Ghost Towns Emerge From Real Estate Crash In Spain
17 February 2012 @ 15:55
Towering apartment blocks, complete with swimming pools and playgrounds, loom over empty streets, weed-filled lots and gaping excavation pits. The lone bank in this mega-development nicknamed "Manhattan" closed two years ago and most storefronts are bricked up.
Apartments galore are for sale here and prices are plunging.
More than 13,000 apartments were supposed to go up to create a mini-city for 30,000 people just 45 minutes outside of Madrid. But only 5,100 were built, many are uninhabited and regular Spaniards who bought them as investments are now competing to offload them for huge losses.
Spain's real estate crash and economic implosion have turned what was supposed to become a vibrant suburban paradise for young Spanish couples and their children into one of the most visible monuments of the country's boom gone bust. Such modern-day ghost towns have become a familiar part of the Spanish landscape, abandoned shells left to slowly decay.
The number of foreclosure proceedings skyrocketed during the economic crisis. Nearly 530,000 were granted by courts from 2008 through September of 2011, most to banks taking homes, housing developments and vast tracts of land for residential and commercial real estate projects that may never become reality.
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