The Spanish rental market
Rent market in Spain includes all those dwelling indistinctly devoted to permanently (long term) use and for short periods stays. The combination is due to the intensive use of the Spanish stock in coastal/tourist areas for short term periods and holidays, on the one hand, but also for the household needs derived from the increasing Spanish residents. Although not well known, the short-use rental house is estimated to demand more than 150 thousands units along the Spanish coasts only for tourism demand. The permanent houses use is better analyzed from the statistics perspective and it is reported that 2.4 million units are in rent covering household needs for permanent houses, a 14.7% of total principal stock in 2011 (Census).
Housing stock in Spain is mostly owner-occupied and, after a strong building cycle, it is in good conditions and quality. This is applied also to rent segment which is inequality distributed, with more units rented in the larger cities.
Tenants are an average of 10 years of rent contract duration with most rent contract being concentrated during the last decade. A feature in Spanish rental market is the existence of stable number of rental houses at lower than market price prices (most public houses) and a substantial number of houses rent-free (social houses at zero rent, homes used by family members or company houses for their employees, among other reasons).
Rent market structure is based on individual landlords owning more than 90% of total rent stock and with few companies or funds managing rental units. The supply structure is, then, characterized by a segmented and with a micro-ownership.
The Spanish regulation establishes, since 2013 that an energy certification should be added to the rent contract in any housing transaction, in order to identify the energy efficiency in the modern housing stock. The average of energy efficiency reported is ‘D’ value although there is no definitive classification as only few houses out of the total stock have been rated. In addition, the technical regulation in house-building (The Technical Building Code, 2007) establishes energy saving criteria in construction and that any new house should include installation of green energy for hot-water and stronger requirements for isolation. However, since 2008 building construction dramatically diminishes making that the new energy rules affect to lower number of buildings than expected.
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