”Monthly prices on new leases rose 20.9% on average over the last year.”


This is due to a rise in demand, but also to a drop in supply. That is because many homeowners who had been renting out their properties during the economic slump are now putting them back on the sales market as prices start to pick up again. Added to this is the fact that short-term rentals to tourists has become a more profitable proposition than long-term leases.

“We went to see a small apartment because we thought the price was good,” she recalls. The owner wanted €550 a month for all of 30 square meters in a seventh-floor walk-up in the Born neighborhood. “It was a converted dovecote [where pigeons were once kept]. The bathroom was a closet. Everything was old. And even so, there were 20 people in line waiting to view it.”

The months went by. The best-maintained, more spacious places all went for €900 and up. The couple eventually found a place in June.

The key, says another study by the rental company Alquiler Seguro, lies in the number of days that the housing unit is occupied. In Madrid, for instance, a vacation rental would require average occupancy of 15 to 18 nights a month to be as profitable as a long-term lease. In Barcelona, this drops to between 12 and 15 nights a month.

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