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Press release 24/07/2019


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The housing stock in the Basque Country increased by 9,549 units between 2016 and 2018

8 of 10 dwellings have gas supplied by pipe in the building.

The housing stock in the Basque Country stood at 1,054,610 dwellings on 01 January 2018, 9,549 more dwellings than in 2016, according to Eustat data. 546,333 dwellings, 51.8% of the total, were located in Bizkaia; Gipuzkoa, with 343,487, represented 32.6%; whilst the remaining 15.6%, 164,790 dwellings, corresponded to Álava.


Between 2016 and 2018 the number of dwellings grew by 9,549. This represented a relative increase of 0.9% in the housing stock, which comprises both family dwellings and collective establishments. There are some differences observed by province; thus, the highest increase corresponds to Gipuzkoa with 1.1%, followed by Álava with 0.9% and Bizkaia with 0.8%.

In the regional sphere, all the regions offered increased housing stock, and the following regions stood out for having growth above the Basque Country average: Rioja Alavesa (2.4%), Plentzia-Mungia (1.7%), Estribaciones del Gorbea (1.6%), Valles Alaveses (1.5%) and Alto Deba (1.4%). At the other extreme, with growth below the average, were the regions of Goierri (0.4%), Bajo Deba and Montaña Alavesa (0.5% each) and Gran Bilbao (0.7%).

With these figures, the average annual increase in the Basque Country between 2016 and 2018 was 4,775 units, maintaining the levels registered in the last five-year period, close to 5,000 dwellings, but a long way from the almost 8,000 registered in the 2006 to 2011 five-year period and even further from the 20,000 in the 2001 to 2006 five-year period.

There was a 1.3% increase in dwellings used for habitual residence

From the point of view of use, 85.3% of the family housing stock was used for habitual residence (the primary family dwelling), 0.4 percentage points more than in 2016, whereas the weight of second homes and empty dwellings reduced from 15.1% in 2016 to 14.7% in 2018.

If the figures for primary homes are compared with those from 2016, there are 11,832 more units, divided unequally between the provinces: the largest increase corresponded to Bizkaia, where the number of occupied dwellings increased by 7,417, compared to 2,616 more in Gipuzkoa and 1,799 in Álava.

An analysis of the type of dwelling according to the size of the municipality revealed that municipalities with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants were the only ones to show an increase in the number of primary homes as well as in the number of second homes and empty dwellings, with an increase of 1,985 units (1.2%) for the first type and of 819 units (1.5%) for the second. In contrast, in the rest of the population size strata there was only growth in primary dwellings, adding 9,847 dwellings to the housing stock as a whole, whereas the total number of non-primary dwellings fell by 2,702 units. Of particular note is the decrease in second homes and empty dwellings (-5.3%) in municipalities with a population between 40,000 and 100,000 residents, which is 1,003 fewer dwellings than in 2016, whereas the number of habitual residence dwellings increased by 2,287 units.


At a more detailed provincial level, the municipalities where the stock of primary dwellings has increased the most are Bilbao with 2,446 units, Vitoria-Gasteiz with 1,519; Barakaldo, with 602; and San Sebastián, with an increase of 576 dwellings. These data correspond to the highest population values.

The average Basque family home was built 44.5 years ago.

The average age of the family housing stock in the Basque Country was 44.5. At provincial level, the most modern housing stock corresponds to Álava with 37.8 years, followed by Gipuzkoa with an average age of 45.1, whereas Bizkaia, with 46.1, is the province with the oldest housing stock.

Regarding useable floor space, Álava has the largest family dwellings with an average of 92.1 m2 of space, followed by Gipuzkoa with 86.9 m2 and Bizkaia with 85.7 m2, resulting in an average useable floor space of 87.1 m2 for the Basque Country overall.

In terms of the number of rooms, three quarters of Basque family dwellings had 4 or 5 rooms (including bedrooms, living room and kitchen) and, on average, 1.4 bathrooms. Finally, less than one in a hundred homes, 0.7%, did not have a bathroom.

81.5% of dwellings in the Basque Country have gas supplied by pipe in the building and almost 70% have a lift.

With regards to housing equipment, in 2018 eight out of ten dwellings were in buildings with piped gas, 1.1 percentage points more than in 2016, a proportion that on a provincial level varied from 85.4% in Gipuzkoa to 83.1% in Álava and 78.5% in Bizkaia.

In turn, two out of three family dwellings were in a building that had a lift installed (69.6%), which represented 0.8 percentage points more than in 2016.

On the other hand, 54.9% of dwellings were in buildings with more than ten dwellings, including 7.2% in buildings with more than forty. Furthermore, one out of ten dwellings, 10.6%, was single-family or two-family; in Álava this latter percentage rose to 17%, whereas it was 9.5% in Gipuzkoa and 9.3% in Bizkaia.

58.2% family dwellings in the Basque Country are occupied by one or two people

28.4% of family dwellings are occupied by one person and 29.8% by two, meaning that slightly more than half of them (58.2%) were inhabited by only one or two people. Only 1.8% of dwellings are occupied by six or more people, whilst the remaining dwellings were inhabited by between 3 and 5 individuals.

For further information:

Eustat - Euskal Estatistika Erakundea / Basque Statistics Institute C/ Donostia-San Sebastián, 1 01010 Vitoria-Gasteiz Press Service: servicioprensa@eustat.es Tel: 945 01 75 62

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The housing stock in the Basque Country increased by 9,549 units between 2016 and 2018

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