Spain is passing out Ireland.

elpais.com/articulo/economia … ieco_2/Tes

The councils in various areas in Spain are feeling the pinch. New and old flat sales down 70% from two years ago(Don’t know why they compare it with two years back and not one year.). Their tax collections are down various amounts. Madrid 19%, Cataluna down 3% etc.
I’ll come back and translate more later but the picture tells the story very well.
Incidentally, the Spainish were about a year behind us in the property market crash. Now I think they have caught up and they will go past us. The reason I say this is cause they use european inter bank overnight rate and >90% have variable rate mortgages. So when the credit crunch hit, their mortgages were hit almost imediately. In Ireland the increases will come in as quickly as the banks can manage it. Which means when mortgage holders here come to the end of their current sweet rate they will have to renew to a higher rate. Rate increases, they are not going away you know.
My wifes town west of Barcelona is a great example of the panic that builders are currently undergoing. (The town is actually a small city of 200,000 people.) Anywhere you walk you see builders knocking down old buildings and building tiny flats. It is not an exaduration to say every tenth building is in rubble. My wifes relatives say builders came in and bought every bit of land they could get their hands on. Then they bought every old building that would sell. They then sat on these land banks slowly doling out tiny apartments to mainly investors who let out to South American and morroccan immigrants. About 8 months back the whole scenario changed. In the space of a week over 50 buildings were knocked down and workers started furiously building as fast as they could. Now (well, 6 weeks back), there is easily 100 buildings demolished and every second flat is for sale. Brand new ones sitting there with not one sold and no prospect of a sale. They have even started advertising their apartments to RoboPaddy and British people. Have a look in rightmove.co.uk. It is a dusty inland industrial town. It is a very ugly place. There is no way even RoboPaddy would be stupid enough to buy there (Of course if he didn’t bother to vist then he might.). You can taste the desperation in the air. The center of the town is mainly estate agents. All the cafe’s and bakeries have closed down and been taken over by estate agents. It is a very sureal experience. I am sorry now I didn’t video it. At Xmas I will and I’ll post on the pin. Better go, I have work to do.