By 2028 10,000+ Homes In Barcelona Will Be For Citizens, Not Tourists

view across plaza of cathedral with three spires at sunrise
Catedral de la Santa Cruz in Barcelona, where there is lots to attract tourists. Tourism is also making housing unaffordable for locals.

As the 10th most expensive city in the world to live in, Toronto has been trapped in a no-win nightmare of rental housing unaffordability. The price is being paid not only by renters, but also by small scale investors caught when the revenue from their own-to-rent properties doesn’t keep pace with carrying costs.

Renters gotta rent. But do landlords gotta profit? The failing mini-investor rental model is suggesting otherwise.

At the same time, in markedly different communities, less affluent renters are also being squeezed out of the affordable housing market. Another set of events affects communities both small and large — those that happen to be popular tourist destinations. Housing in these villages, towns and cities are desirable and affordable for cash-rich travellers who ‘out-bid’ local renters.

In tourist-magnet destinations, the profits of renting casually to tourists can greatly enhance the income of landlords of all sizes. Recently we featured a post from the Canary Islands, a Spanish outpost off the coast of Africa, where demonstrations have been taking place against the rising cost of housing. Ironically, those lower-wage workers in the booming tourist industry cannot afford to live in the tourist communities that their labour supports. Try: Tomorrow’s Next Peasant Revolt? Okay, Maybe Not ‘Til The Day After

Just a temporary imbalance in an otherwise healthy tourist industry? Evidence is building that tourist-supported profit for landlords is a plague upon communities of all sizes.

If Toronto, featured above, presents a crisis in one of the world’s top unaffordable cities, Barcelona, Spain, is recognized as one of the world’s top tourist destinations. And much as the community profits from tourism, the impact on affordable housing sees the city of Barcelona crying ‘enough is enough.’ Read more in the Independent: Barcelona plans to ban holiday apartment rentals to tourists by 2028

Spain is one of the world’s top tourist travel destinations. Is it an example to other governments of reaping the undeniable riches of the tourist trade without consideration for their own citizenry? At what unaffordable costs?