WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE PROPERTY RENTAL MARKET (JULY 2016)
- PRICES ARE UP:
Depending on which of the different statistics you read, the rental prices are around €100-€200 higher than they used to be 6 – 12 months ago. From our experience in working with clients for the past couple of months, we can definitely attest to these statistics.
- ARRANGING VIEWINGS:
Sometimes people contact us after unsuccessfully attempting to arrange viewings for themselves. There are a couple of things to keep in mind if you decide to start the process by yourself:
– as there is high demand and flats are literally rented for within 48 hours of being listed (sometimes less), you can’t expect an agent to return your contact form or email. They rarely do this. They are busy and there are loads of people probably calling for the same flat. If you want to have a chance to see a flat, you have to call. The odds of the agency confirming a viewing for you immediately is low (usually it requires a few additional calls from your side asking what is going on and in many cases in the end you hear “Oh, it was rented this afternoon”. But at least you would have some chance. It requires calling and a lot of persistence and pushing.
– Speaking English. To be honest, a good amount of the agencies are adapting to the market and more and more speak some English. There is still a good amount though that do not. So it is basically luck. If you go with one of the bigger agencies there is a higher possibility that they will speak English.
If there is anything more difficult than finding a good flat in Barcelona, it is finding one in summer. Various factors are at play here. Usually, expats prefer the central areas like Ciutat Vella and Eixample. In these areas the percentage of flats that are destined for touristic purposes is much higher, which immediately means that long-term rentals are more scarce, especially in smaller neighborhoods like Barceloneta. Additionally, being summer means there are is a good amount of students coming here from September, which reduces the amount of available properties even further. A third factor is the agencies´ working availability. Many of them close around August for a anything between one week and the whole month. Speaking from our own experience, August is one of the most difficult months to find a flat with decreased options and choices.
Barcelona has undergone a shift from being a tenant´s market to a landlord´s market. A year ago you could ask for 50 or 100 even euros off the rental price and you would get it. You could try to negotiate on many things such as missing furniture, deposits, etc. Now, it is very difficult, since there is such a high demand and the owner knows that for everyone person who wants to negotiate, there are 5 more who will rent the property as is, at the price he is asking.
- HAVING AN OWNER´S MARKET – OTHER EFFECTS:
In the changing market when owners have a good amount of choice, they can be picky about who they want to rent to, and they can expect more from the tenant. Good salary, proof of financial resources, working Spanish contract, and additional insurances.As an example: In the past, once someone confirms they want to rent a property, they would leave a reservation fee to show that they are serious and this fee would ensure that the agent doesn´t show the property to anyone else. In case the interested person changes his mind after paying this reservation fee, he would lose that fee. Once the fee is paid, the owner checks your documents and most likely approve you. However, lately more and more agencies do not take this fee, but keep on showing the flat and just ask you to send your documents for the owner to see them. One of the reasons is that now the owner does not have to take the first possible tenant. He could collect a bunch of good profiles over a few days and decide to rent it to whoever seems best for him.