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Spain: sector demands "urgent measures" with no costs for the Government
23 April 2020 |

Spain is going through an unprecedented crisis, caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, and real estate is no exception. Already thinking about the recovery, companies demand «urgent measures with no costs for the Government».

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For Daniel Cuervo, Managing Director at ASPRIMA – Associación Promotores Inmobiliarios de Madrid (Madrid Real Estate Developers Association), central and regional administrations should bet on expediting all the different urban processes, so as to maintain and boost the sector, at no extra cost for the State. «We have a slow licensing process, in particular within some municipalities, with delays of more than 18 months. That is why we would like to invite administrations to reduce the deadlines and facilitate the procedures».

Daniel Cuervo considered that «this would allow for more projects to be underway. Especially at a time when there is a lack of housing in Spain in certain areas. On the other hand, it would help minimize the impact this crisis will have on employment, without forgetting the revenues our sector generates, namely for the State», he explained to Vida Imobiliária, within the segment Conversas Diárias – Especial Covid-19 (Daily Talks – Special Covid-19), guaranteeing that ASPRIMA is already working with several municipalities to streamline urbanism’s digitalisation.

Support for the sector, however, is already starting to be mobilized, especially in terms of taxation. According to Daniel Cuervo, in Madrid and Barcelona, the proposal is to reduce two different taxes for real estate companies «which can prove they maintained their jobs during the State of Emergency. These are two important taxes», added Daniel Cuervo. But ASPRIMA also demands measures such as the flexibilization of the asset occupancy license.

It further asks the Government to incentivise house purchasing once again, something «that worked for many years, in particular through tax incentives. It promotes saving», and also the return of tax deductions for property owners reduced TVA for construction of new housing from 10% to 4%, similar to the cost-controlled housing tax rate.

Daniel Cuervo recalls that these incentives «do not carry additional costs for the Government. The amount the state will stop receiving with these tax reductions will be compensated with more housing sales».

Projects don’t stop

According to ASPRIMA’s leader, «projects don’t stop. Companies are working towards the future, taking the next steps. They are analysing their business plans and expect that by the end of this year/beginning of next year, we will be able to reach pre-Covid-19 levels of activity», he advanced. «We know plans don’t stop, although they might slow down the rhythm and take their time to make some decisions».

Daniel Cuervo appealed for the sector to remain «solidary and united. We must sacrifice now so that we can be stronger in the future, and keep the fortress we had before the pandemic». An effort which «needs to be shared by all, manufacturers, designers, contractors, developers, all», he appealed.