SUSPICIONS are being aroused that foreigners may be being targeted with the news that 31 per cent of all ‘illegal’ properties demolished in Almeria in the last eight years belonged to British buyers.
This statistic emerged from information provided by the Provincial Planning Inspectorate in November last year when it revealed that 14 properties were demolished in Almeria in the last eight years due to planning irregularities. This figure later grew to 16 properties when two more villas were demolished in Las Terreras, Cantoria on November 18.
Of the 16 properties so far demolished, the Inspectorate said 11 ( nine houses and two warehouses) belonged to Spaniards, whilst the remaining five houses were the property of British nationals, representing some 31per cent of the total. This figure becomes significant when one considers that Britons resident in Almeria represent some 2.78 per cent of the overall population according to the latest information from the National Institute of Statistics (INE).
“It appears that foreign buyers are markedly more vulnerable to ending up with an illegal house,” said Maura Hillen, President of the home owners group, AUAN. ‘This is one of a number of issues that our association is asking the European Union to investigate as a matter of urgency.”
She added: “Of course, behind the dry statistics lies misery for five families. On January 9 Helen and Len Prior will spend their seventh year in their garage without compensation for the loss of their home. This year four more families now share their fate. It begs the question….. How many more demolitions can the market or indeed foreign buyers tolerate? The government needs to get to the bottom of the problems with the property market and fix them sooner rather than later. Purchasers in good faith need protection,” she concluded.