Barcelona, housing rent bubble in a tourist city. Social responses and local policies

Asunción Blanco-Romero, Macià Blázquez-Salom, Gemma Cànoves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018 by the authors. Ten years after the housing bubble burst, Barcelona has experienced an increase in rental prices. This increase in prices is due to a combination of factors such as household debt, urban entrepreneurialism and the marketing of the city, evictions, investment by speculative capital, changes in tenancy and an increase in rental housing for tourists. Overcrowding from tourists is gaining ground as a concern in multifunctional cities. Through an analysis of statistics and in-depth interviews with qualified agents, it is possible to observe how social struggles and unsustainability have outraged citizens and pitted them against overcrowding from tourism and the commodification of the city. The local administration of Barcelona has tried to respond to the situation by initiating a process of regulation through urban and tourism planning. Our analysis shows that these actions are of great importance but are not enough to alleviate some of the drawbacks, such as the shortage of rental housing and an excess of hotel beds.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2043
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2018


  • ABTS
  • Barcelona
  • City
  • Crisis
  • Political economy of tourism
  • Social movements
  • Tourism
  • Tourist housing

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