LThe law sins of state interventionism and attempts against regional powers. In this way the feeling of the majority can be summarized of the plenary of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) regardingl Bill for the Right to Housing: 15 votes against and six in favor. Consequence? The elaboration of a new report on the norm agreed by the government coalition that will take two weeks. Therefore, a new delay in its processing.
Two sins to which the main players in the sector do not hesitate to add others. “This law violates article 33 of the Constitution that includes the right to private property. Therefore, and before analyzing whether or not it invades the powers of the CCAA, we consider that it is an unconstitutional law as it violates said article”, it states Jose Ramón Zurdo, general director of the Rental Negotiating Agency (ANA).
CIt is true that the Constitution attributes to the CCAA (article 148.3ª) the competence of housing. “Now, the aforementioned law supposes to regulate many more issues than the right to housing, such as the intervention of rental income, which can collide with the powers of the State -bases of contracting-”, he points out.David Viladecans, responsible for the legal area of Tecnotramit.
In fact, the Government has appealed the Catalan Law that has set the income limits before the Constitutional Court because that is a State competence. And this vision would be supported by the TC. “I understand that the CGPJ should not interfere in judgments of competences between CCAA and the State, since whoever has to elucidater This question is the Constitutional Court, which will have the last word on this matter”, adds Viladecans.
Other experts point out thatlegislate from the state undermining the CCAA is not appropriate to Dright. “We hope to work from a line of consensus, so we advocate for a ‘Housing State Pact’ agreed with the differentandnt social actors involved through sectoral working groups. In this way, the problem of access to housing, both for rent and for sale, can be tackled at the root”, indicates José María Alfaro, general coordinator of FAI (National Federation of Real Estate Associations).). no consensus, the law it will have a scarce application and little travel.
It is evident that the lHey it invades powers, such as housing, transferred to the autonomous communities. “Although a state law may legislate in this way, would set a bad precedentwithin what has been developed in the decentralization process of the State in favor of the autonomies”, José Ramón Zurdo points out.
AOtherwise, it’s a lame law. Because it talks about empty houses when there is no census of empty houses. Nor has it been calculated what the reference rents will be, or the price index, in the rent. In fact, opens a period of 18 months from the approval of the law to establish said index and apply the corresponding limitation. “It is a law where there is a lack of official and transparent data that shows what it is based on,” he adds. Ferran F.ont, Director of Studios de piso.com. In other words, said index could be known once the legislature is over.
ORno price intervention, therefore, that It is based more on ideological than real reasons. Hence, the CGPJ misses “sufficient justification of the need for measures to contain housing rental prices.”
A comment that could be based on what is happening in Catalonia. There, since September 2020, the income limitation has been applied. And the desired results have not been achieved. Moreover, in other Autonomous Communities such as Madrid, without price limitations, these have fallen more than in Catalonia. “That is why the CGPJ says that there is no justification for the need for intervention,” says José Ramón Zurdo.
For his part, Antonio de la Fuente, managing director of Corporate Finance at Colliers, does not hesitate to state that the entire law “is nonsense.” And he highlights two aspects above the rest: rent control andthe obligation to allocate 30% of the buildability of the subsidized home to land already finalists.
“Rent control has never worked. The possibility that they will be controlled in areas that are called stressed, and that it will fall on the regional administration, will cause an opportunity cost for those locations with governments that have a greater tendency to intervene in the market. This will cause investors to leave those locations and bet on others”, specifies.
As the law is outlined, this rental income limitation point could be a disincentive for the owner to put the house up for rent. In other words, he would put it up for sale.
“This would reduce supply and, given a stable or growing demand, it would mean, due to the basic laws of the market, that prices would increase. That is precisely the opposite of the objective indicated in the law”, adds José María Basañez, president of Tecnitasa and president of Atasa (Professional Association of Valuation Companies).
And it is that regulations aimed at putting ceilings on prices carry high risks. Risks such as the withdrawal of rental housing, the emergence of the black market or the aging of the rental product “by not being able to update the rents, the lack of legal certainty and other restrictions that harm the tenant”. These are the words of José María Alfaro, who describes the measures as “counterproductive”.
By intervening in rental prices, the failure of similar models in neighboring countries is ignored. In addition, a belligerent stance is adopted against the owners “forgetting that for there to be rent there must be owners who want to rent homes”, maintains David Viladecans. And he adds: “The right thing would have been to create a public housing offer to open an alternative to the private sector”.
Regarding the second point (30% to protected housing), we must start from the basis that these lands are already finalists. In other words, they have made the appropriate assignments during the urban management and processing required by the regulations. It should be remembered that, depending on the CCAA, between 30% and 50% of all the land that is developed has to be given up to make protected housing. But this is about lots that are already finalists.
Therefore, if we imagine a small promotion of 50 houses, and applying 30%, it would be necessary to make 15 protected houses. “What do you do, a subportal, a subcommunity? The regulations establish that promoters can be compensated, but it is very difficult. Inapplicable. What he is going to do is to stop building new construction where the regulations are applied, ”replies Antonio de la Fuente. For this reason, “the residential development market in Barcelona has become a real wasteland”.
The measure, according to Lacooop, is positive but “not very viable.” Less now with the current sale prices stipulated in the modules, the prices of land and rising construction costs. In other words, the sector considers that it is an unfair, insufficient, counterproductive, unfeasible, interventionist, inequitable Housing Law that generates uncertainty.
“As it cannot be otherwise, we will take into consideration the content of the report that is final. to be able to adapt the law if necessary to the considerations that are made“, said Raquel Sánchez, Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda after the CGPJ report.
While the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has stressed about the new report that “we will look at it with absolute respect. We will look at all the technical questions that you want to raise. But the Government’s commitment is to build this fifth pillar of the welfare state“.