Posted on June 1, 2016 in Property

In the first three months of this year the number of licences authorised for the construction of new homes in Spain reached a total of 16,782, which represents an increase of 57.1% compared to the same period of 2015, when only 10,682 permits were granted. According to data from the Ministry of Public Works, this is the best figure recorded since the first quarter of 2011, when the number of building permits reached a total of 21,953.

Of the total number of building permits requested between January and March, some 74% related to the construction of new apartments in blocks, with a total of 12,425 units and an increase of 64.7% over the same period of last year, while there were 4,356 permit applications for single family homes, which is 39.2% more than the previous year.

Thus, the latest data shows that the first quarter of the year confirms the path of recovery in housing construction, following the 42.5% increase in building permits in 2015, which came after 2014 broke a run of seven consecutive years of negative results by registering growth of 1.7%, to reach a total of 34,873 permits issued.

This real estate market indicator recorded an all time low in 2013 for the total number of building licences authorised (34,288 units in the year), and since the peak level reached in 2006, when a total of 865,561 permits were issued (126,753 in the month of September alone), this represents a decline of 96%.

El País reported that the areas where there are a growing number of building licence applications are the regions which have lower stocks of unsold housing.

In Madrid, developers applied for 4,962 licences, which is 56% more than in the first quarter of 2015, while in Catalonia, there were 2,192 licences issued (+49.4%), in Andalucía there were 2,198 (+35.4%), and in Valencia the number of building permits increased by 21%, to a total of 1,590 authorisations.

The data also shows that the size of these new homes has grown, with the average size of a family home standing at around 203.6 square metres, while the average apartment size stood at 118 square metres (114 metres in the same quarter of 2015).

The Ministry pointed out that licences for the reform and restoration of homes in Spain, which up until 2015 had accumulated four consecutive years of declines, registered a total of 5,976 licence authorisations up until March, representing an increase of 0.5% compared to the same period of the previous year, when 5,943 permits were issued.

However, the number of licences for home extensions declined by 2.7% year-on-year, to just 348 permits issued.