stock of houses in Spain falls below 500,000 units

The stock of houses in Spain finally falls below 500,000 units

The time to buy Spanish real estate and obtain the Spanish Golden Visa is running out.

According to the figures from the Spanish Ministry of Development, the stock of new, unsold houses reached a maximum of 650,000 homes in 2009. That is why now that this figure has dropped below 500.000, levelling to the amount of units in 2007, it is good news. Experts still agree the crisis will not be over until the stock of new housing is absorbed, although most real estate market indicators have been in positive rates over the past year, and home sales have recently recorded their highest figure in three years.

The data comes from the report prepared periodically the Spanish Confederation of Associations of Manufacturers of Construction Products (Cepco) who just updated their information. Thus, according to Cepco, in the first quarter of this year the surplus of unsold nor rented new homes amounted to a total of 493,112 houses, which means a decrease of 28.3% over the 2009 peak level (specifically 687,953, according to their own calculations), returning to the surplus recorded just before the crisis in 2007 and down from 500.000 for the first time since then.

But beyond that this is a significant reduction, is it much or little that these 493,112 houses have still not found a buyer or anyone who wants to rent them? The Cepco report analyzes the situation by provinces, as the drainage of stock is not being equal in all territories.

For example, there are already four provinces where stock is nonexistent: Cantabria, Navarra, Caceres and Badajoz. The report also measures the amount of unsold homes in two ways, in absolute terms and in relative terms, establishing how many new houses are for sale per 100,000 inhabitants. A ratio below 1,000 homes is considered a minimum level of stock easily acceptable by the market, in the opinion of the experts; and in that range we can see already another 19 provinces. Among these are the three most populated, Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia; all Andalusia except Almería, Galicia and the Basque Country, among others.

This shows that while there are areas where in the past six years the housing stock has halved, there are still sections where the digestion of the previous housing boom is being heavier than usual. These areas are located mainly in Castilla y León, Castilla-La Mancha and in the provinces of Alicante and Castellon, where although the stock is shrinking at double-digit rates, it still stands at high levels.

In fact, experts estimate that a significant percentage of this stock will never be sold, because they are houses built in areas far from urban centers, with limited facilities in transportation, health or education that do not meet the demands of those who want to either buy or rent.

Some experts have even estimated how many of those homes are actually unsellable: just over 100,000, 25.8% of the estimated surplus.

Maria Arcenegui Siemens

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