Europe

Barcelona to End All Holiday Rentals by 2028 In Effort to Reduce Housing Crisis

The second most popular tourist destination in Spain, Barcelona, has decided to take under control apartment rentals, warning it will shut these tourist accommodation spots in the next four years.

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The decision was announced by the city’s major, Jaume Callboni, who noted that 10,101 apartments would lose their licence to accommodate tourists as short-term rentals, a popular practice over the recent years, Schengen.News reports.

Those 10,000 apartments will be used by the city’s residents or will go on the market for rent or sale. 

Mayor of Barcelona, Jaume Callboni

The Mayor is confident that this is Barcelona’s biggest problem, implying that by introducing the measure, the housing crisis in the city would improve.

Short-Term Rentals – One of the Drivers of Housing Crisis in Barcelona

Houses and rentals rented by Barcelona locals to tourists in exchange for material benefits are known as short-term rentals.

This practice has caused thousands of people across popular destinations in Spain to give up their own houses and rent them to visitors. In some cases, they remain in the streets or opt for cheaper accommodation alternatives.

This indicates that some residents cannot afford housing, especially because the rent in Barcelona is 68 per cent higher than it was in 2014.

The Mayor also noted that house prices have increased, surging by 28 per cent. As Reuters reports, this particularly affects young people in Barcelona who cannot afford to rent apartments or houses in the city.

According to El Pais, the price of rent in Barcelona is the highest it has ever been. In the third quarter of 2023, an apartment in the city costs, on average, around €1,171 per month.

Short-Term Rental Platforms Protest Callboni’s Measures

While the new measure came out as great news to thousands of people who were in dire need of accommodations in Barcelona, some platforms, through which locals rented their apartments to tourists, protested the mayor’s decision, saying it would impact economic development.

Collboni is making a mistake that will lead to (higher) poverty and unemployment. 

APARTUR, Barcelona’s Tourist Apartments Association

In a statement, the same added that the ban would initiate a rise in illegal tourist apartments, while Airbnb, a popular platform for short-term rentals, has yet to comment on the matter. Unlike temporary housing accommodation spots, hotels are expected to benefit from the new measures.

According to Statista, in 2022, Barcelona received 7.3 million visitors, falling behind Madrid, which was visited by 8.5 million people.

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