The property rentals' market has undergone a radical turnaround in the past twelve months. Demand has gone through the roof, there is hardly any availability for all-year rentals and the rents themselves are back at pre-crisis levels.
Natalia Bueno, the vice-president of the estate agents' college (the professional institute), says that prices in municipalities near to Palma, especially in the Raiguer region (which stretches from Marratxi through Inca up to Alcudia), have gone up by ten per cent in the past six months. People are looking for properties near to Palma and are travelling by train, she observes. This is a situation that has been brought about by the difficulty of finding flats in Palma, where rents have increased by 15%.
In Inca and Marratxi there was no problem finding somewhere to rent until a year ago. There is now limited availability, notes Bueno. As a consequence of the demand, a previous rent of 450 euros per month has gone up to 600 euros. In coastal tourist resorts, the rental boom is meaning, as has been previously reported, that seasonal workers as well as residents are finding property hard to come by and at affordable rents.
A further reason for the migratory trend out of Palma is that property owners, especially in the old town, are opting to rent out to tourists and so increase their returns. A studio apartment in Palma typically now costs 500 euros a month, while a two-bedroom flat is 700 euros minimum.
Because of all this, estate agents are no longer bothering to advertise flats to rent, as the adverts produce so many calls. During the crisis years, it was not unusual for a flat to be advertised for up to two months. This no longer happens.
There is also a current preference to rent rather than buy, and this is therefore boosting demand. Bueno points out that the majority of people don't have savings to match a 30% deposit for a mortgage, while younger people are aware that signing up for a mortgage is a bigger commitment than getting married.