What is good news for investors in Spanish properties, is bad news for local renters. Led by Barcelona, six regional capitals now show record increases, with rental asking prices exceeding those charged before 2008, when the Spanish housing market collapsed due to a worldwide recession.
This depressing news for renters was revealed by Spanish property portal Idealista.com, one of the largest sites of its kind in Spain. The research was based on the portal's own database for rental asking prices, which in some areas are rising at ever-increasing speeds.
According to the property website, new records have been set for Barcelona, where rental prices are now more than 20 per cent above their boom-time peak. In places like Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Palma de Mallorca, Spanish families find it almost impossible to rent anywhere now, as rental prices have risen by more than 16 per cent and 14 per cent respectively.
Surprisingly, Spain's capital Madrid was not in number one position. Here rental prices rose by a modest 7 per cent. At the other end of the rental market, in Girona in Catalonia, which includes the Costa Brava region, rental asking prices have gone up by just over 3 per cent, an indication that there is still a lot of vacant property on the market that is waiting for buyers. Here investors have seemingly decided to rent out their properties, rather than allow them to sit vacant.
While Marbella at the Costa del Sol is now in third position among the top three most expensive places to rent - and buy - in Spain, in Zaragoza, the regional capital of Aragon, rental asking prices are still some 41 per cent below what they were before the housing market collapsed in 2008.
In Alicante, which sits along the popular Costa Blanca, property is also far less expensive to buy or rent - here rental asking prices are still 7 per cent below what they were in 2008.
The overall outcome from Idealista's study is that, compared to the troughs of the housing market crisis, Barcelona's rental prices are now 59% above what they were at their peak, while in Murcia they stand at just 5 per cent higher than rental asking prices were during the housing market boom.