Barcelona moves to push holiday rentals out of city centre

Barcelona tourist accommodation and holiday rental regulations plan by zones
Barcelona tourist accommodation plan by zones

Barcelona City Hall has introduced new regulations for tourist accommodation that look designed to push the business of holiday rentals out of the city centre.

Last Friday 27th January the Ajuntament of Barcelona (City Hall) passed a new plan through the Council regulation tourist accommodation in the city, with the name of Pla Especial Urbanístic d’Allotjaments Turístics (PEUAT), which translates as Special Urban Plan For Tourist Accommodation.

The plan divides the city into four zones based on the intensity of tourist accommodation in each area, with tighter restrictions the more pressure from tourism, Zone One being the most restricted of all.

Zone One covers the Ciutat Vella Old Town (including the Gothic Quarter, the Born, and the Raval), the Eixample, Sant Antoni, Poble Sec, Gracia, Barceloneta, the Olympic Village and Poblenou Sant Marti near the beach.

In Zone One (red in map above and in detail below) no more tourist rental licences will be granted, turning the current moratorium on new licences into a permanent ban. Nor will there be any more hotel or aparthotel licences. The objective is to reduce the amount of tourist accommodation in this zone over time.

Barcelona tourist accommodation and holiday rental regulations plan by zones
Zone One

And worryingly for owners of tourist rental licences in the Ciutat Vella, some of whom have paid tens of thousands of Euro for their licences, all tourist rental flats must be situated in buildings dedicated exclusively to short-term rentals by September 2019.

I can’t find any details on how this will be implemented, but I suppose that many owners will have no choice but to sell their licences as they can’t move their properties to designated buildings. Will this increase or decrease the value of their licences? Time will tell, but what’s for sure is that many will be left without the legal right to rent to rent their homes to tourists.

Zone Two (yellow in map above) is basically the areas around Zone One, Including Sagrada Familia, the top part of Gracia, the Zona Alta, and Diagonal Mar. In this zone there will be no new licences, and the objective is to maintain the amount of tourist accommodation at today’s level.

Zone Three (green in the map above) is the rest of the city, where accommodation pressures from tourism are currently considered to be light, meaning that up to 387 new licences will be granted in this zone when licences expire in other zones, and within certain parameters. Zone Four are special zones of development where no tourist rentals are allowed.

Given that you can find some nice streets in Zone Three, for example in Sarria, and that Barcelona is a dense but small city with excellent public transport where you are never that far from the centre, this new plan might be a good reason to consider Zone Three for an investment with an eye to getting a tourist rental licence in future, especially in the attractive posh districts of Sarria, Tres Torres, and the streets above and below Bonanova, where I would be happy to stay for a few days as a tourist visiting Barcelona.

property in barcelona sarria sant gervasi
Barcelona’s Sarria

You can find out more information from City Hall in Catalan with maps here and the press dossier here.

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