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‘Public hunting’ of uninhabited houses

Written by on September 14, 2018

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Article Written & Published By: El Mundo
Translated from Spanish to English

‘Public hunting’ of uninhabited houses

The region adds 188,000 empty houses in the large municipalities / The Consell will inspect them to encourage their rent and reduce prices

The implementation of a tax on empty flats, among the possible measures to mobilize this offer

The Generalitat is determined to mobilize as much as possible the existing empty housing stock in areas of high and real demand to put them on the market and try to reduce the high prices that are acquiring rents.

For this, President Ximo Puig himself, during his first speech in the General Policy debate on Tuesday , announced a plan against this escalation of prices for leases, which according to the head of the Consell, can already be considered a “bubble” .

This plan includes measures such as the creation of an indicative price index (which foresees the establishment of price limitation mechanisms, that is, the setting of maximum prices ), tax reductions and inspections of empty homes in saturated areas.

These inspections, which Puig did not clarify how they will be carried out, would serve, according to the regional government , to detect uninhabited flats and encourage large owners of these to enter the market.

One must avoid the “exorbitant growth of private rent,” said Puig.But what are these incentives? Puig did not mention them.

How will these inspections materialize? Neither did he. And the task is more than complex.

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According to data from the Generalitat, in the three provinces, according to the latest available data, there are some 505,000 empty homes (16% of the total), of which 188,500 are located in municipalities with more than 50,000 inhabitants.

Inspect all is impossible, and in addition, not all would be suitable, it would depend on the state of conservation, location, demand, rehabilitation costs, etc.

To detect empty flats suitable for rent in high demand areas and with high prices, the Government is committed to an inspection campaign, but can also resort to municipal census, property registration, personal income tax returns, population census and housing of the INE, to the registry of companies , establishments and tourist professions, to agreements with real estate mediators and financial entities that promotes the registration of vacant homes in rental programs, etc.


All these measures are included in the White Paper on Housing in the Valencian Community , a document that establishes the guidelines of the Generalitat policy in this matter, which also sets out some of the keys that the Department of Housing manages to promote the use of residential of the empty flats.

Among these measures is the introduction of a tax , that is, a tax , on houses that remain empty without justification in areas with high residential demand, a proposal that the Generalitat itself recognizes in the aforementioned document that provokes rejection among households .

Thus, 56.1% of respondents in the analysis of the conselleria (Study of Needs and Housing Demand of 2017) would agree with this measure, while 43.9% would be against.

It is the proposal to improve the housing situation that causes the most rejection among households.

The conselleria contemplates other measures, included in the Law of the Social Function of Housing , as incentives for the rehabilitation of vacant apartments, tax advantages, agreements with the large owners of houses, the mediation of the administration, etc.

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