Planning approvals up 36% in first eight months of year

The latest figures from the Government confirm that the home building business is gradually coming back to life.

Planning approval was given for 42,869 new homes between January and August, up 35.7% compared to the same period last year, reveal the latest figures from the Ministry of Public Works.

This figure is interesting because it shows that home building in Spain is gradually coming back to life after a brutal crisis that saw home building volumes crash 95% from peak to trough.

Residential building activity has now grown for two consecutive years, but is still a shadow of what it was in the boom years, when Spain was starting more new homes each year than France, Italy, and Germany put together. Planning approvals, known as visados in Spanish, declined for seven consecutive years until turning the corner in 2014 (+1.7%), and then jumping 42.5% in 2015, albeit from a low base.

Of the planning approvals so far this year 31,751 were for flats and 11,109 for single-family housing, showing that the Spanish preference for apartments is as strong as ever.

About Mark Stücklin

Mark Stücklin is a Barcelona-based Spanish property market analyst, and author of the 'Spanish Property Doctor' column in the Sunday Times (2005 - 2008).

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