The shortage of rental housing shoots prices to bubble levels


The shortage of rental housing in Spain with increasing demand, it is creating a problem in terms of prices. In some areas of the country these have recovered the levels they reached during the real estate ‘bubble’ and experts warn that they may not yet have peaked, in an environment of uncertainty marked by escalating inflation and energy costs. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently warned of a possible correction in the sector which would have downward effects on the price of real estate, especially in those countries where the weight of variable-rate mortgages is greater. Could this situation also have an impact on rents?

After an irregular start to the year, the rental trend has stabilized upwards, following in the wake of the sale, says the consulting firm Gesvalt. In the third quarter, the general increase in rental prices meant that the only provinces that set their average below 5 euros per square meter per month were Jaén (4.79 euros per square meter) and Zamora (4.96 euros). Meanwhile, the The greatest increases in the interannual price of rentals occurred in Malaga (17.6%), Huelva (14.5%), the Balearic Islands (13.6%), Castellón (12.5%) and Barcelona (12.1 %).

The firm explains that, if the total price is taken into consideration, the province of Barcelona (17.72 euros per square meter) is once again at the top and repeats being the only one that exceeds the 16-euro barrier. Madrid is in second position (15.75 euros), followed by Guipúzcoa (15.37) and the Balearic Islands (15.00 euros). By municipalities, the rental trend has been similar, with Barcelona, ​​Madrid and San Sebastián as the only ones among the largest cities that exceed 15 euros per square meter next to Castelldefels. On the opposite side, Linares, Puertollano and Ponferrada register the lowest prices (less than 5 euros per square meter).

In March, the limitation on the increase in rental prices to 2% came into force at the national level, which will be maintained until the end of the year to counteract the effects of inflation that remains at very high levels, after dismissing September 8, 9%. A report presented this Thursday by the German insurer Arag analyzes the effects of price regulation in stressed areas. It specifically focuses on Catalonia, which in September 2020 already approved a law to regulate rental prices. This rule has not prevented Barcelona from being the most expensive provincial capital last August, having reached 19.07 euros per square meter per month.

The supply of rental housing falls

If the rate of rental homes has gone from 13.9% in 2004 to represent 18% last year, according to data from the latest INE Living Conditions Survey, the firm points out that the high level of current inflation “makes it foreseeable” that more owners or investors allocate rental housing. This would be a way to offset the loss of value of money. This effect could partially mitigate the problem of lack of supply. At the end of the third quarter of this year, this has decreased by 25% compared to the same period last year, according to data from Idealista. The positive part is that a slowdown is taking place, since in the second quarter the annual drop in rental stock was 37%.


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