July 11, 2020

The Government launches the rental price indices “to monitor the housing market in the face of the COVID crisis”

The Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, José Luis Ábalos, presented this Tuesday the state system of reference indices for the price of housing rental and announced that it is a tool that will allow them “be vigilant about the effects on the housing market of the current crisis of COVID “. The publication of this index was scheduled for the end of last March, but the coronavirus epidemic and the state of alarm have delayed these months, as explained by the minister.

“With this system, we rectified a historical deficiency since there was an absence of official information. We are dealing with a simple, proven and reliable tool for public administrations, real estate market players and citizens,” Ábalos explained. The price indices can be accessed in the website of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda.

The minister has assured that “the objective of this tool is not to amend the data of the private real estate portals”, but to have a “more precise knowledge of the rental market” so that “the public powers can make decisions to protect the right to living place”.

Ábalos recalled that in Spain 24% of households are on a rental basis, where 38% dedicate more than 40% of their income to paying rent. The head of the Housing portfolio has also pointed out that there have been “very significant increases in rental prices in stressed areas, in 2017 they were above 18% in certain urban centers”.

In this answer, the minister has pointed out that the rental price system will serve to “be vigilant about the effects on the housing market of the current COVID crisis.” Ábalos has argued that “young people were the great pagans” of the financial crisis that brought us into the housing bubble and that the “austerity recipes” only caused more suffering, so in this “supervening crisis” it is necessary “to get going active policies so that young people can fulfill their right to access housing “. The minister has assured that the rental price indices will serve to design “fiscal or other policies that increase the supply of rental housing for young people.”

Taking advantage of the presentation of this tool, Ábalos has announced that they are designing “the first state law on housing” to regulate aspects such as the provision of housing as a public service, the shielding of the social character of housing or the prohibition on alienating the public park. of housing, as happened under the mayor of Ana Botella in Madrid.

The Secretary General of Urban Agenda and Housing, David Lucas, has specified that the state system of reference indices of the rental price “has as its main source of information the tax agency”, although he has also indicated that they have data from the Bank of Spain, the National Institute of Statistics and the Autonomous Communities.

In this way, the rental data are from 15 autonomous communities, since the Basque Country and Navarra have their own provincial tax system, but Lucas has assured that they are working with both administrations to make a data exchange that allows having information from the two territories.

The general secretary of Urban Agenda and Housing has pointed out that they have data of rents from 2015 to 2018, which will be updated periodically, with the detail of reaching 11.2 million rents in those four years distributed to the detail of 9,842 census records.

The Tenants union asks for 50% discounts

The tenants union has pointed out that the launch of the rental price index “is good news” but for “regulation to be effective, it is advisable to adapt policies to the political and social situation” since the index data they are from “before knowing the serious health and economic crisis the country is going through”.

The group of activists explained that “in March there was already a serious disproportion between rental prices and family income,” a gap that “is deepening with the crisis.”

In this situation, the Tenants union points out that “the Government’s price index will only serve if it contributes to reducing prices by 50%, returning to the 2014 level – at least. The real estate economy has been profiting for years at the cost of widespread impoverishment Absorbing income from households that have stopped going into the productive economy. ”

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