The Balearic Islands, the Valencian Community and Andalusia lead the ranking of empty homes over the total number of existing homes.

The Balearic Islands, the Valencian Community and Andalusia lead the ranking of empty homes over the total number of existing homes.

The Balearic Islands, the Valencian Community and Andalusia lead the ranking of empty homes over the total number of existing homes.

Unfinished housing promotion image.

It has been almost a decade since the National Institute of Statistics (INE) published its latest data on empty homes. An issue that is back in the news after the coalition government, made up of PSOE and United We Can, reached an agreement to launch a new Housing Law.

One of the points included in this law is the one that refers to a tax for empty homes. Specific, It is a surcharge of up to 150% of the IBI. The purpose is to discourage the vacating of flats. But what is an empty house?

“A family dwelling is considered unoccupied or empty when it is not the habitual residence of any person nor is it used seasonally, periodically or sporadically by anyone. These are uninhabited houses.“. This is the explanation of the INE.

“Today the concept of empty housing does not exist as such in our legal system. Neither the Regulatory Law of Local Haciendas nor the Law on Horizontal Property include this definition”. These are the words of Luis Jiménez-Arellano, a lawyer specializing in Civil Procedural Law at the Firm Más y Calvet to EL ESPAÑOL-Invertia.

Therefore, it will be the Government that has to elaborate a specific law that includes the definition and the legal requirements to identify an empty dwelling. According to Andrea de la Hoz, from the Tinsa Studies Service, “lhe greatest tensions with respect to the empty dwelling occur in locations with high demand and homes without use in habitable conditions”.

And he makes the following assessment: “It would be necessary to take these factors into account to not include in the definition of empty housing houses in ruins, houses in reserve for their own use by the owners, dwellings immersed in judicial processes and dwellings in commercialization processes”.

For his part, Lázaro Cubero, Director of Analysis of the Tecnocasa Group, puts on the table what for them is an empty apartment: “One that has not been used for more than six months. The legislation must be aimed at carrying out measures that make it easier for an empty property to become an active offereither for purchase or rent.

Madrid doubles Barcelona

Under these premise, at Tecnocasa they have drawn a series of conclusions. “From the two great capitals, Madrid and Barcelona, ​​to the ‘secondary’ cities, there is a difference of more than double in the number of empty homes”, indicates Lázaro Cubero. A) Yes, in the city of Madrid this percentage is 7.4%, and in the Ciudad Condal, 3.7%.

And by provinces? Thus, for example, in the province of Madrid, the percentage of empty homes is 6.1% while in Barcelona it is 3.8%. Below Barcelona, ​​Gerona, with 3.6%. On the other side of the scale, Ávila (17.7%), Toledo (12.9%), Granada (12.8%), Alicante (11.7%), and Valencia (11.1%). Tecnocasa has data from the 18 provinces in which they are present.

Ciudad Valdeluz (Guadalajara) is an example of oversized urban developments in areas close to large cities.

Ciudad Valdeluz (Guadalajara) is an example of oversized urban developments in areas close to large cities.

“In the smaller cities there is less demand and the price of housing is cheaper. So, the cost of having an empty property is lower than in a large capital, where taxes and the cost of having an empty house are also higher”, Lazaro Cubero points out.

And he adds: “In big cities it is much more expensive to have an empty flat. The IBI is higher and the benefits of renting or selling too, so it is not logical to have an empty property, which does not report profit.

Empty homes vs. existing homes

As the lack of definition surrounds the term ’empty house’, in Gesvalt they define it as follows: “unoccupied dwellings in which no one lives”. Therefore, the spectrum is much broader than previously described.

In this signature specialized in consultancy and asset valuation have calculated the volume and ratio of empty homes at regional and provincial level. “In absolute terms, the autonomous communities with the highest volume of empty homes are Andalusia, the Valencian Community, Catalonia and Madrid. For their part, the communities with the fewest unoccupied homes are the Comunidad Foral de Navarra, La Rioja, Extremadura and Cantabria”, points out Luis Martín Guirado, corporate director of Business Development.

At the provincial level, it is Alicante stands out with the highest volume of empty homes. They are followed by Barcelona, ​​Malaga and Madrid. The provinces with the lowest volume of empty homes are Soria, Teruel, Huesca and Zamora.

If we focus on the ranking by relative unemployment ratethat is, taking into account the volume of empty dwellings with respect to the total existing dwellings in the region, the classification by CCAA would be as follows: the Balearic Islands would occupy the top of the podium. Next, the Valencian Community, Andalusia and Cantabria.

At the bottom of this classification, prepared by Gesvalt, would be the Comunidad Foral de Navarra, Extremadura, the Basque Country and the Comunidad de Madrid. As far as provinces are concerned, those with the highest rate of empty homes are Malaga, Alicante, the Balearic Islands, Gerona and Almería. On the contrary, the lowest rates are in Guipúzcoa, Navarra, Soria and Cuenca.

“At a general level, and in view of these data, we can highlight that, both at an absolute and relative level, empty homes seem to be concentrated to a greater extent on the Mediterranean coast. appear to a lesser extent in inland areas, such as in the two Castillas or Extremadura”, summarizes Luis Martin Guirado.

New unsold home

Other variable: to end of 2019, the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda published the data stock of new unsold housing: 457,109 homes. Valencian Community, Catalonia and Andalusia accumulated 49.6% of said stock. Percentage that comes to confirm the Gesvalt data.

yesIt will be in 2023 when the INE will publish a new census. And it will not include empty housing. Instead, it will establish a new “alternative housing classification.” Said classification will be based on the annual electrical consumption and not on its use.

Returning to the 2013 statistics from the INE (with data from 2011), there were 3.4 million empty homes in Spain. Galicia, La Rioja and Murcia were the autonomous communities with the highest percentage. Navarra, Madrid, the Basque Country, Ceuta and Melilla occupied the opposite extreme. At the municipal level, there was a greater concentration in the Valencian Community, Castilla La Mancha and Galicia.

The causes that explain these figures are summarized by Andrea de la Hoz in three: Fdepopulation phenomenon, oversized urban developmentsdin areas close to big cities calculated based on transfers or population growth that never happened and construction of second home developments in coastal areas whose market launch coincided with a recessionary phase of the economy”.

From that old statistic, empty homes represented 13.7% of the total national housing stock. Most, 82%, were in good condition. 12% had a poor state of conservation. 3% were in poor condition. And 1% could not be inhabited because they were in a dilapidated state.

Experts suggest that this number, in the new statistics, will go down. How many? Between 20% and 25% due to the fact that the rent has increased, along with the sale of housing. In the old statistics, the numbers were conditioned by the bursting of the housing bubble.

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