The Spanish political landscape has been shaken by the meteoric rise of ‘Podemos’, a hard-left party with a populist bent, that looks on course to become the second or third largest party in parliament after next year’s general elections. The popularity of Podemos has much to do with widespread disgust towards Spain’s political class, and less to do with the party’s manifesto. Having just unveiled their economic programme, what do Podemos have to say about the housing market?
Podemos would focus on encouraging the renovation of Spain’s housing stock, energy efficiency, the rental market, and reform the Sareb, popularly known as Spain’s “Bad Bank”.
“A change in direction for housing and planning policies to open new sources for profit and employment in areas such as property renovation, the improvement of energy efficiency, and the development of rental properties and assisted living units,” states their policy document, whose main aim is “to help out people who have lost their homes, and to reach the level of social protection there should be in Spain”.
Regarding regulations for the ‘bad bank’, Podemos calls for a change in both Sareb’s nature and performance, condemning the government’s policy of placing thousands of homes “in the hands of international hedge funds”.
To fulfill these conditions, Podemos says it will draw up a new housing law, “which will guarantee the constitutional right to a home”, going for a policy in this case based on full occupancy and optimisation of the current housing stock.
Referring to groups who are dependent or at risk of exclusion, Podemos calls for a change in the current law “to regulate personal responsibility in a property purchase to avoid more evictions and at the same time, helping those who have lost their home”.
Run by academics like its founder Pablo Iglesias (pictured) who have spent their lives in the public sector,
it is unlikely that anyone in the party has the first idea of running a property business in Spain, or being a private landlord for that matter (see comments below).
The following chart of voting intentions illustrates the rise of Podemos from nothing to number one in a less than a year.