Palma/Madrid.—Some 14% of Spain's 25.2 million housing stock now stands empty, or 3.4m homes, according to latest official data reviewed by the portal Spanish Housing Insight.

Prices are still coming down but one specialist says the first quarter was by far the worst since the crisis began.
Figures from Spain's National Institute of Statistics' latest decennial census (2002-2011 confirm that Spain has a problem with empty housing, especially too many unsold new homes. The nation has 25.2 million dwellings after a building boom that added 1.5 million new buildings and 4.2 million homes between in that period, some 15% of them in 2005-2006, SHI reported.

In the period the number of households increased by 28 or 3.9 million homes to 18 million, with the biggest increases in the Canaries, the Balearics, and Murcia. The report shows that 72% of housing is occupied as primary homes, 15% are second homes, and 14% stand empty. “3.4 million empty homes is a problem for Spain, given the current depressed state of the housing market and the economy,” SHI's Mark Stücklin comments.