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Left Wing Spanish Party Against Property Investors

Following the close shave in Australian elections, there are fears that a left wing Spanish political party may be given influence in the Spanish government.

It comes after the PSOE party in Spain has begun seeking support from the likes of left wing anti-capitalist Podemos after failing to win an overall majority in last month’s snap general election.

Prime minister Pedro Sanchez has already announced his party wants to review tax breaks for landlords who rent to long-term residents as a way to bring more cash to Spain’s coffers.

Meanwhile, left wing party Podemos, led by Pablo Iglesias, has made housing affordability one of its main issues.

The far-left wing party blames both Spanish and overseas property investors for the surge in property prices in hotspots like Barcelona, Madrid and the Balearics.

It is also calling for the end of tax breaks for Real Estate Investment Trusts, known as SOCIMIs, which receive tax relief for investing in rental homes for three years or more.

Property prices in Sydney and other major Australian cities fell in anticipation of a left wing party victory that did not come to pass, and it is feared that the property market in Spain could suffer the same fate.

SOCIMIs are designed to encourage investment in rental housing, which is a tricky business in a country where eviction of non-payers is slow and expensive.

Mark Stucklin of Spanish Property Insight explained: ‘Podemos blame SOCIMIs and other investors for rising housing costs in hot markets, rather than high demand. The rental sector is a capital-intensive business, and without SOCIMIs there would be less investment in rental housing, meaning few homes and lower quality, all bad news for renters.’

He added: ‘Though nothing is yet certain, it’s likely the next Government will be some sort of coalition between the Socialists, Podemos, and perhaps some nativist parties from the Basque Country and Catalonia.

‘In which case SOCIMIs and real estate investment tax breaks will almost certainly come under fire, all of which could undermine confidence in the Spanish real estate market, especially among foreign investors who value legal stability as well as returns.’

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