Spain Is Latest Battleground for Global Affordable Housing (Bloomberg, 19 June 2019)

  • Spain Is Latest Battleground for Global Affordable Housing

  • By Todd White. Published in Bloomberg on 19 June 2019

  • Summary:

    • "In May [2019], two months after imposing a battery of rent-suppression measures for new leases, rents rose at a 7.5% annual pace, according to property website, which supplies data to Spain’s central bank. That was an acceleration from 6.6% in March when the measures were enacted.

    • The new rules for privately owned apartments in Spain’s $5.8 trillion home market were meant in part to counteract speculation and conversion into Airbnb-type rentals. Tourist flats now exceed a quarter of the sunny, beach-filled Andalucia market and total 18% in Catalonia, the region of Barcelona, Spain’s most visited city and a foreign-investor magnet, according to property website Fotocasa. (...)

    • In Spain, the new rules limit annual rent increases for five years to the inflation rate, currently 0.8%. That’s not happy news for landlords, although after that period is over they can raise, or lower, them as they wish, in a new contract. The prices quoted by Idealista reflect what landlords are asking for in new contracts. (...)

    • “The big institutional investors are specialists, they’re opportunistic and will focus on where the outlook and conditions are most favorable,” said Joe Lovrics, who runs Citigroup Inc.’s Iberia markets desk in Madrid. “They look at these rules and say: ‘If this is permanent, we’ll look elsewhere.”’

      In fact, the Development Ministry in Madrid plans more regulations.

    • Economists are divided on whether the limits will backfire. While some insist they will restrain hikes indefinitely, many say landlords will react by starting new contracts at higher initial rents, or converting more property into short-term Airbnb-type rentals, eliminating supply for permanent residents and driving up rents."

  • Keywords: Madrid, Barcelona, Spain, Airbnb, short-term rental, tourist apartments, regulations, corporate landlords, investment funds, institutional investment, Idealista, Fotocasa

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