It has already been reported various times that the property and construction sectors on the Costa Blanca appear to bouncing back slightly, and this theory has been backed up by developments in Torrevieja this week.
According to the Town Hall, in the first five months of this year construction work has been completed on 451 new homes in the municipality, a running total which is already close to matching the figure of 558 for the whole of last year. Logically, the numbers are still a long way short of those reported in the 1990s and the first few years of the new millennium, but even so they represent a considerable source of optimism after the lean years since 2007.
The good news for Torrevieja, of course, is that activity in the construction sector generates employment, but at the same time local council officers are keen to stress that construction must be undertaken at sustainable levels. Excessive speculation and over-construction were the main causes of the sudden crash which hit the market in late 2007, and no-one involved will be unaware of the risks inherent in being over-ambitious.
This prosperity of the sector in Torrevieja was confirmed recently in a Ministry of Development report which named the town sixth in the list of municipalities where most property transactions had taken place, lying behind only the major cities of Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla and Zaragoza. These figures also include purchases of second-hand properties, which account for a very large market in Torrevieja and the main source of activity for local estate agents since prices started to drop six years ago.
One of the driving forces behind the relative health of the property market in the Costa Blanca resort is the arrival of the Russians as a purchasing force. The number included on the local electoral register (“Padrón”) bears witness to this: although in the forthcoming review of the register the names of 15,000 inhabitants are to be removed, as of 1st January there were 4,248 Russians on the Padrón (as well as 13,000 Britons and another 39,000 of various different nationalities).
The new developments in Torrevieja reflect the changed market conditions. Gone are the days of massive urbanizations, and instead developers are undertaking smaller projects such as new buildings in already developed areas, and small developments of no more than three storeys in the outskirts of the town.
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