The latest figures confirm that Spain’s residential construction sector is a shadow of its former self, yet still manages to keep getting smaller.
Planning approvals for new housing have collapsed from around 60,000 a month between 2004 and 2007 (with a peak in 2006 of more than 120,000/month) to just over 7,000 this July, as illustrated by the chart above.
The figures from the Government (Fomento), reveal that planning approvals in the year to July (50,209) were 13pc down on last year, and 11% down in July alone. Remarkably, the sector is still shrinking.
Planning approvals have been flatlining around or below 10,000/month since the start of 2009. After 2 years of such low levels of activity, the residential construction sector has shriveled up. Professionals in the sector like architects have been hit hard.
When the time comes for Spain to build more new homes, which it will one day, it may be a problem finding the skills and resources to do so.
Right now, however, the pressing problem is how to deal with the glut of 700,000 new homes, many of them built on the coast with holiday-home buyers in mind. Can you help?