The cost of rent is driving people on lower wages out of the market, especially young people, and has boosted interest in renting rooms in major capitals such as Madrid and Barcelona, where it has doubled, according to data presented yesterday through the Fotocasa portal.
The X-ray report of the housing market, prepared by the portal and the consultancy The Cocktail Analysis, points out that among those who have signed a lease in recent months, one in four declared that it was a room. This proportion is even greater in the community of Madrid, where more than half of the requests for accommodation have been to share a flat (2.7% of individuals surveyed by the firm in relation to 5% who have rented a whole floor).
According to Fotocasa, it is no longer just young people who share a flat: 1.6% of people aged between 35 and 44 rented a room in the first quarter, a percentage that was 0.9% among those aged 45 to 54 and 0.2% among people aged 55 to 75. For the youngest, aged 18 to 24, this percentage was 6.4%.
The increase in rental incomes "reduces demand, as it pushes people with lower incomes out of the market," says María Matos, director of research at Fotocasa. According to the portal, not only are fewer people renting, but many are no longer looking. "Participation in the real estate market among young people has fallen by ten percentage points", notes Matos. "We expected that the increase in rates would boost rental demand and we were surprised that this has not been the case, due to the abandonment of young people, who in many cases choose to delay the age of emancipation even further". All in all, prices remain high, with an average rent of 1,300 euros/month in the city of Barcelona and 1,200 in Madrid (which is larger and comparable to the Barcelona Metropolitan Area). "There is still a lot of demand willing to pay these prices", he acknowledged.
Matos pointed out that the buying and selling market has also maintained prices, despite the fact that the rise in interest rates has meant that 25% of those looking for housing have had to give up because they could not face the increase in the mortgage fee. Those looking to buy are now 10% of the population, 23% less than a year ago.
"Demand has decreased but it is still much greater than the supply of housing", points out Matos, who remembers that in Spain 200,000 new homes are created a year, while there are only 100,000 visas to build new homes .
Matos points out that the purchases have remained "because the profile of the buyer has changed: there are more people who are replacing part of the financing from the bank with financial help from the family, and also many others, generally investors, who they buy without a mortgage". In his opinion, the strength of demand will support prices, although "it is a good time to negotiate, because owners who are in a hurry to sell can accept reductions".
Matos points out that the percentage of the population that wants to buy "in the medium and long term", that is to say, between two and five years, remains the same. The study highlights that they choose to wait because they do not have enough money saved for entry, because of their economic or employment situation, to give short-term priority to other expenses and because they wish to wait for a drop in interest rates or prices housing
The data from the portal indicate that Catalonia is the community where the real estate market has deteriorated the most, with a 20% drop among those looking to buy a home (down to only 9% of individuals) and nearly a third party in rent claimants. "Catalonia has the lowest participation in the real estate market of all the communities", Matos pointed out. In Madrid, the demand for purchases also falls sharply (by 28%). "The figures of the two communities are very much conditioned by the large and punished urban areas of their respective capitals", acknowledged the portal's director of studies