Construction of new houses climbs 40% in the first semester
Official figures indicate that around 7,700 buildings were built in Catalonia in the first six months of 2010; more than half the number constructed in the whole of 2009
During the first semester of the year, 7,731 new houses were constructed in Catalonia, according to a report by the Catalan Department of Environment and Housing. The figures indicate a 40% surge in housing activity, in comparison with the same period of 2009. This already means that in August 2010, more than half the number of new buildings have already been built in the region than were built in the previous 12 months. In 2009, 12,358 new houses were built in Catalonia.
Most building projects have been initiated in Barcelona itself. In fact, since 2009, the city has experienced an 88% increase in the number of houses constructed. In Lleida, there has been a 9.2% increase, while in Girona it has been lower (3.9%). The only regions of Catalonia in which the housing sector is still in recession are Tarragona and Terres de l'Ebre. The construction in Terres de l'Ebre plunged by 75% and in Tarragona by 27.9%.
The construction of council housing is also growing this year. In the first six months of 2010, Catalonia started building 4,995 new houses, which will be managed by the state. This represents 65% of all the construction projects in the country. The Department of Housing considers these figures \u201Coptimistic\u201D signs of recovery. Most council housing projects are taking place in the Girona region, which is experiencing a 108% growth rate. This is then followed by Tarragona (91%) and Barcelona (78.4%). In contrast, in Lleida, in north-west Catalonia, the number of council housing projects has fallen by 25%.