Spain's Zombie Developments

By Bloomberg Photos - 2013-03-26T10:56:24Z

Photograph by Markel Redondo/Panos

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Road to Nowhere

Spanish lenders, ordered last year to set aside provisions of 84 billion euros to cover anticipated real estate losses, have no incentive to keep unviable builders afloat after they've accounted for losses from 280 billion euros of their loans.

Only developers with sufficient rental income from commercial property to repay debt or those still building homes in areas where they can be sold at a profit will survive.

Since 2008, more than 19,000 real estate and construction companies, or 14 percent of the total, have gone out of business, according to Iberinform, a unit of credit insurer Credito y Caucion.

Left, a roundabout under construction at the Ciudad Jardin Soto Real, a development containing hundreds of empty houses. Nearly 1,000 planned houses have still not been built.