Journal of Housing and the Built Environment

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 1043–1063 | Cite as

Recent increase of tenancy in young Spanish couples: sociodemographic factors and regional market dynamics

  • Alda Botelho AzevedoEmail author
  • Julián López-Colás
  • Juan A. Módenes


The increase of the proportion of rental-occupied dwellings between 2001 and 2011 is one of the most outstanding results of the 2011 Spanish census. This study aims to explain this increase in tenancy, unveiling the sociodemographic factors behind this pattern at the individual level, and at the regional level clarifying the role of market dynamics in this change. Accordingly, using the microdata from the 2001 and 2011 Spanish censuses, multilevel logistic models are estimated. Two main findings can be drawn from this study: the recent increase in tenancy occurs concurrently with a process of convergence towards a greater acceptance of tenancy among sociodemographic groups, and changes in housing purchase prices have an impact on the likelihood of a young Spanish couple being tenants. The policy implications of these findings are twofold. On the one hand, a more active role in the regulation of housing purchase prices to deter speculative demand is needed. On the other, a greater demand for tenancy requires changes in the tenure composition of Spanish housing stock. Finally, having effective alternatives to homeownership, young adults could rely less upon family networks during the transition to adulthood which could ultimately contribute to a reduction in late parental home-leaving and encourage family formation.


Census data Housing prices Multilevel analysis Renting Spain 



Funding was provided by Generalitat de Catalunya (Grant No. CSO2016-79142-R) and Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (Grant No. UID/SOC/50013/2013).


  1. Ahn, N. (2001). Age at first-time homeownership in Spain. Documento de trabajo 2001-23, Fundación de Estudios de Economía Aplicada.Google Scholar
  2. Ahn, N., & Sánchez-Marcos, V. (2017). Emancipation under the great recession in Spain. Review of Economics of the Household, 15(2), 477–495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aparicio-Fenoll, A., & Oppedisano, V. (2012). Fostering the emancipation of young people: Evidence from a Spanish rental subsidy. IZA Discussion Paper Series 6651.Google Scholar
  4. Arrazola, M., Hevia, J., Romero, D., & Sanz-Sanz, J. F. (2014). Determinants of the Spanish housing market over three decades and three booms: Long run supply and demand elasticities. Working Papers in Public Finance 13/2014.Google Scholar
  5. Asociación Hipotecaria Española. (2012). Boletín Estadístico Trimestral. 2T2012, Mimeo.Google Scholar
  6. Baizán, P., Aassve, A., & Billari, F. (2003). Cohabitation, marriage, and first birth: The interrelationship of family formation events in Spain. European Journal of Population, 19, 147–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Boelhouwer, P. J., & Heijden, H. (1992). Housing systems in Europe. Delft: Delft University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Cabré, A., & Módenes, J. A. (2004). Homeownership and social inequality in a comparative perspective. In In K. Kurz & H.-P. Blossfeld (Eds.), Home-ownership and social inequality in Spain (pp. 233–254). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Camarassi, J., Gros, D., & Micossi, S. (2009). The global financial crisis: Causes and cures. Journal of Common Market Studies, 47(5), 977–996.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cancelo, J. R., & Espasa, A. (2000). Análisis cuantitativo de los precios de la vivienda: principales resultados e implicaciones sobre el funcionamiento del mercado de la vivienda en España. Madrid: Documentos de Trabajo. Estadística y Econometría. Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Estadística.Google Scholar
  11. CGPJ. (2013). Aproximación a la conciliación de los datos sobre ejecuciones hipotecarias y desahucios. Boletín Información Estadística, 35, 1–9. Retrieved June 19, 2017, from
  12. Etxezarreta, A. E., Cano, G. F., Hoekstra, J., & Dol, K. (2013). Análisis multiescalar de la burbuja inmobiliaria y los desahucios: la Comunidad Autónoma de Euskadi en el contexto estatal y europeo. Revista de Estudios Regionales, 98, 51–76.Google Scholar
  13. Europe, Housing. (2015). The state of housing in the EU 2015. Brussels: Housing Europe, the European Federation for Public, Cooperative and Social Housing.Google Scholar
  14. European Mortgage Federation. (2012). HYPOSTAT 2011 a review of Europe’s mortgage and housing markets. Brussels: (European Mortgage Federation).Google Scholar
  15. Fernández Cordón, J. A. (1997). Youth residential independence and autonomy: A comparative study. Journal of Family Issues, 18(6), 576–607. Scholar
  16. Forrest, R., & Murie, A. (2013). Housing and family wealth in comparative perspective. In In R. Forrest & A. Murie (Eds.), Housing and family wealth (pp. 1–7). London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. García-Montalvo, J. (2007). Algunas consideraciones sobre el problema de la vivienda en España. Papeles de Economía Española, 113, 138–155.Google Scholar
  18. Gentile, A. (2016). Rental subsidy and the emancipation of young adults in Spain. International Journal of Housing Policy, 16(2), 243–254. Scholar
  19. Holdsworth, C. (1998). Leaving home in Spain: A regional analysis. International Journal of Population Geography, 4(4), 341–360.;2-c.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Holdsworth, C., & Irazoqui, M. S. (2002). First housing moves in Spain: An analysis of leaving home and first housing acquisition. European Journal of Population, 18(1), 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Huang, Y., & Clark, W. A. V. (2002). Housing tenure choice in transitional urban China: A multilevel analysis. Urban Studies, 39(1), 7–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Iacovou, M. (2002). Regional differences in the transition to adulthood. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 580(1), 40–69. Scholar
  23. Institut d’Estadística de Catalunya. (2018). Alquiler de viviendas. Rentas medias mensuales. Municipios con más de 70.000 habitantes. Retrieved June 13, 2018 from
  24. Instituto Nacional de Estadística. Hogares por régimen de tenencia de la vivienda y edad y sexo de la persona de referencia. Retrieved June 15, 2017 from
  25. Instituto Nacional de Estadística. Microdatos. Retrieved March 8, 2016 from
  26. Jurado, T. (2003). La vivienda como determinante de la formación familiar en España desde una perspectiva comparada. Revista Española de Investigaciones Sociológicas, 103, 113–157.Google Scholar
  27. Jurado, T. (2006). El creciente dinamismo familiar frente a la inflexibilidad del modelo de vivienda español. Cuadernos de Información Económica, 193, 117–126.Google Scholar
  28. Lee, S. W., & Myers, D. (2003). Local housing-market effects on tenure choice. Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, 18(2), 129–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lerbs, O., & Oberst, C. (2014). Explaining the spatial variation in homeownership rates: Results for German regions. Regional Studies, 48(5), 844–865.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Malmendier, U., & Steiny, A. (2016). Rent or buy? The role of lifetime experiences of macroeconomic shocks within and across countries. In Paper presented at the CEPR network event on household finance, 6–7 May, Imperial College Business School, London.Google Scholar
  31. Ministerio de Fomento. Anuario, estadísticas de síntesis y boletín. Retrieved March 8, 2016 from
  32. Mínguez, A. M. (2016). Economic crisis and the new housing transitions of young people in Spain. International Journal of Housing Policy. Scholar
  33. Módenes, J. A. (2011). El análisis dinámico del sistema residencial urbano: el caso de España. In I. Pujadas Rúbies, J. B. Carrasco, A. G. Coll, F. Gil, C. L. Villanueva, D. D. Aguilera, & T. V. Bendito (Eds.), Población y espacios urbanos (pp. 413–430). Barcelona: Departamento de Geografia UB and Grupo Población AGE.Google Scholar
  34. Módenes, J. A., & López-Colás, J. (2007). Constitución familiar y régimen de tenencia de la vivienda: España en el contexto europeo. In A. Cabré & P. Miret (Eds.), La constitución familiar en España (pp. 199–243). Bilbao: Fundación BBVA).Google Scholar
  35. Módenes, J. A., & López-Colás, J. (2014). Recent demographic change and housing in Spain: Towards a new housing system? Revista Española de Investigaciones Sociológicas, 148(1), 103–134.Google Scholar
  36. Mora-Sanguinetti, J. S., & Rubio, M. (2014). Recent reforms in Spanish housing markets: An evaluation using a DSGE model. Economic Modelling, 44, S42–S49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Mulder, C., & Wagner, M. (1998). First-time home-ownership in the family life course: A West German-Dutch comparison. Urban studies, 35(4), 687–713.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Myers, D., & Lee, H. (2016). Cohort momentum and future homeownership: The outlook to 2050. Cityscape, 18(1), 131–143.Google Scholar
  39. Naredo, J. M. (2010). El modelo inmobiliario español y sus consecuencias. Boletín CF + S. Tierra y libertad, 44, 13–27.Google Scholar
  40. Ortega, E., Rubio, M., & Thomas, C. (2011). House purchase versus rental in Spain. Madrid: Banco de España.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Pareja-Eastaway, M. (2010). El régimen de tenencia de la vivienda en España. In J. Leal (Ed.), La politica de vivenda en España (pp. 101–128). Madrid: Editorial Pablo Iglesias.Google Scholar
  42. Reher, D. S. (1998). Family ties in Western Europe: Persistent contrasts. Population and Development Review, 24(2), 203–234. Scholar
  43. Rodríguez-López, J. (2008). La situación del mercado de vivienda en España. Boletín Económico de ICE, 2951, 11–24.Google Scholar
  44. Romero, J. (2010). Construcción residencial y gobierno del territorio en España: de la burbuja especulativa a la recesión. Causas y consecuencias. Cuadernos geográficos de la Universidad de Granada, 47, 17–46.Google Scholar
  45. Servicio de Estudios Económicos BBVA. (2009). Situación Inmobiliaria. Retrieved June 12, 2018 from
  46. Shiller, R. (2007). Understanding recent trends in house prices and homeownership, 2007. NBER Working Paper No. 13553.Google Scholar
  47. Sobotka, T., & Toulemon, L. (2008). Overview Chapter 4: Changing family and partnership behaviour: Common trends and persistent diversity across Europe. Demographic Research, 19(6), 85–138. Scholar
  48. Speare, A. (1970). Home ownership, life cycle stage, and residential mobility. Demography, 7(4), 449–458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Yeh-Yun Lin, C., Edvisson, L., Chen, J., & Beding, T. (2012). National intellectual capital and the financial crisis in Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. New York, NY: Springer.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alda Botelho Azevedo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Julián López-Colás
    • 2
  • Juan A. Módenes
    • 3
  1. 1.Instituto de Ciências Sociais, Universidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Centre d’Estudis Demogràfics, Universitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBellaterra (Barcelona)Spain
  3. 3.Departament de GeografiaUniversitat Autònoma de Barcelona/Centre d’Estudis Demogràfics, Universitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBellaterra (Barcelona)Spain

Personalised recommendations