STAFF REPORTER

THE cost of renting a flat in Palma rose by 1.2 percent last year, putting the monthly renting average at 8.1 euros per square metre, property watchdog idealista.com reported yesterday.

However, the website pointed out that during the last quarter of the year, price variance had wavered around -0.2 percent.
Although paying less to rent a home in Spain had been a general overtone of last year's property market, price levels were not spread out evenly around the country, idealista.com revealed.

Of the towns and cities which the watchdog investigated in its rental survey, 68 percent had lowered prices whilst the remainder had put costs up.
Lleida in Catalonia was the town where rentals had dropped the most - by -18.3 percent - and the only place in the country where the downturn had run to double figures last year.

Lower falls in price were registered in Albacete (-6.9%) and Castellon de la Plana (-5.5%).
At the other end of the scale, Badajoz in Extremadura recorded the highest rise in rental prices last year (5.3%), followed by Tarragona (3.7%) and Cáceres (2.4%).

In Barcelona, landlords dropped their prices by an average of 1.7 percent and in Madrid by 0.3 percent. In Zaragoza meanwhile, people were paying 4.4 percent less to rent a flat and in Seville, 4.1 percent less.

Property rentals in Bilbao, the capital of Vizcaya (Biscay) were 0.2 percent more expensive last year.
Madrid consolidated its position as the most expensive place to rent a property in Spain. Costing 12 euros per square metre a month, Madrid was followed by the city of Barcelona where monthly rental last year was 11.9 euros per square metre.

Bilbao was the third regional capital of the country where it cost more than 10 euros per square metre per month to rent a property in 2010. Landlords there were charging 11.3 euros per square metre.

Idealista.com said that people wanting to rent a home could do so most economically in Cáceres where the figure per square metre per month was down to 4.6 euros; in Castellón de la Plana it was 4.7 euros and in Avila, 5 euros.

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