic recovery first.

An economic recovery will only happen if Spain’s spineless politicians grab the bull by the horns and introduce painful and long overdue reforms to the economy and public education. So far, the signs aren’t promising.

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