THE US’s largest single-family rental home business plans to replicate its model in Spain.
Blackstone Group, a private equity firm, has purchased 18 apartment buildings in the city of Madrid for €12.5 million.
It also plans to target low cost housing units, mainly already-occupied apartments, in cities where local governments need to sell assets to cut deficits.
The move follows a change to Spanish law last year which was designed to increase demand in the rental market by abolishing tax breaks for individual home buyers.
Legislation was also passed to protect landlords by allowing them to raise rents above the annual inflation rate, speeding up evictions of tenants who don´t pay and reducing the length of leases which means owners can raise prices more frequently.
Analysts estimate the Spanish rentals market will double over the coming years due in large part to a changed attitude towards home ownership as a result of the recession.