Spain’s Surplus Housing Stock Should be Absorbed by 2018

December 2nd, 2015

Data from an analysis of Spain’s housing stock in 2015, published last week by property appraisal company, Tinsa, shows that 1.56 million new homes have been built in Spain since 2008, which is equivalent to 6.4% of the total housing stock, and that some 24.9% of these homes, specifically 389,000, remain vacant, waiting to be sold or rented.

Of these homes built in recent years, 80% are located in only 900 of the more than 8,000 Spanish municipalities and, according to Tinsa, it will take until about the first half of 2018 for this housing surplus to be absorbed. This scenario assumes an average annual demand of 150,000 new homes in the coming years. However, in areas where the housing surplus is below 10% of their stock, the absorption time is reduced to 1.2 years, and where it is over 50% it is increased to four years.

In this regard, the appraisal company cited funding difficulties, rising unemployment and the prospect of falling prices as reasons for the sharp slowdown in home sales.

Tinsa director Pedro Soria indicated that 13.9% of the new empty homes remain in the hands of the developers, while 86.1% are owned by other organisations, mostly banks.

Almería is the province with the highest level of excess housing stock, with 38.9%, followed by Cuenca (37.1%); Castellón (36.1%); Toledo (34.7%) and Murcia (32.7%).

In contrast, Álava is the province with the smallest proportion of unoccupied homes, with 10.3%, followed by Guipúzcoa and Navarra with 15.2% and 17.6% respectively.

Nevertheless, the report also highlighted areas where, given the average absorption period, it may become necessary to start building again, in order to avoid shortages. According to their analysis, this would be the case in cities such as: Madrid; Barcelona; Malaga, Granada; Girona; Oviedo; Santander; Vigo; Pontevedra; San Sebastian; Gijon and Aviles.

This scenario also applies to some of the more established towns on the Costa del Sol; Roses, on the northern coast of Girona; Tarifa in Cadiz, as well as in some municipalities of the Balearic and Canary Islands.

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