Wednesday, 10 May 2023, 10:15
The increase in the number of tourist apartments in Spain moderated during the pandemic years due to the lack of holidaymakers. Many properties went to traditional rental use and others left the market. But with the end of the coronavirus restrictions, this type of market has grown again to exceed 306,136 tourist apartments in Spain, some 16.4% more than the previous year according to data published this week by the country’s national statistics institute (INE).
The figures - collated at the end of February - are very close to the pre-pandemic numbers, when the country had close to 321,500 tourist apartments in 2020, according to INE data. Currently, the properties represent 1.21% of the total housing stock in Spain, while a year ago they accounted for 1.13%.
By the number of places offered, there is also little left to reach the pre-pandemic level, with a total of 1.55 million compared to 1.63 million in 2020. However, it represents a large increase compared to the 1.4 million places in February of 2022.
By region, Andalucía leads the way for the number of tourist apartments, with 70,194, followed by the Valencian Community and Catalonia, with 49,950 and 45,709, respectively. They are followed by the Canary Islands (42,651), Balearic Islands (25,393), Madrid (16,351) and Galicia (14,775).
On the other hand, the regions with the fewest tourist apartments in February were La Rioja (1,100), Extremadura (1,500) and Aragón (3,900).
This great explosion in the number of tourist apartments is pushing up the prices of conventional rentals and although the regional and municipal authorities are trying to put a stop to it, the problem is beyond Spanish legislation and Europe is trying to avoid confrontation with the holiday home rental platforms for the moment.
INE data reveals that in 70 of the 8,112 Spanish municipalities at least 10% of the total homes are for tourist use, while 3,000 do not have any in their areas, mainly in areas of low-population in rural parts of Spain.
The problem is those 70 municipalities where tourist housing represents a high percentage of the total, nine of them are above 20%. The four most stressed are Sales de Llierca (Girona), La Oliva (island of Fuerteventura), Búger (Mallorca) and Ariany (Mallorca), where at least one in four registered homes is intended for tourist housing.
The vice president of Spain’s tourism employers' association, Exceltur, José Luis Zoreda, told SUR that "tourist homes are very profitable for their owners but they depersonalise the centres of towns and cities, remove the identity of the neighbourhoods and often generate social problems."
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