The regular increase in the price of rental housing in Spain appears to be slowing with the smallest increase in six years seen at the end of 2020. The close of the year saw rental prices increase by only 4.6% to put the average cost per square metre at 10.65 euros per month. This increase follows larger increases in the previous six Decembers with increases of 4.9% in 2015, 5.8% in 2016, 18.6% in 2017, 8.8% in 2018 and 5.1% in 2019.
Since November 2019, the price of rental housing has not dropped below €10 per square metre. It reached the highest point in April when the average cost was 11.02 euros/m² per month. The previous maximum was back in May 2007 (10.12 euros/m² per month).
“At the end of 2020, the price of rental housing in Spain has begun to show signs of moderation and has left behind the double-digit increases that we saw during some months of 2020. The price returns to the slower growth seen at the beginning of the year. The year-on-year variation at the end of 2020 is the softest experienced during the year. However, right now rental prices are behaving very irregularly depending on the area and moves at different speeds. In Madrid and Barcelona, for example, the falls in prices are already a reality, while there are other areas where the price is still rising strongly, such as cities in the north of Spain. During 2021 we will still see irregular behaviour in rental prices depending on the area”, explained Anaïs López, Director of Communication at Fotocasa.
Rental Housing in Autonomous Communities
The average price of rental housing has increased in 13 of the 17 autonomous communities during 2020. Only one community saw increases of more than 10%. That was Navarra with 18.8%. They are followed by Extremadura (8.9%), Castilla-La Mancha (8.2%), Región de Murcia (8%), Asturias (7.8%), Castilla y León (7.1%), Galicia (6.7%), La Rioja (6.3%), Cantabria (5.1%), Andalusia (3.1%), Valencia (3.1%), Aragon (2.1%) and the Basque Country (0.9%).
On the other hand, four communities, which until three years ago had double-digit annual increases, saw year-on-year falls in rental prices in 2020. The decreases were recorded in the Balearic Islands (-7.7%), Madrid (-5.1%), The Canary Islands (-3.5%) and Catalonia (-1%).
In 2020, the Community of Madrid is placed first for the most expensive rental housing with a price of 14.10 euros/m² per month, keeping Catalonia in second position for the third consecutive year with a price of 14.00 euros/m² per month. Following are the Basque Country (13.18 euros/m² per month), the Balearic Islands (11.25 euros/m² per month) and Navarra (10.00 euros/m² per month).
There are four communities that exceed the national average cost per square metre. Madrid exceeds it by 32%, Catalonia does so by 31%, the Basque Country by 24% and the Balearic Islands by 6%. The rest of the communities have a price lower than the national average, which in December 2020 is 10.65 euros/m² per month.
Analysing in detail all the provinces, we find five that have annual increases of double-digits. The provinces with the highest increase in 2020 are: Lugo (20.3%), Navarra (18.8%), Pontevedra (14.2%), Zamora (10.7%) and Ávila (10.2%). At the other extreme, the maximum fall was seen in the Balearic Islands with -7.7%. It was followed very closely by Barcelona (-6%), Madrid (-5.1%), Malaga (-4.4%), Santa Cruz de Tenerife (-4.2%), Las Palmas (-2%), Bizkaia (-1%) and Alicante (-0.4%).
In 2020, the Basque province of Gipuzkoa is positioned as the most expensive province for rental housing in Spain with 14.92 euros/m² per month, displacing Barcelona and returning to first place after five years (since 2014).
As for prices, only seven Spanish provinces exceed 10 euros/m² per month. These are Gipuzkoa (14.92 euros/m² per month), Barcelona (14.79 euros/m² per month), Madrid (14.10 euros/m² per month), Bizkaia (12.50 euros/m² per month), the Balearic Islands (11.25 euros/m² per month), Araba – Álava (10.59 euros/m² per month) and Navarra (10.00 euros/m² per month).