Spain's Zombie Developments

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

Photograph by Markel Redondo/Panos

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Monumental Problem

Spain built 675,000 homes a year from 1997 to 2006, according to a report by a unit of Spanish savings bank Cajamar. That's more than France, Germany and the U.K. combined. The frenzy resulted in a surplus of about 2 million empty homes that will take between seven and 13 years to absorb, according to Madrid-based property research firm R.R. de Acuna & Asociados.

The Development Ministry estimates there are around 700,000 new unsold homes in Spain and more than half of those are in coastal areas. The total number of empty homes in Spain is 3 million, according to a spokeswoman for the government who asked not to be identified by name.

Left, a statue of the parents of Francisco el Pocero, the builder of the Residencial Francisco Hernando housing complex in Sesena. El Pocero planned to build the biggest housing development in Spain, with 13,508 homes. Only around 5,000 were permitted to be built, however, and only 750 home buyers have registered so far.