Pandemic threatens up to 35,000 Spanish property job losses
Shutting down for two months due to the coronavirus pandemic has severely damaged the fortunes of countless real estate agents in Spain. At the end of last year, the country had 55,000 brokers, but real estate experts now fear that 25 percent of them may now collapse, leading to the loss of about 35,000 jobs. This would reduce turnover in the sector between by up to 29 percent.
Hardest hit by the lack of cash flow for the past two months has been the smaller agencies. Many of these consisted of little more than a sales person and a secretary and were already having difficulties before the crisis. Gerardo Duelo, President of the General Council of Real Estate Agents (API) in Spain, says that these will be the pandemic's first victims.
Real estate agency business was in the first wave of restrictions to be listed, but they've been starved of cash for two months already, since notaries were unable to verify contracts. Deals that were close to completion before the lock down can move forward, assuming the buyer still has the necessary deposit. However, the situation remains complicated for foreign buyers, who may not be allowed into the country under the current travel restrictions.