6 January 2018 – Cinco Días
The current rental market in Spain has nothing or very little to do with the one that existed in the noughties (2000-2009), when being a tenant was almost equivalent to being a second-class citizen, as Gustavo Rossi, President of Alquiler Seguro, recalls. A study compiled by Idealista maintains that whilst in 2000, homes offered for rent represented just 9% of the market, by the end of 2017, Madrid was the third-placed city in the ranking of places with the most rental homes in Europe, whilst Barcelona was ranked sixth.
That increase in supply has been driven by an exponential growth in demand for rental homes and by the boom in tourist rentals. During the first few years of the crisis, demand switched to the rental market, above all due to necessity. Faced with the impossibility of buying a home due to the high prices or the closure of the credit tap by the banks, or even both factors, families had to resort to renting as their plan B.
Nevertheless, and as the economic and employment recovery has been gaining momentum, although the majority of those who rent still aspire to become homeowners, increasingly more households are opting to lease regardless of their economic capacity or solvency level. They are the new tenants by conviction. “The impact that the no-credit-generation (those who are not willing to get into debt and who prefer to pay to use a home) is having on the market is considerable”, explains Rossi.
One way or another, the percentage of households that rent their homes has gone from just 11% in 2001 to almost double that figure, more than 20% in 2017, according to figures from the sector. That progression is even more marked in the large cities since it is estimated that in Madrid and Barcelona, more than 30% of families rent their homes, which brings Spain closer to the European parameters, where the average number of rental homes exceeds that 30% threshold (…).
Sources at Fotocasa are convinced that this year (2018) there will be a lot of talk about the rental market once again. “The high returns that investors are seeking, the boom in tourist apartments and the change in mentality (towards renting) are going to continue putting upward pressure on rental prices, above all in the large cities”, says the firm’s Head of Research, Beatriz Toribio. In this sense, the table published by the Bank of Spain comparing yields on rental homes with those on the stock market (Ibex 35) and fixed income securities leaves little room for doubt. The latest data reveals a gross profit from rental properties of 4.2% p.a., which soars to 10.9% if we add the gain that can be obtained when a property is sold (capital appreciation) (…).
The experts offer two pieces of advice. Before choosing between traditional rental and tourist lets, investors should analyse all of the variables because it is not always more attractive for a property to be let for very short stays (refer to the comparative graph). And the Administrations are demanding that investors bet more on the rental segment, in the form of direct subsidies and tax reliefs, to encourage owners to put empty homes onto the market and that will allow them to reach maturity. “The rental market is here to stay”, says Eduard Mendiluce, CEO at Anticipa Real Estate.
Original story: Cinco Días (by Raquel Díaz Guijarro)
Translation: Carmel Drake