The Andalusian government said it would petition Seville Mayor Miguel Ángel Vázquez, of the Popular Party (PP), to analyze the personal situation of the eight families who were handed keys to subsidized homes by IU officials, who are in charge of the regional public works and housing department.
The Socialists, who hold a majority in the regional parliament, reacted in anger, and premier Susana Díaz temporarily took away IU’s power to award public housing. The party even suggested there might have been abuse of power on IU’s part, as it failed to respect official waiting lists for subsidized homes.
Because the 17 original recipient families had been squatting in a bank-owned property for two years before being evicted, and decided to camp out in front of City Hall in protest, the Socialists said they felt it sent a message that anyone in Andalusia can get a rent-controlled home if they “bang on the door.”
Total home sales in Spain in August plunged 15.3 percent from a year earlier to 23,552 as rampant unemployment and downward pressure on wages more than offset the impact of ongoing falls in prices, according to figures released Monday by the National Statistics Institute (INE).
The fall was the biggest registered this year and the fourth of its kind in a row. The government announced in the summer of last year that tax relief on purchases of family homes would disappear at the start of this year, prompting households to buy in anticipation of the change. The administration also announced at the same time that the VAT rate on new homes would be raised from 4 percent to 10 percent.
The INE’s figures are based on transactions recorded by property registrars, meaning that the actual sales took place about two months prior to that.
Despite the sharp fall in August, sales for the first eight months of the year were up 1.2 percent from the same period a year earlier, in part spurred by growing interest by foreign purchasers. The number of transactions paid for without recourse to a mortgage accounted for 70 percent of the total.
Reforms to the Coastal Law in Spain are affecting the value of properties and there are reports of a frenzy of activity in some locations.
The changes to the law, which effectively nationalised the whole coast of Spain when it was introduced in 1988, allows refurbishments of homes close to the seafront, and creates a market for longer leases, opening up investment opportunities for those in the know.
Owners of expropriated homes that were legally built before the Ley de Costas were given a 30 year concession of use, effectively a type of lease, many of which were due to expire in 2018.
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