One in three rental flats in Barcelona is owned by large owners

by Lorraine Williamson
Barcelona rental flats

BARCELONA – According to the municipality of Barcelona, ​​one in three rental flats in Barcelona is owned by large landlords, ie individuals or legal entities with more than 10 homes. 

The rental stock represents 38.5% of the city’s 750,000 homes. The rental housing stock in Barcelona shows a higher ownership concentration than the housing stock in the city in general. This is confirmed by the third edition of the report “Structure and concentration of housing ownership in Barcelona, ​​2021”. It was published by the Barcelona Metropolitan Housing Observatory (O-HB). 

The study examined the 754,326 most important houses in the city. Of this stock, 38.5% (290,416) is regular rental housing. More than a third (36%) of this is in the hands of large owners. These are private individuals or legal entities with more than ten homes. This percentage would rise to 37% if the properties offered in other forms of rental are taken into account (tourist, assigned, other uses, etc.). 

A detailed study of the regular rental park of the O-HB has been drawn up based on the database of the Catalan Land Institute (Incasòl). One conclusion is a greater concentration of ownership is in the rental housing stock than in the general stock. Owners with more than three homes own 51.4% of the total rental properties. In the general housing market, these types of owners own 30.6% of the stock. 

A similar fact can be seen when analysing the properties owned by legal entities. These weigh much more heavily in the rental stock (35.5%) than in the total housing stock of the city (15.1%). In terms of the type of owners, legal entities predominate, as 77.3% of homes are owned by large owners. 

Public housing 

The 12,893 public housing units, which account for 1.7% of the total housing stock, represent 4.4% of the city’s main rental housing stock. These government housings have a high weight in most peripheral neighbourhoods and a large part of the Ciutat Vella district. They represent more than 20% of the total number of homes in the neighbourhoods of Can Peguera, Torre Baró, Vallbona and Baró de Viver. 

These 12,893 government-owned homes would represent 12.3% of the total number of regular rental homes owned by large owners, according to estimates by O-HB. 

Calculation of large owners 

The O-HB calculated the major owners based on the properties they own exclusively in the city. Therefore, these results cannot include the totals required by the Catalan and national regulations under study. These refer to real estate anywhere in Catalonia or Spain. In addition, the corporate ties between legal entities are unknown, which also makes it difficult to quantify large owners.

Also read: Airbnb has to unlist illegal tourist flats in Barcelona

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