Sexy ads urge Spaniards to rent as mortgage market declines

A steamy ad by Spain’s largest property website features people caught having sex in a car. The racy promotion is part of a campaign urging young Spaniards to rent their own homes, since many of them can’t afford mortgages.


“We were brainstorming the moment when people most think ‘I need my own home’ and having sex in a car sprang to mind,” said Fernando Encinar, co-founder of real estate website Idealista. “Millions of Spaniards have gone through it.”

Seven in ten Spaniards in their twenties still haven’t left their parents’ house. As youth unemployment in Spain surged to 52.1% in May (from 45.4% last year), many young people are locked out of the mortgage market and are forced to rent rooms in shared apartments.

Ads on Idealista for rooms in shared rental apartments have surged more than 120% in the past 12 months. Rentals in Spain will grow to 25 percent of the total housing market by 2015, according to Idealista’s estimates.

Home prices in Spain fell 12.6% in the first quarter, the most since the mortgage crisis began in 2008, according to the data from the National Statistics Institute. “Home prices are down so much and there’s more on sale, yet to young people buying is more out of reach than ever,” said Idealista co-founder Cesar Oteiza.

Public Works Minister Ana Pastor previously promised to adopt changes in the legislation to boost investment in the rental market. The new measures would allow landlords to raise rents above the annual inflation rate, and reduce lease durations.