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Spanish Ghost Towns   You are logged in as Guest
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Posts: 170
Joined: Jan. 14 2009

Spanish Ghost Towns
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 31 2011 17:07:52

Posts: 2481
Joined: Jul. 30 2007
From: Marbella

RE: Spanish Ghost Towns (in reply to malakka

Almost every large town in Spain seems to have an area outside it, stuck at the beginning stage of deveolpment. Its a symptom of the crazy level of building during the boom. There are far more properties than people to fill them in Spain.

A few KM outside Granada is a huge modern estate where they are so desperate to sell that they will give you 13,000 euros and a mortgate for 219 euros a month if you buy a small appartment.


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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 31 2011 18:17:59

Posts: 1938
Joined: Dec. 20 2006
From: Torontolucía

RE: Spanish Ghost Towns (in reply to malakka

From a comment by one of the readers, Pier:

The building industry delivered a huge amount of profits not only to Spanish enterpreneurs but to many from all across Europe as well. Capital from Germany and Great Britain flooded into the local market to finance pharaonic projects in tourist areas where houses were later sold to national from these countries as a holiday second home, by the way increasing housing prices for the Spaniards with lower wages, driving them into debt. And these British and Germans brokers were happy. Their people asked for their mortages in Spain and now they are leaving them unpaid as others do. Just can't buy that foolish Northern supremacism that withdraws the hands from the sack when is empty and then throw stones to their former mates calling them "sinners".

Nowadays it's very hard for Spaniards to find a house at a reasonable price, because the housing tycoons are in huge debt with the banks which are holding the houses as a guaratee. The banks are not willing to allow any losses so they press on the housing developers not to decrease the prices, but eventually their firms crack and the problem gets bigger. In this situation the measures from the IMF and the European Commission are wiping labour rights away and increasing taxes on the middle classes, leaving the banks alone. Great.

Empty houses and no one to buy...because the prices are not real. >>

I've read elsewhere that the banks are holding great amounts of real estate and rather than reduce the prices to something more realistic in order to sell, have kept houses overvalued and unmoving in order to make themselves look more valuable on the books than they really are.

But this commentator should not simply blame the evil northern Europeans (although it was EU-determined interest rates more appropriate to Germany than Spain that helped lead to the craziness). Loads of corrupt local officals did their part. Here's a well-known story of one of the 'developments' in the aerial photos:

Although in a historically a sparsely populated area, Seseña has gained some infamy as a result of a controversial new speculative development project, Residencial Francisco Hernando.

This development was built in Seseña by property developer Onde 2000 during the construction boom of the 2000s due to the municipality's location within commuting distance of Madrid. It was to be one of the largest such developments in Spain, with an original plan of 13,500 units costing over 9 billion euros to build. However, the massive project raised eyebrows, since utilities such as water and gas lines were not included in the plans (ending up the completed units lacked these fundamentals which rendered them essentially uninhabitable), and also as the project had been approved unusually quickly. It turned out that the authorities had been bribed, and the local mayor was soon arrested. >>


There's also an interesting photographic project on this topic by Ben Roberts:

The Brick Business


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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 31 2011 18:54:02

Posts: 170
Joined: Jan. 14 2009

RE: Spanish Ghost Towns (in reply to malakka

In the U.S. as well:
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 31 2011 19:32:44

Posts: 7051
Joined: Jul. 7 2003
From: Scotland

RE: Spanish Ghost Towns (in reply to Estevan

Yup, they're all at it.

Today cheered me up a bit..

I loved his excuse that "everybody was doing it, I wasn't the only one."

Also a trial last week...

(Note though that he has not lost his peerage and will still be known as "a Noble Lord", so can still look down his nose at you or I once he gets out of prison. )

Roll out the tumbrils I say! Viva La France!


  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 31 2011 20:49:17

Posts: 1827
Joined: Jul. 8 2003
From: Living in Granada, Andalucía

RE: Spanish Ghost Towns (in reply to malakka

If you drive out past Granada, beyond the airport through the Vega, on the way to Alhama de Granada, in the middle of nowhere surrounded by wild and beautiful landscape, it comes as a surprise to find a massive industrial site. All the roads paved with working street lights, a sea of tarmac and wire fencing as far as your eye can see and not one plot sold.


Emilio Maya Temple
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2011 9:10:20


Posts: 91
Joined: Dec. 23 2009

RE: Spanish Ghost Towns (in reply to malakka

A bit off topic: There are some nice ghost towns in Mexico that I have visited on my motorcycle lately. Most of these are abandoned haciendas that have been sitting there rotting away since the 1910 Revolution, uncatalogued, non-touristy.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 2 2011 22:31:43
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3435
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Spanish Ghost Towns (in reply to Alatriste

The old Pan American highway used to be a good bike ride. Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey, Ciudad Victoria, Ciudad Mante, Ciudad Valles, Tamazunchale, Ixmiquilpan, Pachuca, Mexico--maybe 2 1/2 to 3 days without side trips, long days of riding.

Plenty of side trips to old sugar haciendas down in the hot country.Side trips to Indian villages and caves to explore in the Huasteca. No tourists in the Huasteca.

That was thirty years ago....

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 3 2011 0:00:53

Posts: 3462
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Spanish Ghost Towns (in reply to Richard Jernigan

Let me carry this further, much further. The Pan American Highway threaded its way through Chile, and today one can take it through northern Chile. At the turn of the century (20th century, that is) there was a nitrate mining town named Humberstone. Humberstone consisted of many Barracks to house the miners, a metal (not concrete) swimming pool, a mess hall, and not much else. Today, Humberstone is a ghost town. You can visit it, see much of the machinery that has remained dormant for 80 years, and even see the remains of the metal swimming pool.

Back when Humberstone was a thriving mining town, the powers at the time decided that the all-male workforce needed an outlet to release their energy on Saturday nights. So they created a town called Pozo Almonte, some 5 kilometres from Humberstone. Pozo Almonte consisted of nothing by whore houses and bordellos of various types, and a few cantinas and bars. Here is the great lesson of human nature. Today, Humberstone is a ghost town, and Pozo Almonte is a thriving town along the Carretera Panamericana.




And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 3 2011 0:30:03
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