Foreign cash jolts Spanish home building back to life

miércoles 20 de julio de 2016 02:00 GYT

* Demand rising for middle class homes to top-end apartments

* Foreign investors driving market more than locals

* Spanish cities cheap compared with London or Paris

* Properties offer 6 pct yields in era of ultra low rates

By Sonya Dowsett

MADRID, July 20 (Reuters) - Residential construction is coming back to life in Spain eight years after a property crash, with foreign investment pouring into developments in Madrid and Barcelona, and a jump in building permits pointing to more growth to come.

Half a million newly-built homes remain empty after the mania that peaked in 2007, largely on urban fringes and in remoter areas where people don't want to live.

But demand for properties ranging from luxury apartments to homes for the middle classes is rebounding in leading cities and industrially-strong regions such as the Basque Country, showing how Spain's economic recovery is on course despite political paralysis after two inconclusive general elections.

Construction and real estate accounted for more than a third of the nearly 22 billion euros ($24 billion) of foreign investment in Spain in 2015, Economy Ministry data shows.   Continuación...