And we thought New Zealand’s building slowdown was bad …

Check out Spain (ht Calculated Risk):

Just 135 new housing starts in the last quarter of 2008, and not a single one in December: That was the combined output in terms of housing starts for the G-14 group of Spain’s biggest developers

Yikes.  We are just under about 3,500 – and it looks like we could slump under 3,000 over the first quarter of the year.  But 135 housing starts is madness!

One major difference – Spain has a large over-supply of property (like the US), NZ doesn’t.  However, we definitely have pretty restrictive lending conditions for builders at the moment …

  • We have some pretty restrictive building conditions for building now too.

    Building regs means the cost of building a new house is less than the finished value of the house.

    And leaky homes hysteria has led to the farce that builders can lose their own house simply for having visited a house whose owners assert that it leaks.

    Who’s want to be a builder?

  • “Building regs means the cost of building a new house is less than the finished value of the house.”

    Indeed – this is a factor that “holds house prices up”. Fundamentally, we should expect house prices to be a bit higher because of all the regulation around it. However, it is a bit hypocritical of the government to bleat on about “affordable housing” in the face of all of this.

    “Who’s want to be a builder?”

    I know heaps of people who want to be builders – I think the main question is, why wants to own a building firm 🙂

  • I have heard from a colleague that the latest deal in Spain is buy one, get one free. And he is deadly serious!

  • Well, they have overbuilt in Spain – that has to be a kicker.

    They thought rich British people would keep buying their excess houses 😛