Marbella Town Engages University of Malaga to Study Affordable Housing Access

Marbella Town Engages University of Malaga to Study Affordable Housing Access

Marbella Town Engages University of Malaga to Study Affordable Housing Access

Marbella town has commissioned the University of Malaga (UMA) to undertake a comprehensive study aimed at understanding the challenges faced by residents in accessing affordable housing in this popular Costa del Sol tourist destination.

Mayor Ángeles Muñoz announced this initiative earlier this week, emphasizing that the study's findings will provide an updated analysis from the previous study conducted in 2018. Muñoz highlighted that the latest study aims to "create a real map of the situation" amidst recent public demonstrations in Malaga city where over 15,000 people demanded action against the high demand for both purchasing and renting homes, exacerbated by the scarcity of available properties.

According to data from Spain's INE national institute of statistics, Marbella currently boasts 6,994 legally registered tourist rental properties, constituting approximately 6.9% of the 100,000 existing properties. This places Marbella as the fourth largest city nationally in terms of properties available for tourist use, following Madrid, Barcelona, and Malaga city.

The UMA study, scheduled to span four months, aims to deliver its findings by the end of this year, Mayor Muñoz indicated. She was joined by Antonio Guevara, dean of UMA's faculty of tourism, and Enrique Navarro, director of the University Institute for Research on Tourist Intelligence and Innovation, during the announcement.

"While awaiting updated data, the mayor mentioned that 'there is no housing market tension in Marbella due to tourist flats,' underscoring the economic contribution of tourism, which accounts for 8% of the sector's income in the town," Muñoz stated.

Muñoz also highlighted Marbella's significant foreign population, noting their tendency to rent out homes during the high season and return to their home countries during the summer months. She referenced the first study in 2018, which explored the landscape of tourist accommodations, revealing that a substantial portion of properties for tourist use are managed by foreigners.

Guevara emphasized the need for the new study to update and analyze data in light of recent legislative changes by the Junta, which now delegates decision-making on housing for tourist use to local administrations. He acknowledged shifts in the sector post-COVID-19 and stressed the importance of tailoring regulations to fit each city's unique circumstances.

Upon completion of the study, Muñoz affirmed that the town hall would use the findings to potentially implement necessary measures to address any identified issues effectively.

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