Rental affordability in Spain: Trends and variations across regions

Rental affordability in Spain: Trends and variations across regions

Fecha: marzo 2024

Desiderio Romero-Jordán

Rental market

SEFO, Spanish and International Economic & Financial Outlook, V. 13 N.º 2 (March 2024)

Residential rents have increased sharply over the past decade. Average household expenditure on rent increased by 27.7% between 2015 and 2022, which is well above the growth in average household income (16.6% in households with one earner and 22% in households with two or more earners). The situation deteriorated after the pandemic. Until 2020, around three of every 10 households earmarked over 30% of their total spending on rent. In the wake of the pandemic, that percentage has increased to approximately four out of every 10 households. In fact, in 2022, aggregate spending on rent plus utilities (water, energy and common services) accounted for over 30% of spending for 60.5% of tenants. Regionally, there are significant differences in the financial burden implied by renting, with Ceuta and Melilla, the Basque region, the Balearics, Madrid and Catalonia registering the highest burdens. La Rioja, Murcia and Extremadura are home to the lowest burdens. The rent controls introduced in 2022 kept growth in average spending on rent at 2.1% (compared to 11.2% in 2019). As far as we are aware, there are no evidence-backed estimates of how the latest regulatory changes may have affected supply. However, the real estate portals estimate a reduction of close to 30%.

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