With a general election looming, the General Council of Real Estate Agents of Spain (COAPI) has published a list of ten measures they claim will avoid another devastating bubble inflating in the Spanish property market.
As a professional association, the COAPI have an interest in legislation that favours their interests, and some of their proposals look a smidgen self serving. Unsurprisingly, they call for membership of a professional body like COAPI to be mandatory of anyone working in property sales.
Their proposals to avoid another bubble in Spain are as follows:
1. Greater transparency for consumers. They call for regulations to ensure correct property particulars and accurate descriptions to help inform house-hunters.
2. Financial transparency. The mortgage market should be more transparent and better regulated to avoid the reckless lending that fueled the last bubble.
3. Mortgage valuations. They call for appraisal companies to be made independent of lenders ensuring more accurate valuations for mortgage lending purposes.
4. Register of property professionals. Companies and individuals operating in the property sector should meet certain requirements such as having professional indemnity insurance and professional training, with obligatory registration in a professional register.
5. Party manifestos on housing. They call on all political parties clarify their housing policies in the run up to the election.
6. Special protection. The housing market should be declared a market of public interest, subject to special protection and vigilance.
7. Asymmetric information. Regulation should be introduced to reduce the asymmetry of information that harms consumers.
8. Fiscal coherence. Progressive taxes should support the social function of housing.
9. Professional bodies. Professional associations should be regulated to protect consumers, including codes of conducts and a system of penalties.
10. Official certification. Professional accreditation should be required of everyone operating in the sector to ensure minimum professional standards.