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Rent in Catalonia increases by 10.3% in 2017

Barcelona most expensive place to live, averaging at €16 per square metre


18 January 2018 01:45 PM


Alex Rolandi | Barcelona

Having a roof over one’s head is one of the most basic human necessities. Everybody needs shelter, and a place to hide away from the cold in winter, but sometimes this can be costly (especially in areas of gentrification.) In 2017, rent in Catalonia for a place to live increased by an average of 10.3%. That works out as about €12.39 per square metre, according to a study by Fotocasa, the largest real estate provider in the country. These figures are 52.1% higher than the rest of Spain as a whole.

“There are a number of reasons as to why there is a continued and steady rise in rental prices,” explained Beatriz Toribio, the director of studies at Fotocasa. She highlighted that, especially for young people, bank credit for buying a property is less readily available, therefore there is a higher demand for renting a home. She also touched on the issue of people buying properties only to rent them.


“There is also an interest among investors to buy a property in order to rent it, as it is a market that offers high returns in a context of low interest,” she explained. “The boom in tourist rentals, and the change in mentalities in favour of this way of life, push up prices,” she added. In Barcelona, the impact that tourist apartments was having on the city prompted the council to seek ways to regulate the market

In August 2017, around 40% of the Catalan capital’s holiday homes were rented out illegally via websites such as AirBnb, according to Barcelona City Council. Despite this, a report released last July by The Association of Touristic Apartments in Barcelona concluded that tourist apartments were having no effect on increasing housing prices in the city.

Prices rising in main Catalan municipalities

In December, the average rental price in 28 out of the 37 Catalan municipalities in the study increased, in some areas more dramatically than others. In the municipality of Rubí, about half an hour in car away from Barcelona, for example, rent rose by an average of 19.7%. Meanwhile in the southern Catalan municipality of Reus, rent only increased by 0.5%.

Tarragona, on the other hand, saw the most pronounced fall in rent, dropping by 10.7%. The average cost per square metre in the southern city worked out at €6.69.

Unsurprisingly, the most expensive place to rent a property in all of Catalonia was the capital itself, where one square metre cost, on average, €15.58 per month.

Rent capital

Following the trend of many major cities throughout the world, rental prices in Barcelona increased in eight out of the ten districts studied in the city in December last year. A flat in the city’s Ciutat Vella, or old quarter, could set renters back by an average of €17.16 per square metre. This is 110.5% higher than the average in the rest of Spain. Regardless of this, Ciutat Vella, in the centre of Barcelona, actually saw a slight drop in rent by 1.2%. The only other district out of all those studied where rent decreased was Eixample, where the average price went down by 1.4%.

In the district of San Andreu, in the north of the city, rental prices increased the most, by 12%, followed by by Gràcia (9.5%), Les Corts (8.1%), Sants-Montjuïc (6.7%), Nou Barris (6.4%), Horta-Guinardó (4.8%), Sarrià-Sant Gervasi (3.9%) and Sant Martí (2.7%).


  • A flat for rent in Barcelona (by ACN)

  • A flat for rent in Barcelona (by ACN)