'Stressed areas' can include entire municipalities. | Archive


The Balearic minister of housing, Josep Marí, is urging the Spanish government to allow him to set limits on rents in so-called stressed areas of the islands.

The draft housing law includes the possibility for regions to cap rents where, as has been the case in the Balearics, rents have been increasing significantly - 17% over the past year, according to property website Fotocasa.

Marí says that there is a "runaway" market in the Balearics, with high demand and constant increases in a market that is not conditioned by any regulations. "For us it would be important to be able to control rents in areas subject to market stress as great as it is."

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The bill is currently stuck in Congress because of differences between the government partners - PSOE and Podemos. The terms of capping rents are one aspect of disagreement.

Under the proposed legislation, a stressed area (zona tensionada) can be a district, neighbourhood or even an entire municipality. There are two conditions for classification as a stressed area - rents have risen on average by five per cent or more above inflation for a period of five years; average rents must be more than 30% of average household income.

An aim of these stressed areas is to encourage local and regional authorities to build more public housing. In this regard, Marí adds that the Balearic government is taking measures to reinforce housing policy, with more apartments being built for rent, so that these can influence prices.