Barcelona Plans to Ban All Short-Term Rentals for Tourists From 2029

Barcelona plans to enact a citywide ban on all short-term rentals to address complaints that tourism is to blame for a local housing crisis and soaring rents.

Bloomberg
First Published22 Jun 2024, 12:28 AM IST
Barcelona Plans to Ban All Short-Term Rentals for Tourists From 2029
Barcelona Plans to Ban All Short-Term Rentals for Tourists From 2029

(Bloomberg) -- Barcelona plans to enact a citywide ban on all short-term rentals to address complaints that tourism is to blame for a local housing crisis and soaring rents.

The Mediterranean city will stop giving new licenses and won’t renew existing ones so that in 2029 no homes will have permission to be rented as tourist accommodation, Barcelona Mayor Jaume Collboni said at a press conference on Friday. There are now about 10,000 houses registered as rentals for tourists.

“More supply of housing is needed, and the measures we’re presenting today are to provide more supply so that the working middle class does not have to leave the city because they can’t afford housing,” Collboni said. “This measure will not change the situation from one day to the next. These problems take time. But with this measure we are marking a turning point.”

While many cities around the world are facing similar strains, Barcelona’s move may mark the world’s most aggressive stance toward short-stay apartments, which are often listed on online platforms such as Airbnb Inc.

Cities including New York, Vancouver and Tokyo now insist that hosts must live in apartments they rent, while San Francisco and Seattle limit the number of properties a single host can list. Dallas has banned short-stay apartments from certain neighborhoods, while many others — London, Amsterdam and Paris among them — have placed limits on the number of nights an apartment can be rented annually on the market.

To date, Berlin went the furthest with restrictions, when it introduced a ban on short-stay lets of entire homes in 2016. After this blanket ban proved hard to implement, however, the city revoked the law in 2018, replacing it with looser restrictions and higher fines for breaking them.

Barcelona has already banned rentals of rooms for tourists, said a spokesperson for the city’s urban planning department. Rents have kept climbing.

Collboni said on Friday that Barcelona currently has “skyrocketing rental prices that are becoming more expensive every day.”

Rent prices per square meter in Barcelona increased 14% in the 12 months through April and are the highest among Spanish cities, according to Idealista, the country’s largest website for property listings.

The city was visited by 16 million tourists in 2023, according to the Barcelona Tourism Observatory.

Airbnb didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.

--With assistance from Feargus O'Sullivan.

(Updates with details about other cities from fourth paragraph.)

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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First Published:22 Jun 2024, 12:28 AM IST
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