The municipal authorities worry that Barcelona is heading for a rental price bubble, in part due to holiday rentals, the local press reports.
Barcelona City Hall continues to fret that rents are getting too expensive in Barcelona, despite being cheap by international standards.
The municipal government, led by housing activist Ada Colau, wants to increase the supply of social housing for rent by incentivising owners to rent empty properties, whilst imposing rent controls on how much they can charge in some areas.
“The local government wants to work with the relevant authorities to consider this change in the law and establish some system of rent control to regulate the maximum price in certain areas, depending upon circumstances, to avoid some parts of society being excluded by a rise in prices,” says Gerard Capó, the technical director of the ‘Dignified Use of Housing’ programme, quoted in the local press.
Residents in the poorest areas of town, where incomes are lowest, have to make the biggest financial effort to afford rental prices, dedicating 25% of income on rent, say press reports.
Perhaps I misunderstood, but 25% is not an unsustainable amount to spend on rent. The rule of thumb is no more than a third of your net income on housing, be it rent or mortgage repayments.
Rents are rising the fastest in areas where tourist accommodation demand is greatest, suggesting a link between holiday-rentals and rental prices for local residents. That helps explain why City Hall under Ada Colau is so against holiday rentals, and has extended a moratorium on new tourist rental licences in the city.