Sunday, November 28

In rentals, the tension goes through neighborhoods

A term coming from the jargon of real estate and social economy analysis has burst into the political debate in such a way that today deputies, tenants and landlords speak with normality of the stressed areas or stressed markets, but avoiding the difficulty of its minting.

It is called “stressed market” to that urbanized area where the rent of houses rises five points above the CPI, and it costs tenants more than a third of their income to pay it. “How are we going to know what effort families make to pay the rent, if there are no reliable statistics?” Asks Amparo Pla. It takes years, he says, waiting for “something more reliable and transparent” than the data from the real estate association.

The term It seems “fallacious” to José Castro, housing advisor to the Navalcarnero city council. His town, according to that definition, is not a stressed area, but what he sees every day in his office tells him that “it is certainly an area full of tensions.”

Castro considers the whole of Spain a stressed market, because “throughout the country there is the same public housing deficit. In the autonomous communities there is no clear will, less perhaps the Basque Country, to recognize housing as a right “.

For Óscar Martínez Solozábal, president of the Professional Association of Real Estate Experts, the reason for the tension in rental prices in Spain It is not so much the search for the benefit of funds and rentier individuals as the little available housing to rent: “The supply is much lower than the demand. And it is because there is great insecurity among the owners of flats who want to rent, legal insecurity and insecurity with all this political debate. Many owners are now deciding not to rent. We believe that for a market to work, supply must be greater than demand, and here we are against it ”.

Six cities mainly

“Complaints about rent prices are not a mirage,” he says. a trader close to the Blackstone fund in Madrid-, but that of stressed areas is not more a problem of prices than of wages and quality of employment, and it does not occur in all of Spain; it is mainly urban, with six cities: Barcelona, ​​Madrid, Bilbao, Valencia, Palma and Malaga ”.

The six cities that he cites have registered hikes in the cost of rent since last spring, according to the data collected by the EnAlquiler portal. In the last six months, Bilbao has registered an average increase of 6.4%, Valencia of 8.8, Madrid of 2.3 and Palma of 2.1.

Well above in price tension is Barcelona, ​​with a 10.2% increase according to the portal, and a record average price of 1,569 euros, and Malaga, with a 13.5% increase since last March, although its average price for a house of 60 meters it is 876 euros.

The injection of supply that meant “the that grandparents stopped dedicating their apartments to Airbnb During the pandemic, it was only momentary, ”says MC, a Barcelona-based home buying and selling operator.

Differences Madrid-Barcelona

Not all cities are heating up the market for buying real estate for rent. “Almost all the South American capital – especially Venezuelan, Colombian and Mexican – that is entering to buy real estate is going to Madrid or to alternatives such as Malaga, instead of Barcelona,” he laments Alexander Picas, real estate investor and co-owner with a brother of Restate Brothers, based in the Catalan capital.

“It’s that everyone, including foreigners, watches the news,” he explains. I work in Barcelona because I love my city and I’m from here; if not, I had gone to Madrid years ago, because in Barcelona they don’t help us ”.

The difference in tension between Barcelona and Madrid makes this Catalan investor uncomfortable. “It’s sad,” he says. The difference between the two cities is mainly political management. In Barcelona they have not helped us at all. Barcelona is now having many security problems, and the limitation of rents causes the owner who has assets to rent to wonder why he is going to reform if he is going to have to rent for the same price later. Because, little by little the rental housing stock is deteriorating. Madrid is going like a shot because they help the promoters, they let them do everything and the licenses go much faster ”, he complains, and concludes:“ Besides, in Barcelona the ‘procés’ has not helped anything ”.

Bumping rents is not convincing

None of the experts who have been consulted on different sides of the same phenomenon for this series of reports makes a pronouncement on a new housing law. “There is still much to know what it will consist of and what its parliamentary process will leave behind,” Óscar Martínez explains from Logroño.

Some do speak about what has already transpired with more noise from the Executive’s plan, the possibility of hitting the rental prices in stressed areas. And the measure does not excite businessmen or tenants, or lawyers who mediate between them.

For the lawyer Pla, “as long as there is no political will to build a public housing park for rent, not for purchase, for rent,” she emphasizes, “there will be no solution to the problem of rental prices.”

The activist and municipal advisor for Housing José Castro believes that “the solution is not to cap prices, because the landlord can ask you for more money under hand and what do you do? report? No one denounces if what they are doing is looking for a home ”. For Castro “it would be necessary to control the possession of flats and apply taxes in proportion to the houses that one owns.” It is not enough for the moment that the property tax is going to be multiplied by three for large holders.

For the president of the Association of Real Estate Experts, topping the price “is not going to favor the rent; the other way around: the supply of rentals will decrease. And if there is no rental offer, Why do we want a low price if we can’t find a flat? The test has been seen in other European capitals and it hasn’t worked either ”.

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