The home building industry, which used to dominate the Spanish economy, has been reduced to a shadow of its former self.
There were just 44,162 residential planning approvals in 2012, 44pc less than the previous year, and an eye watering 95pc less than 2006. Figures so low haven’t been seen since 1978.
Home building has collapsed in part due to the excess inventory of new homes in many areas, and partly because of subdued demand. Lack of financing for developers is also a big part of the story.
But demand for homes and holiday-homes has not disappeared for good, and there will soon be a shortage of the new homes that people actually want to buy, homes that meet today’s tastes and needs in desirable locations. There is no glut of those homes.
Switched-on developers with access to finance, who can cater to today’s needs, will soon be in a good position.