The average rent asked by landlords rose 4.5% over 12 months to the end of April, according to data from the Spanish property portal Fotocasa.es.
The average rent (advertised price) was 7.29 €/m2 by the end of April, up 0.8% in the month. Rents rose on an annualised basis in every autonomous region in April, and in 14 out of 17 regions on a monthly basis.
Rents started rising last year after eight years of declines, according to Fotocasa’s figures.
“The rental market is rising strongly in Spain, both in the case of supply and demand,” says Beatriz Toribio, head of research at Fotocasa. “Which explains why rents are rising in general terms in a large part of the country, although the annualised increases in many districts of Barcelona and Madrid stand out, in some cases above 10% or even 20%.”
Why are rents rising in general, and so quickly in places like Barcelona and Madrid? Toribio has the answers. “There are various causes: strong demand, the impossibility of buying a home for a large part of the population, and the high returns on offer from rents,” she says. “But there is also a change of mentality amongst Spaniards in favour of renting, which could be an opportunity for the sector if it knows how to take advantage of it.”
Rents rose the most in the Balearics, up 4.3% in a month. Fotocasa is not a specialist holiday-rental listings portal, but the Balearics will include a significant proportion of homes that are essentially holiday-rentals by another name. That might help explain why rents rose the most in the region.
Catalonia is the most expensive region for rents (10.22€/m2/month), followed by the Basque Country (10.15) and Madrid (10.13). At the other end of the scale is Extremadura, where rental asking prices are just 4.5 €/m2/month on average.
Ibiza is the municipality with the highest advertised rental prices in Spain (15.68 €/m2/month) followed by Barcelona (13.88). At the other extreme is Almendralejo, in Badajoz (Extremadura) where the average asking price is 3.55 €/m2/month.
By municipality, rents rose the most in Santa Pola in Alicante, on the South Costa Blanca, up 18.5% compared to last year.
Within Barcelona, the district with the highest rental asking prices is the Ciutat Vella Old Town & Gothic Quarter (16.41), where tourist accommodation pressure is undoubtedly having an impact on the wider market . Barcelona has a population of 1.6 million, and last year received 7 million tourists, up from 4.2 million in 2005.
Rental prices peaked in May 2007 at 10.12 €/m2/month, and have fallen 28% on average since then, and by 31% in the Valencian Region.