Tuesday, October 26

Looking for a flat in Madrid after the housing agreement: confusion and ignorance among landlords

In a Tecnocasa franchise in La Latina, one of the largest real estate agencies in the country, four young men in suits work. They are all wearing green ties, the corporate color, and typing on their computers while talking on the phone. The Government announced this Tuesday that it is finalizing a bill to limit rental prices, and in this Madrid office they have called clients this morning to notify them. “We have been reporting, there is fear with the economic situation and how it will affect the market,” says one of the agents, Saúl Bartolomé, back at his table after finishing a cigarette. A colleague glances at him sideways, with his mobile phone held between his ear and his shoulder, and mutters skeptically: “This is going to last three seconds.”

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The news of an agreement between the PSOE and United We Can to bring together a housing law to Congress was immediately decaffeinated by the reply of the PP, which has already advanced that it will avoid applying it in its autonomous and municipal governments, with Madrid as the most belligerent element, of new. Between this preventive rudeness and the general ignorance about the scope of the future norm, still pending the entire parliamentary procedure, looking for a good and not too expensive apartment in the city continues to be the same painful task of recent years, with the addition of prices that are rising again after the decline caused by the pandemic.

Fernando López, administrative, rents an apartment of 45 square meters and two rooms, under interior, in the neighborhood of Berruguete, district of Tetuán. He was recently released, and Fernando is now asking for 625 euros, 25 more than before, to take out “non-payment insurance”. It is not that the previous tenants were left to duty, but he says so much news about squats has made him be cautious. He sees the aid announced for young tenants well, but not “intervening in the market”, he says, before going on to relate an imitation of the fable of the grasshopper and the ant: “Instead of giving ourselves whims we have invested money while others go in a BMW of 30,000 euros “, compares. He admits, in any case, that he does not know very well what the announced rule consists of. To him, with only a house for rent, it will hardly affect him.

In the Idealista real estate portal they do not expect sudden changes. “This market is not like a bag, it takes time to mature. Today we have not noticed anything,” says spokesman Beñat del Coso. It helps to calm down that the declaration of a stressed zone referred to in the government agreement depends on a price index that has yet to be elaborated and for the preparation of which a year and a half is expected. “We understand that it does not come into effect until 2024,” he deduces.

“August and September have been two explosive months,” says José Manuel Pírfano, from the Gutiérrez y Pírfano agency, which specializes in the central Las Letras neighborhood. It refers to the increase in rental contracts, after practically exhausting the entire bag of flats that had been left unoccupied by the economic stoppage of the pandemic. So much so that prices in the area, which had fallen by as much as 25%, are now only five points less than before the lockdown, according to their accounts. The Government’s announcement welcomes the rental aid. “Nobody says to raise the rent because they are going to give aid; I think that measure would work,” he says. Be more suspicious of the imposition of limits on large holders. “I work with some who have 100 or 150 floors. Normally they do not put the rents too expensive, because if they go to the top they have much more turnover and lose months of rent,” he says.

Looking for recent announcements, he comes across Lourdes, who today rented a two-bedroom apartment in the Palomeras Bajas neighborhood, Puente de Vallecas. 650 euros for 53 square meters with a room; the latest news has not influenced. “I hadn’t even found out,” he confesses. The same says Eitan, who asks for 775 euros for a two-room, 50-meter house in Numancia, across Avenida de la Albufera, closer to the metro.

“I placed the ad today and three people have already called me”

Pharmacist Manuel Losa bought an apartment to invest in San Diego, just outside the M-30, a sprawling area relatively close to the Méndez Álvaro train station. 65 square meters and two rooms. The initial price was 900 euros per month, but today it lowered it to 850. It was not because of the regulatory news, he says. “I walked around the area, entered Idealista and downloaded it […] Since this morning three people have already called me “, he adds, and thinks:” Regular is not for the benefit of one or the other. ”

The Tenants Union also does not raise the bells for the government agreement, in addition to believing that it is still too early to see its effects. “We are doing calculations and half of the 2.5 million homes in the Community of Madrid are in the hands of profiles that are going to be seen outside this law. And if we discount those who only have one house, we may see ourselves with that only 500,000 homes are under the price index for stressed areas “, warns Fernando Bardera, one of its spokesmen, who adds:” In the other municipalities of Madrid, if the Community does not declare them as stressed areas, they will also be left out. If this is not filed, in Asval [la Asociación de Propietarios de Viviendas en Alquiler] they can be comfortable, because nothing is going to happen. ”


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