Are Seasonal Rentals Dominating The Spanish Housing Market?

Seasonal rentals are gaining more and more relevance in the real estate market, displacing permanent rentals due to ongoing policies that promote this trend.

What are seasonal rentals?

Seasonal rentals, not to be confused with tourist rentals, are those rentals that are not intended to satisfy a permanent housing need but rather serve as accommodation for a very specific period of time (generally a maximum of 11 months). They are governed by the will of the parties, the Urban Leases Law, and the Civil Code. It is important to note that seasonal rentals lie outside the scope of application of the recent Housing Law, so they are not affected, among other aspects, by the limitations on rent updates or extraordinary extensions of the contract. This has meant that its impact has been greater in the areas applying effective price control (particularly in the so-called stressed areas such as Catalonia).

Are Seasonal Rentals Dominating the Spanish Rental Market?

In the first quarter of 2024, seasonal rentals represented 11% of the market, with a 56% increase in supply compared to the previous year, while the supply of permanent rentals decreased by 15% in the same period

In cities such as San Sebastián and Barcelona, 30% of available homes are intended for seasonal rental, followed by Cádiz with 21%. They are followed in percentage by Badajoz (18%), Madrid (15%), Valencia (13%) and Málaga (13%). Below 11% are the markets of Palma, Santander and Bilbao.

Strong increases in the supply of seasonal rentals have been observed, especially in Palma and Malaga, with an increase of 79% compared to the previous year, followed by San Sebastián (77%), Seville (74%), Valencia (62 %), Madrid (56%) and Barcelona (53%). In Bilbao, supply grew by 49%, and in Alicante by 29%.

The largest increases have been seen in smaller markets where this phenomenon was almost non-existent, such as Badajoz (2,560%), Cáceres (800%), Huelva and Lleida (650% in both cases).

Meanwhile, the supply of permanent rentals continues to fall in the main markets. The greatest decrease is observed in Bilbao (-33%), followed by Seville (-27%), Madrid (-24%), San Sebastián (-22%), Palma (-20%) and Barcelona (-15%).

The new laws and measures recently adopted have shifted the supply from permanent to seasonal rentals, making access to housing even more difficult. The problem lies in the supply deficit, and not necessarily in the prices. A balance is needed between owners and tenants that increases the supply in the market and normalizes the situation.

Want to learn more about the different rental contracts in Spain? Head over to our blog entry here.

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