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The number of building licences issued in Spain during the first quarter of 2016 (Q1) has grown by 57%, year-on-year, according to the latest figures published by the Ministry of Development.

There were a total of 16,782 building licences granted in Q1, the highest number approved since 2011, which suggests that the building sector is now starting to recover; there has already been an upward trend in the number of new mortgage approvals and property prices are also increasing.

Apartments accounted for 12,425 of approved building licence applications, representing an increase of 64%. Building licence approvals for detached houses also grew in Q1, by 39% to 4,356, according to the data.

During January and March 2016 there were just under 6,000 licences granted for property reforms/restorations and 348 for home extensions.

Building licence approvals reached record highs in 2006, before the property crash, with over 860,000 granted permits. In the height of the crash these figures decreased to just 34,000. Although it will take some time before the peak levels are reached the latest figures are proof that the sector is recovering at a gradual, and more importantly, sustainable rate.

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