Private Rental Markets

On 18 November 2014 the International Union of Property Owners (UIPI) hosted a stakeholder discussion in Brussels on the effectiveness of private rental markets in the light of recent EU and national developments. The purpose of the event, at which the CEPI Secretariat was represented, was to take stock of European level developments in relation to private rental markets within the framework of European Economic Governance, and to debate recent national rental law reforms and rent control trends. These issues, and their impact on the housing markets, are also of interest to CEPI.

The keynote speaker at the event was Peter Pontuch, one of the authors of the economic paper on “Rental Market Regulation in the European Union” which was published by the European Commission Directorate- General for Economic and Financial Affairs in April 2014 (available at ). It looks at the links between the housing markets (private sector only), credit, construction and competitiveness. A housing market correction has an impact on consumption and investment, the banking sector and restricted credit to the economy and increased economic and social distress. 

There is increasing interest at EU level in the real estate sector following on from the financial crisis. Housing is not a matter of EU competence, but more and more EU policies are having an impact on the housing market. There have also been references to housing, including rental markets, in the country specific recommendations made in the framework of the European Semester. The European Commission continues to look at the performance of the housing markets in an economic context. 

A number of EU Member States already have, or are discussing, rental law reforms including rent controls. Examples were provided from Portugal, Germany and France. However there is concern that such controls may have the effect of distorting markets and discouraging investment. It is important to find the right balance for all the different actors involved in the real estate sector. Therefore this is a topic which CEPI will continue to follow.