After a year of application of the 2% limit on rent increases decreed by the Government, rents in large cities remain at all-time highs and supply has contracted because many owners have taken the opportunity to sell their homes or have simply preferred to withdraw them. of the market, say sources in the sector.
The measure, which the coalition executive is studying to raise to 3% within the framework of the housing law, has stopped moving some 1,500 million euros in rent payments that would have been updated with inflation, the property administrator has calculated. farms solfinc. In the sector they agree that the main consequence of the measure is that the owners have raised the prices in the new contracts to compensate for this limitation, which only affects annual updates.
According to data from the Idealista real estate portal, the average rental price of a home in Spain has risen by close to 9% in the last year (from February 2022 to the same month of 2023), which is the maximum in its historical record.
The alarms go off because in the most stressed markets the increases skyrocket: Málaga (23%), Barcelona (20%), Valencia (19%), Palma (18%) y Madrid (eleven%). For its part, the available supply fell by 17% on average in 2022 and up to 32% in Madrid and 28% in Barcelona, the two sources where demand is concentrated.
The General Director of the Rental Negotiating Agency, Jose Ramon Leftyhas explained that “some owners, to compensate for the limitation that they are being imposed of not being able to update their rents above 2%, have decided to raise the rental prices so as not to lose purchasing power, because the current inflation situation also It’s affecting them.”
Left handed confirms that “many landlords are deciding, at the end of their contracts, or not to rent the homes anymore, or to sell them.” According to his data, in the last year the causes of need alleged by owners who want to recover their rented home before time have increased: «This type of behavior is taking place more frequently, but we do not know if they are simulated or true needs, but we are noticing that it is growing ».
Inequality between tenants
The director of Fotocasa Studios, Maria Matosstresses that the measure has provided a “respite” for tenants who already had a contract, but that at the same time it is “making it difficult for future tenants who are in the process of searching to access the home, having contracted the offer.”
From pisos.com, its Director of Studies, Ferran Font, recognizes that they cannot know what the evolution of the market would have been during 2022 if this measure had not been approved, but stresses that the ceiling of 2% on rent “has not stopped the price increase.” Font agrees that “the basic problem lies in the prices of rental housing that is now on the market, whose rise has made it difficult, and continues to make it difficult today, for many people to access.”
Also the deputy general director of the company specialized in rental investment Masteos, Beatriz Toribio, is convinced that, after one year of application, the measure “has not served to improve the root problem of this market, which is the lack of supply, but quite the opposite”, since in her opinion it is affecting, together with to other interventionist measures, to “legal certainty”.
Angel Martinez Leonmember of the General Council of COAPIs in Spain, recalls that the profile of the lessor in Spain is heterogeneous and that, “although the measure does not affect large holders, investment funds for the most part, it does affect small owners, who are the most affected because they do not have much profit margin with the rental of their assets.
In that line, the Association of Homeowners for Rent (Asval) presented a few days ago to the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda 2,000 claims from 300 small and medium-sized landlords requesting compensation from the State for the property damage caused in the renewal of their contracts in 2022.
Asval, an association chaired by former socialist minister Joan Clos, calculates that during the time the measure will be in force, from April 1, 2022 to December 31, 2023, each owner will lose an average of 2,000 euros per rented home.
Cap of 3% in 2024
The last census of National Statistics Institute (INE) indicates that some three million households rent in Spain, although other sources such as the consultancy Savills They raise the figure to 4.5 million rental homes, of which they calculate that 5% are in the hands of institutions.
Although they consider it “shy”, the tenants’ unions defend that the measure has saved tenant families billions of euros and they want it to be incorporated into the housing law, which would be articulated, as in the decree a few years ago. year, linking the interannual increases to the Competitiveness Guarantee Index (an index that never exceeds 2%), instead of the CPI.
The last proposal of the PSOE, through the Ministry of Economic Affairsto its parliamentary partners in the negotiation of the housing law was, however, a ceiling of 3% the first year and that later the limit is determined by a price index to be elaborated, which United Podemos rejected and keeps the process bogged down of this law
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