With home sales on the rise, the number of empty homes in Spain will drop to 652,000 by the end of 2014, a 14.8 per cent decrease from a year earlier, according to a new report from the Instituto de Práctica Empresarial (IPE).
While the supply of empty homes remains massive, by any standards, IPE’s forecast represents a significant drop from the almost 1 million homes that were empty in 2010. The group, which regularly tracks the market, optimistically predicts a total of 114,000 empty homes owned by banks and developers will be sold by the end of the year.
The overhang of empty homes remains one of the biggest issues facing the property market. While many of the homes are likely unsaleable, there is still a large supply available to meet demand.
The impact of the recent sales surge on the supply will be partially offset by a restart of in construction, IPE predicts.
“In 2014, new construction will revive in those places where the supply does not meet the demand or the client´s requirements,” says IPE professor Jose Antonio Perez, author of the report.
A total of 63,000 building permits will be issued this year, primarily in coastal areas, the report forecasts.
Meanwhile, in Alicante, empty homes are being regularly vandalized and stripped of anything of value, El Pais reports.
“Copper, doors, iron … they’ve taken everything,” Moisés Cruz, a member of the Plataforma Anticorrupcion Defensa de la Huerta, a group opposed to the rampant development of the area.
The group has been documenting the half-finished and empty developments around the region. Many are inhabited by squatters and drug addicts, the group says.
“These buildings look like they were bombed in a war,” notes Cruz. “They are the product of overly ambitious zoning plans.”