28 May 2018 – Cinco Días
In recent months, a new name has been added to the list of alleged culprits to blame for the fact that rental prices in large cities are rising at a dangerously accelerated pace – they increased by between 10% and 18% last year. They are what the experts call the large owners of rental home portfolios. And are otherwise known as Socimis, investment funds, servicers and, to a much lesser extent, public companies.
But, how many homes are we talking about (…)? And what percentage do they represent over the total stock of rental homes? Taking into account that no official figures are compiled for the number of rental homes in Spain, and that we only talk about percentages of the total number of households (…) the truth is that the task seems complicated.
Nevertheless, according to the calculations performed by Cinco Días and after having requested data from the large funds, the resulting figure is so small, both in absolute and relative terms, that it seems to have almost no or limited influence on the evolution of rental prices. The figures compiled by CBRE reveal a balance that ranges between 2% and 4% of the total stock of rental homes. “It is possible that they have an influence at the local level in areas where more homes managed by those kinds of companies are concentrated, but it is clear that they cannot be blamed for what is happening to rental prices”, explains Sandra Daza, Director General at Gesvalt.
Thus, the statistics compiled by the Government and Eurostat reveal that approximately 22% of Spanish households live in rental properties, a figure that has increased considerably from 15% before the outbreak of the crisis (…).
In this way, if we take as the reference the most recent figure for the number of households during the first quarter of this year, according to the Active Population Survey (EPA), of the 18.55 million households in Spain, 4.07 million were rental homes.
Of that volume of household-homes, a total of 114,000 homes are in the hands of the 15 largest investors, which together account for just 2.8% of the total stock of rental homes (…).
As Samuel Población, the National Director of Residential and Land at CBRE, explains, the increase in this regime of tenure over buying is driven by several factors. The new labour market, with more instability and lower salaries, is forcing many households to rent, plus all the demand that was expelled from purchasing during the crisis (…).
This increase in demand has not been accompanied by a parallel rise in the supply to the same extent and that is what is causing most of the tension in terms of rental prices, together with the effect of tourist apartments in certain neighbourhoods of large cities and higher visitor numbers. Not even the fact that one out of every five homes purchased is destined for rent to make the investment profitable has managed to generate more homes for rent.
“The current rise is a consequence of the large gap between demand and supply”, says Wolfgang Beck, CEO of the Socimi Testa Residencial, one of the largest owners of this kind of asset (…).
“It does not make sense to attribute the rise in rental prices to the funds. They have a long-term focus and are actually responsible for increasing the stock of rental homes on the market”, says Javier Rodríguez Heredia, Head of the Residential team at the housing manager Azora.
“Establishing regulations that provide certainty for institutional investors to make it attractive for them to enter the sector would result in the creation of a rental home stock commensurate with the needs of the country”, he said (…).
Original story: Cinco Días (by Raquel Díaz Guijarro & Alfonso Simón)
Translation: Carmel Drake