After seven years of declines, Spain is hardly building any new homes.
There were just 33,869 residential planning approvals last year, the lowest level since the current data series began, and 23pc less than the 44,162 housing starts in 2012, all according to figures from the Housing Department in the Ministry of Public Works (Fomento).
Last year planning approvals for apartments fell by 24pc, and detached housing by 22pc.
Compared to the blowout phase of Spain’s building boom in 2006, when planning approvals for new homes hit 865,561 in one year alone, more than the UK, France, and Germany combined, planning approvals have collapsed by 95pc
Thanks to the glut of new homes on the market, plus the lack of financing available to developers, it’s difficult to imagine any recover in home building this year or next year.
It is not difficult to imagine, however, an acute shortage, in the next five years, of the kind of new homes that people want, in the places they want them. Long lead-times in the homebuilding industry make it tricky to match supply with demand.