Of the 25 million or so homes in Spain, about 3 million are vacant.
Spain actually has the highest rate of home ownership in the euro zone after Estonia and Slovakia. Even higher than the US.
But because Spain's economy is barely treading water, the government is trying to get more people to rent – since it's near impossible for most folks in that country to get a mortgage these days. It's also hard to buy a home in a country that's dealing with an unemployment rate of 24.6 percent. It hasn't been that bad since right-wing dictator Francisco Franco was sent packing back in 1976.
So the move is on to build Spain's rental market, which is now expected to grow to 25 percent by 2015.
And leasing agents are getting creative in an effort to unload a sizable amount of rental inventory.
Apparently, Spain's biggest real estate website Idealista.com, is using sex to lease rental units to Spaniards in their 20's. The ad shows still shots of couples and threesomes “getting down” in cars. The idea is to convince those still living with their parents to get their own place – so they can have sex in their home, instead of in the back of an automobile.
Not a bad way to reach 20-somethings with active libidos!
Of course, some folks are complaining that the ads are inappropriate. But what's so inappropriate about using sex to sell apartments? Hell, my last real estate agent used to show up in sexy little outfits and always had a wink and a smile for me. But it wasn't because she found me charming or particularly good-looking. It's because she was trying to make her commission. Is there any difference between that and this ad?
Although I'm pretty sure leasing agents in Spain could care less about a few random prudes.
Turns out, ads on Idealista for rooms in shared rental apartments have soared more than 120 percent.
Whether you love those ads or hate them, that's capitalism, bud. And it works!
Perhaps some of those clever real estate agents in Spain should come up with a sexy way to sell commercial properties, too. That's a market that's desperate for innovation. The number of commercial transactions in Spain have fallen more than 90 percent in the past three months. And in the last quarter, there were only three commercial property transactions. Ouch!
This speaks volumes about Spain's economy.
It also makes you wonder whether or not all those sex-starved 20-somethings will be able to pay the rent!