Close to the end of the year, the real estate sector is facing a new stage full of challenges, such as the future Housing Law, new trends, such as the build to rent, the importance of public-private collaboration, the access of young people to housing or industrialization. But also to a great opportunity, such as the one represented by the European Funds Next Generationa unique opportunity to provide the construction sector with a more digital, innovative and sustainable production model in order to respond to new social concerns and demands from our customers.
One of the most obvious trends is the city model that we want to develop, a trend that has accelerated during the pandemic: What cities do we want to live in? How do we get around in them? Are our cities really sustainable?
In the sector we are fully aware of the importance of this new city model demanded by society, which is undoubtedly linked to the fight against climate change. From the Association of Real Estate Developers of Madrid (ASPRIMA) we know our responsibility and we know that the impact of our activity goes far beyond our buildings. That is why for a few years we have been firmly committed to sustainability and we are committed to an increasingly sustainable and efficient approach not only in our projects, but also in the entire construction process, as our clients demand.
Another key aspect with which we are involved is the city planning and for this reason, we collaborate with city councils, always with the premise of respect and dialogue, because together we improve and build cities.
We must work with the public powers, and we expect from them, regardless of their political color, a correct and fluid relationship, which avoids bottlenecks that end up harming citizens.
This mutual good will is very important in this period of recovery of activity after the pandemic, in which the real estate development is being an engine of job creation. 80% of Madrid residents believe that the development and construction of housing will directly influence the economic recovery, according to the recent study Perception and assessment of the promoter sector and housing in the Community of Madridproduced by GAD3 for Asprima.
We are particularly concerned about what is happening in Rivas, one of the most important cities in the Community of Madrid.
These are difficult times in which we must row together towards the same direction: recovery. That’s why we find especially worrying what is happening in Rivas, one of the most important cities in the Community of Madrid, located to the east of the capital and with almost 100,000 inhabitants. There, the City Council decided, at the end of last July, stop licensing in the SUS PP sector of the Cristo de Rivas neighborhood for a period of one year, extendable to another.
Surprisingly, the suspension also affects the licenses already in process, with the consequences for the immediate generation of employment in addition to the problems caused to the people who have already reserved their homes, based on the supposed lack of sustainability of the city and the need to discuss the urban model after the pandemic.
Likewise, the City Council itself has launched a popular consultation, without any legal basisso that all the inhabitants of the city are the ones who endorse the drastic stoppage of licenses.
What is at stake affects the rights of citizens and creates a dangerous precedent in an area where legal certainty is essential.
The consequences of this decision, which generates a great legal insecurity are the flight of investment by developers in the town and a slowdown and even stoppage of economic activity and urban development. It also implies a reduction of public resources of the localityso it will be more difficult to carry out proactive management as they have less economic income.
On the other hand, it can cause the destruction of employment in the area and the worsening of the quality of life of the neighbors. Also, when the offer is paralyzed, the price of the real estate will increase and the problem of access to housing for young people, who do not have the initial savings necessary to buy a flat, will be accentuated.
We would like to emphasize that our sector is a source of job creation and is always willing to collaborate with public administrations.
Beyond what ends up happening in Rivas, from ASPRIMA we want, once again, to highlight the commitment of the Madrid developers with the quality of construction, sustainable and efficient urban planning and dialogue with the Administrations.
We are part of the solution, not the problem. And it is important that public powers and society are clear about it, so that what is happening in Rivas-Vaciamadrid is the exception, not the norm.
*** Daniel Cuervo is CEO of Asprima.