Housing website finds rents steady in 2014

RENTING: 2015 a better year for landlords but still bargains to be had for tenants.

THE collapse of prices in the Spanish housing rental market is over, suggest figures from property website idealista.com.

Across 2014, rents rose by 2.6 per cent, although the increase has not been at a consistent rate throughout the year with a climb of just a 0.2 per cent in the last quarter.

Catalonia leads the recovery as the region with the highest leap in rents, up by 9.8 per cent. Extremadura, at 3.9 per cent, also showed a higher than average increase.

And while Madrid is still the most expensive region to rent a home, at a monthly cost of €10.20 per square metre, followed by the Basque Country (€10 per square metre), Catalonia (€9.20) and then the Balearic Islands (€8.10), Barcelona is by far the most expensive city. There, tenants must shell out an average of €12.50 per square metre every month, meaning a small, one-bedroom flat of 50 square metres will cost €625 a month.

And after rising 11 per cent last year, Barcelona rents look to be booming.

Landlords aren’t rubbing their hands in glee right across Spain, however, with prices still falling in some regions.

Murcia saw the biggest drop of 4.4 per cent, and is one of the cheapest regions in which to rent, at an average of €4.70 per square metre per month.

Extremadura (€4.20) and Castilla-La Mancha (€4.40) are the only cheaper regions in Spain for tenants.

Despite the stabilisation in prices in 2014, the astronomic rents of the high point of Spain’s housing boom are a long way off. Five regional capitals have seen rent prices crash since the beginning of the crisis by more than 30 per cent; Zaragoza is the worst affected with the average rent now slashed almost in half, dropping by 44.8 per cent, followed by Castellon (down 38.8 per cent), Valencia (-35.9 per cent), Guadalajara  (-33.8 per cent) and Albacete (-31.7 per cent).

Madrid and Barcelona rents by comparison have been much more stable, although still dropping a significant 17.3 per cent since their peak in 2007.

So while the idealista figures suggest landlords can begin to look forward to a more prosperous year, there are still many bargains for tenants.

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