Cranes towering over Madrid show Spanish construction recovery


Spain’s long-suffering property market is staging a comeback; just count the cranes towering over Madrid.

Real estate service firm CBRE Group Inc. is using satellite images provided by Airbus to track building activity. They show 250 cranes currently deployed in the Spanish capital, a 5 per cent increase from a year earlier, as builders respond to demand for new houses.

The Spanish construction sector continues to recover after housing starts dropped 96 per cent from the 2006 peak to a trough in 2013, as an economic crash and banking crisis took its toll on activity. The building industry as a whole will grow about 4 per cent annually through 2020, according to the government’s forecast.

“It shows a positive trend as it implies that projects quickly replace each other and therefore activity is constant,” said Lola Martinez, research director, in a phone interview. “We’re recovering lost time.” With the economy set to grow in 2017 by more than 3 per cent for the third year in a row, demand for homes is growing apace, especially in main population centers such as the Spanish capital and Barcelona.

Sales of newly-built homes jumped about 10 per cent in the Madrid region and Catalonia during the first quarter of the year, with overall sales reaching almost 114,000 units, the highest level in six years, according to datas.


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