Residential building in the medieval quarter of Barcelona, Source: Depositphotos

Despite cap, Barcelona rental prices post a new record

Despite cap, Barcelona rental prices post a new record

The Catalonian government has decided to more than double the number of the so-called ‘tense housing zones’

At the end of April, the Spanish government passed a pioneering law, which set a 3% cap on rental increases in a bid to cool a rapidly heating property market which was pushing many local residents out of the competition for finding a home. The housing law entered into force in May and while it may be a bit too early to analyze whether it has had the desired effect, news came out of Barcelona that in the first quarter of 2023, the average rental price for a flat has surged another 10 euros when compared to the end of 2022.

Admittedly, that statistic reflects the situation right before the passing of the new law, so it will be more than interesting to see when the next report comes out if there has been a positive effect in reigning in the inflation in that market.

The latest data updated by Incasòl (Catalan Land Institute), show that if you’re looking for a rented flat in Barcelona you should be ready to fork out some 1087 euros per month. To put things in perspective, that price was 387 euros in 2000, and 776 euros in 2010.

Also, for comparison, the minimum salary in Spain for 2023 is 1,080 euros or a tad less than what an average flat costs to rent.

The massive extent of ‘tense housing zones’

The law passed by the Spanish parliament seeks to end the proliferation of the so-called ‘tense housing zones’, where due to increased demand for housing, landowners have felt free to set up outlandish prices, creating a climate where eviction always hangs above the heads of modest-income tenants.

Last week, the Catalan government actually showed that it takes the new legislation seriously and it raised the number of municipalities that it considers to be tense housing markets from 60 to 140.

Around 6.2 million people live in the 140 municipalities, some 80% of the total Catalan population. Included in the list are practically all towns in the Barcelona metropolitan area, the regional capitals, and various coastal, mountainous, and rural counties. 



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