The Spanish construction sector contributed 80,055 million euros to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the last quarter of 2015, after registering growth for the seventh consecutive quarter. According to data published by the National Statistics Institute, this represents the best quarter in over three years, since the last time the sector contributed more than 80,000 million euros to the GDP was in the third quarter of 2012.
However, compared with data from the housing boom years, the 80,000 million euros contributed in the last quarter of 2015 is still far from the figure registered in 2007, which exceeded 140,000 million euros in the second quarter of that year, its record best, but is similar to the level of contribution to the economy recorded in a quarter by this sector in 1998.
One sign that the real estate sector is undergoing a phase of improvement is the increase in the number of new homes being constructed in Spain which, according to Ministry of Public Works’ data, amounted to 19,529 new homes in the first eleven months of last year, indicating that the figure will easily surpass 20,000 for the full year. These figures, however, are far from those registered in the boom years when, in each of the years from 2003 to 2006, the construction of over 200,000 were initiated, some ten times more than the current figure.
El Economista reported that the number of home mortgage loans also increased in 2015, by almost 20% compared to 2014, reaching a total of 244,827. Although this is a significant year-on-year increase, the figure still stands at between 5 and 6 times less than the number authorised between 2005 and 2007, when the total was around 1.2 million loans for home purchase.
Similarly, the volume of capital loaned for home mortgages increased in 2015, to 25,934 million euros, which represents an increase of 24% compared to 2014, but is still around 7.5 times less than the figures recorded in both 2006 and 2007, when home loans amounted to some 180,000 million euros.