More than half of the Spanish population lives in areas with price stress, according to the new definition that makes it the future housing law. Specifically, the postal codes that meet one of the two requirements required by the standard account for 61% of Spanish households, according to data from the specialized consultancy Atlas Real Estate Analytics. In total, that adds up to more than 13 million homes in potentially stressed areas, although it must be taken into account that this procedure will depend on the autonomous communities and those that are governed by the PP have shown rejection of this mechanism that would force the introduction of security controls. rental prices.
Based on its real estate data analysis program, which crosses dozens of public and private sources, Atlas indicates that 2,298 zip codes meet the conditions of price-stressed areas. It is a relatively small percentage, 17%, of the more than 11,000 postal codes that Spain has. But what is relevant is that they are the areas where more people live. In fact, on the district map, all the large metropolitan areas are painted; and in the case of the archipelagos, islands such as Ibiza, Mallorca or Tenerife are almost completely coloured.
During the parliamentary negotiation of the norm, the criteria for the declaration of stressed areas has been made more flexible. In the project that the Government sent to Congress, two conditions were required: that the expenses that households in an area allocate to housing (including basic supplies) exceed 30% of the average income of families; and that the purchase or rental prices of an area have risen more than five points above the CPI in five years. But this last criterion was lowered to three points above the CPI. And, most importantly, the investiture block agreed that it was enough to only meet one of the two criteria to be able to declare an area as stressed.
The result of the latter is what triggers the appearance of potential stressed areas. The data in the report shows that only 516 ZIP codes meet both conditions at the same time. But there are also 1,387 where the effort in housing exceeds 30%; and another 395 districts where this does not happen but prices have risen more than three points above the CPI in the last five years.
Barcelona is the province with the most stressed price postal codes: 198. It is followed by Madrid (179), the Balearic Islands (138), Valencia (116) and Malaga (111). On the other hand, if we look at the percentage of the population that the districts that meet one of the two requirements bring together, the statistics are led by the Balearic Islands (94.7%) and Málaga (94.5%). Although Madrid is close to 90% and Barcelona and Cádiz exceed 80%. Among the five most populated provinces, Valencia (74.2%) and Sevulla (63.7%) are the ones with the lowest percentages of population in potentially stressed areas, although both exceed the national average.
On the contrary, it is a problem that disappears in emptied Spain, which explains why more than 80% of postal codes cannot be considered stressed. But it is relatively widespread. In fact, only two provinces (Valladolid and Palencia) have less than 10% of their population in potentially stressed areas. And the intensity is also relatively low in all the inland provinces, with the exceptions of Zaragoza and, to a lesser extent, Navarra, Badajoz and Salamanca. The opposite happens in the coastal areas, where the greatest tensions are observed in the Mediterranean arc, although throughout the Cantabrian coast, with Bizkaia and A Coruña at the forefront, there are also relatively high percentages of population in stressed areas.
The analysis by postal codes makes it possible to clearly define the areas where the costs of housing are considered excessive in the opinion of the legislator. But the norm does not determine a specific geographical unit for its declaration of stressed area: that is, it could be from an electoral district, to a municipality or an entire province. What is relevant is that the process is carried out by “the competent Administration”, and the powers in housing are transferred to the autonomous communities. As the main consequence of the declaration is the control of rental prices and the PP has declared itself against this measure, it is possible that the communities where it governs avoid declaring stressed areas.
For the areas where this declaration is carried out, the consequences for the majority of homes will be imperceptible. But landlords and tenants in the area will be subject to price control regulations when they begin to operate, which will not be immediately because the law provides for a period until the official price index is approved or fiscal measures become effective. that contemplates And for the public powers, the declaration will entail other obligations such as increasing the provision of social apartments and establishing plans to reverse the situation of tension in real estate prices.