The number of licences and approvals for new housing construction in the province of Alicante is gradually returning to pre-pandemic levels thanks to the records of the second quarter, which confirms the increase in activity in the sector. According to data from the Official Association of Quantity Surveyors, Technical Architects and Building Engineers of Alicante (Colegio Oficial de Aparejadores, Arquitectos Técnicos e Ingenieros de Edificación de Alicante) (COAATIA), the increase in the number of housing starts in the second half of the year rose by 62% compared to the same period last year, at the height of the pandemic and state of alarm, and by 28% compared to the first three months of this year 2021.

Although the data are positive, the president of the association, Carlos Casas, explained that, to tell the truth, it is below the levels of construction prior to the declaration of the pandemic by covid-19, 27% lower than the first three months of 2020. “But we understand that the trend – in general terms – is positive and tends towards recovery if it continues in these parameters in the coming months,” he added.

In the second quarter of 2021, 1,503 homes were started across the province, compared to the 1,178 that were started between January and March of this same month. However, there are clear inequalities in the evolution by comarcas in the province of Alicante as a whole, where the comarcas of Las Marinas and Elche are pulling the cart, while the Vega Baja does not seem to recover its former strength and continues to lose real estate activity, also in this second quarter of 2021.

Las Marinas is the area with the highest number of housing starts in this second quarter, 437. This means that in relation to the rest of the areas so far this year, and for the first time since 2009, it is the area with the highest activity in the province, with 30.4% of the housing starts. The increase compared to the second quarter of last year is 222%, rising from 147 to 473 homes in the period. Compared to the previous quarter, the increase is 38%.

However, the most important percentage is in the metropolitan area and the area of influence of Elche. In this case, the increase is 279% compared to the first quarter of the year. The activity of this second quarter is multiplied with respect to the second quarter of 2020, going from only 48 last year to 356 this quarter.

At the other end of the spectrum is the Alicante area, where activity is slowing down. It is true that in this area the number of housing starts increased by 19% in the quarter compared to the second quarter of last year, a far cry from the increases in the previous regions, rising from 258 to 306. However, it lost 18.5% compared to the first quarter of this year, when 375 were started. This weaker performance is due to the behaviour of the city of Alicante, where less than half as many housing starts were started as even in the second quarter of 2020 in full confinement, i.e. 86 compared to 192.

But the worst performance is in the Vega Baja, where activity in the second quarter has fallen by 2.4% compared to the first quarter of this year, and by 18% compared to the second quarter of 2020. In this region, the evolution continues to fall since 2019. In the second quarter of that year, 813 were initiated, in the middle of the pandemic – second quarter of 2020 – 346, and during the months of April, May and June last year, 283.

In relation to the activity by municipalities, Denia is at the head, with 238 homes, followed by Santa Pola with 196, Elche with 158, San Juan with 146, and already below 100 homes, Guardamar del Segura with 95 and in sixth place Alicante with 86.

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