New data suggests home construction is restarting in some areas of Spain.
Overall, the number of home building permits requested in the first five months of 2014 was down 3.1 per cent from a year earlier. But permit requests were up in seven regions, including a 9.6 per cent increase Catalonia, a 14.8 per cent jump in Valencia and a 17.1 per cent increase in Madrid, according to Ministry of Development data.
The largest increase was in Asturias, where permit requests were up 35.8 per cent from a year ago, followed by Galicia, where permits were up 31.5 per cent.
Home construction was almost non-existent a year ago, so any increase represents only a slight movement, in terms of actual homes. Last year a total of 34,288 homes were built in Spain, only 4 per cent of the 865,561 built in 2006, at the height of the construction boom, coverage in newspaper Cinco Dia notes.
But any sign of improvement will be embraced by the industry as further evidence of a turnaround in process. The overall 3.1 per cent drop for the first five months of 2014 compares to an 8.8 per cent drop a year earlier.
There were also signs that construction was improving during the course of the period. In May, 3,264 home building permits were issued, a 9.4 per cent increase from 30 days earlier, the newspaper reports.