Barcelona to ban tourist apartment rentals
Tuesday, 25th June 2024
Source : External

Barcelona, a prime Spanish holiday destination, announced a sweeping decision to ban apartment rentals to tourists by 2028.

This move aims to address the city’s escalating housing costs and improve livability for its residents.

Jaume Collboni, the city’s leftist mayor, revealed that by November 2028, Barcelona will revoke the licenses of the 10,101 apartments currently approved for short-term rentals. “We are confronting what we believe is Barcelona’s largest problem,” Collboni stated at a city government event.

The surge in short-term rentals has significantly impacted Barcelona, Spain’s most visited city by foreign tourists. Collboni highlighted that rent prices have soared by 68% over the past decade, while the cost of purchasing a home has increased by 38%. This housing affordability crisis has particularly affected young people and has become a major driver of inequality.

While tourism provides substantial economic benefit, with Spain consistently ranking among the top three most visited countries globally, it has also led to gentrification and made local housing unaffordable. Similar measures to restrict short-term rentals have been implemented in other European locales, including Spain’s Canary Islands, Lisbon, and Berlin.

Spain’s Socialist housing minister, Isabel Rodriguez, expressed support for Barcelona’s decision. “It’s about making all the necessary efforts to guarantee access to affordable housing,” she posted on X (formerly Twitter).

However, the move has sparked controversy. APARTUR, Barcelona’s tourist apartments association, criticised the decision, arguing it would lead to increased poverty and unemployment and likely spur a rise in illegal tourist apartments. “Collboni is making a mistake that will lead to (higher) poverty and unemployment,” the association said.

Barcelona’s local government mentioned in a statement it would maintain its “strong” inspection regime to detect potential illegal tourist apartments once the ban comes into effect.


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