The state of alarm for the coronavirus crisis has slowed economic activity and caused a wave of ERTE in almost all sectors, but the construction sector maintains a good part of its activity, with 150,000 homes still under construction that directly employ some 360,000 workers.
Given that for the moment the Government has not decreed the cessation of works, the “great majority” of companies are betting on keeping them open, with the corresponding precautions to avoid contagions, according to Efe the general secretary of the Association of Promoters and Constructors of Spain (APCEspaña) and managing director of the Madrid promoters (Asprima), Daniel Cuervo.
According to his calculations, there are currently active works in different phases of execution for the construction of 150,000 homes, valued at between 37,000 and 38,000 million euros, according to current average prices for new housing.
To the 360,000 direct jobs that this activity entails, there are indirect jobs related to the transport of materials, supplies, commercial and office personnel, which brings the figure to 400,000 jobs.
MADRID, ANDALUCÍA, CATALONIA AND VALENCIA GATHER THE PROMOTIONS
Leading the way in housing construction is the Community of Madrid, with some 32,000 new flats underway (20.7%), followed by Andalusia, with 31,700 (20.2%), Catalonia, with 20,175 (12.8 %) and the Valencian Community, with some 16,300 (10.4%), according to APCESpaña.
By provinces, Madrid (20.7%) is followed by Barcelona, with some 16,200 homes under construction (10, 3%), Malaga, with 14,400 (9%) and Alicante, with 8,700 (5.5%) and Valencia, with 6,500 (4%).
DRIP OF SUSPENSIONS IN PUBLIC WORKS
Also in the public work -that one in which the Administration intervenes- the intention is not to stop, although sources in the sector foresee a drop in requests for suspension by the contractors in the coming days, depending on the number of infected workers and the supply problems they face.
Limiting the entry of materials from Portugal makes it difficult to supply, for example, the iron or steel reinforcements used to reinforce concrete structures.
From the Administrator of Railway Infrastructures (Adif), one of the great bidders of public works, they confirm to Efe that they have already received requests for suspension, although they stress that most of the contractors want to continue and that works such as those of the emblematic construction of the new Chamartín station “works normally”.
After the decision last week of the Barcelona City Council to stop the works on public roads, tomorrow the works and services contracts commissioned by the Generalitat or its public sector will be suspended, except for those that are considered emergency or strategic.
THE ARCHITECTS, IN FAVOR OF STOPPING THE WORKS
The CSCAE (Superior Council of the Colleges of Architects of Spain), the CGATE (General Council of the Technical Architecture of Spain) and the CITOP (College of Technical Engineers of Public Works), representing some 110,000 collegiate professionals, have sent a letter to the Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, José Luis Ábalos, in which they demand a temporary suspension in construction works.
However, to limit the economic and social impact, they suggest that exceptions be contemplated where the maintenance of the activity is possible, as well as preparing a rapid reactivation of the sector.
DELAY WILL BE AGGRAVATED
Among the problems that are arising, the employers of reforms Andimac denounces the worsening of the delinquency of the construction companies with the distributor and the latter with the manufacturer.
According to its general secretary, Sebastián Molinero, this Monday has begun a “growing avalanche of deferrals of payments that next week can reach levels of 70 to 75% of productive capacity.”
Molinero recalls that, although the legal default limit is 35 days, in construction it stands at more than 90, with which, in the current situation and “due to the type of work, payment terms of over 160 days. “
In his opinion, it is essential that the Government take this into account when providing liquidity to the system, if it does not want a sector to collapse that is around 10% of GDP in direct and indirect terms and that has great potential for restarting. of economic activity after the crisis.