The agreement reached between the Government and Podemos to impose limits on rental prices has thrown still more uncertainty to a market that has been living for months unsustainable. The experts of the sector, who had already warned of the risks involved in intervening the brick, now question the legality of imposing ceilings on the prices of rents.
We must bear in mind that there are several precedents in this regard. In 2015, Paris approved the "Alur law", a rule that sought to stop the escalation of rental prices by preventing the lease of a flat 30% cheaper or 20% more expensive than a reference index. To calculate this index, different factors were taken into account, such as the type of housing, location, extension and furniture. However, the regulation was not in force for a long time, since the Administrative Court of Paris annulled it at the end of 2017 because it was not applied throughout the city. In this period, the supply of rental properties was reduced in the French capital by some 12,000 homes.
Berlin also imposed limits on rental prices. And although consistories such as Barcelona have praised its model, experts from the real estate sector point out that it is an ineffective measure. According to Idealista, currently between 66 and 95% of the offers of flats for rent in the German capital are above the maximum set by law.
Spain wants to take the same path now, despite the fact that different real estate experts have advocated concentrating regulatory efforts on increasing the supply of rental properties before imposing limitations. This week, Juan Fernández-Aceytuno, CEO of the Appraisal Society, warned that interventional measures "always have an impact on prices. The owners are aware that certain ceilings or subsidies are imposed and demand a part of the rent in 'B', "he pointed out.
As recognized by Executive sources, the measure has yet to be limited. The budgetary agreement between PSOE and Podemos establishes that the city councils will have the option to declare "an urban market area stressed when there has been an abusive increase in income". Within these specific areas, local administrations will be able to "limit price increases".
In addition, to establish what is an "abusive" increase, the consistories will be able to elaborate a rental price index «reference according to an objective methodology and subject to periodic review ». This list will be mandatory and will be focused on that the consistories can regulate the market.
How will these reference prices be promoted? That's where the doubts come from. Sources of the market assure that it will be important to see how these rules are articulated for that do not interfere with the Law of Guarantee of Market Unity. As in other aspects related to housing, such as the sale of empty flats, the PSOE advocated encouraging incentives to increase supply. However, Podemos plans are going in another direction. In fact, in the past, the purple formation included in its program measures such as the expropriation of the vacant properties of the large holders.
Beatriz Toribio, director of Estudios de Fotocasa, believes that this difference can mark the future of the sector. «Penalizing the owners does not help the real estate market. We need to strengthen legal security. Another thing is to offer incentives to follow this index. This could positively affect the price of rents, "he explains.
The town councils most affected by the rise in rents, in the hands of Podemos or some of their brands, they have not clarified at the moment how these caps will push prices. But they have shown that they will exercise the skills that the Government has enabled in an agile manner.
Thursday, the city council of Madrid reported that it has already commissioned a study to prepare a map ofof the rent of houses in the capital. The Madrid delegate of Sustainable Urban Development (DUS), José Manuel Calvo, said that this report could be completed by the end of the legislature, so the approval of the regulatory rule would be left for a second term. "An owner has the right to make a rent, but always in moderation, because housing is above all a right and not a simple commodity such as a tie," Calvo explained in this regard.
The Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, has celebrated for its part that this measure allows "put real brake on speculation" in Barcelona. The limitation of the rents was an old aspiration of Colau.
It must be borne in mind that the approach of imposing limitations on rental prices had become a red line for We can in the negotiation that has maintained with the Government of Pedro Sanchez in the last weeks.
This measure, also included in the housing law prepared by the Platform for People Affected by Mortgages (PAH) that will be discussed soon in the Congress, arises in response to the price increases that are being recorded in Madrid and Barcelona in recent quarters. . According to a recent study by Pisos.com, In Madrid, the average income reached 1,758 euros per month in September. After the capital were Barcelona (1,749 euros) and San Sebastián (1,513 euros). Levels that, according to the calculations of Pisos.com and the INE, cause that the rent supposes already half of the average salary in Spain.
Real estate, appraisers and promoters nevertheless reject the interventionist measures. Instead, they advocate measures such as encouraging owners to put more stock in the market.