Construction suffers greatest slowdown

After benefitting from an urban development boom since the 60s, the Algarve suffered its worse year for construction in 2008.

According to the National Statistics Institute (INE), as the industry in the Algarve suffered its greatest slowdown for many years, refurbishment and demolition will be the next step to avoid an urban tragedy as the number of degraded buildings is rapidly increasing across the region.

Since 1995, more than 40,000 new buildings have been erected in the Algarve, while less than 1,000 have been demolished.

According to data from the INE, since 1995, there have been at least 2,300 buildings constructed in the Algarve each year.

In 2008, however, the number did not reach 1,500. The figures from the INE also show that the number of constructions licensed and completed during the last trimester of 2008 were the lowest in three decades.

Because of the construction boom in recent decades, many counties across the Algarve now have more seasonal than permanent residential accommodation.

There are currently around 28,000 vacant apartments in the region and many others are in an advanced stage of degradation.

Miguel Caetano, a regional architect, told regional newspaper Jornal do Algarve: “The Algarve has suffered years of errors but now the time has come to refurbish. What would be the point of allowing it to become like another Benidorm?”

Do you have a view on this story? Email: [email protected]