Rental market regulation in the European Union
Title: Rental market regulation in the European Union
Series/Number: European Commission; Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs; Economic Papers; 2014/515; [Migration Policy Centre]
ISBN: 9789279351648; 9789279360077
ISSN: 1725-3187; 1016-8060
The state of development of rental markets as a genuine alternative to home-ownership stands out as a particularly relevant institutional factor shaping the outcome of the housing market and playing a balancing role and alleviating house price pressures. This is especially the case when it proves to be an affordable platform for young and low-income households, providing them with a viable alternative to a hasty first step into the property ladder. In order to help policymakers develop a sizeable private rental market acting as an attenuating factor of housing prices volatility, it is important to depict the relevant dimensions of the rental market regulation and assess their likely impact on the aggregate housing market. Against this background, this paper first develops a two-dimensional indicator on rental market regulation, covering for rent controls and the tenant-landlord relationship. The resulting indices are put to the test by assessing their impact on housing prices. According to this analysis, an efficient, fair and swift judicial system appears as a necessary step towards unlocking rental markets full potential. Moreover, rent controls appear to have a significant destabilizing impact on the aggregate housing market, increasing the volatility of house prices when confronted with different shocks. Finally, qualitative aspects of the tenancy contract negotiation do not have a first-hand impact on housing market dynamics.
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