Yesterday, we visited friends who have a holiday home at Punta Prima and it was interesting to see the hive of building activity on a large plot of land nearby. This area of land has stood vacant for years, waiting to be developed. Now there is a crane working flat out to help construct apartments and terraced housing designed to be holiday homes.
At last we are starting to see sustained signs of recovery in the construction industry. In 2003 - 52,715 houses were built and a further 52,737 were built in 2004. By 2008, construction had ceased and very few new projects were started until last year.
In the first two months of this year, 430 new houses were started which is a 24% increase on the same period last year. Of course nobody expects levels to return to those of the boom years but at least the numbers are similar to those before construction went crazy.
It is interesting to note where the new buildings are being constructed; In Elche there are 97 new homes, in Torrevieja - 84, Orihuela -73, Pilar de la Horadada – 46, Guardamar – 23, Rojales – 16, Algorfa 11 and San Fulgencio – 9. Clearly the coastal strip is where the demand for new houses has returned.
Perhaps more interesting is where there are none being built. In Benidorm, no new houses have been started nor are there any new homes in Alicante itself. The same goes for the inland towns of the Vega Baja including; Albatera, Almoradí, Aspe, Hondón, Busot, Bigastro, Castalla, Catral, Cox, Crevillent, Onil, Gata, Pego, Petrer, Pinoso, Rafal, San Juan, Tibi y Xixona. Even in El Campello and Santa Pola. which are tourist destinations, there are no new houses being built.
In Bigastro, there are several areas that were prepared for construction but only one of them has seen any building take place and even there the work stopped several years ago.
The ill fated developments that were started on our estate are now virtual ruins with every conceivable item of any use being stripped out including windows and doors.
I am pleased to say that, at long last, someone seems to be fencing off the two rows of terrace houses that were literally falling down with large cracks appearing in the walls. They had been completed ready for sale along with a communal swimming pool but thankfully nobody bought them because within a short space of time the land around the houses started to fall away and large cracks appeared in the retaining wall. Eventually the wall was taken down leaving the houses standing there on their own.