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Valencian plan to certify holiday homes an empty gesture?

The Spanish daily ‘Diario Información’ reports that the Regional government of Valencia – the Generalitat – is putting the finishing touches to plans to certify the quality and legality of holiday homes in the region. But I can’t see it doing much good whilst “land grab” laws are still in place, and the Generalitat continues blaming others for its own mistakes.

With buyer confidence damaged by illegal building scandals, the idea is to develop a government seal of approval that inspires confidence and brings back foreign buyers.

Specialists at the Valencian Building Institute (IVE) will certify the legality and quality of holiday homes, after visiting every property individually.

The Generalitat, which has also recently started certifying ‘green’ homes, hopes this ‘quality seal’ will help sell a glut of 20,000 newly built holiday homes on the Costa Blanca. The initiative is reported to have the full support of the region’s developers.

A webpage providing more information is planned, and the IVE has approached other European building organisations for their backing, focusing on the UK, France, Germany and Holland. It is thought this will add more value to the Valencian stamp of approval, and inspire more confidence amongst buyers from other European countries.

Empty gesture?

The quality seal is also a response to the negative press the Valencian Region gets in other European countries.

Sales of holiday homes have been hit hard by the economic crisis, but the Generalitat and local developers think that an “unjustified” campaign in Brussels by what Diario Información describe as “the powerful lobby group ‘Abusos Urbanísticos No! (AUN)’” is also partly to blame for the region’s property crisis.

In a case of David against Goliath, the citizens’ action group AUN has spent years drawing attention to property abuses and injustices in the Valencian Region, much to the rage of the much more powerful Generalitat.

The problem with the new seal is it will do nothing to make the bad press go away whilst the underlying abuses continue. So with the Generalitat and local developers continue blaming others for their own mistakes, it looks a bit like an empty gesture.


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