House prices have increased by 700 percent in seven years and doubled again in 2020-21, an MP and member of the Development Committee has said.
In an interview with ILNA News Agency, Mojtaba Yousefi, the MP for Ahvaz in Khuzestan province, said properties prices had skyrocketed in the past year and this in turn was having an impact on families in rented accommodation.
The remarks came as part of a discussion on the tenure of Abbas Akhundi, who served as Hassan Rouhani’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development from 2013 to 2018.
Yousefi said the widely-observed increase in rents was directly related to a sevenfold increase in house prices since Akhundi first took on the role.
He added that the recent decision by the National Coronavirus Taskforce to cap rent increases during the contracted period did not go far enough to support struggling families, and came with no executive guarantee.
Calling the decision a form of “artificial pricing”, he said: "In a situation where house price growth is very high and we have an inflation rate of over 35 percent [in a year], artificial rates cannot be implemented. Just like last year, when the increase in rents was announced to have been 25 percent, but in practice the rents increased even more than this.
“It’s true that this decision has solved the problems of some tenants for a period of time. But in some cases it has also caused problems for the owners, and there have been disputes between landlord and tenant. We have to have macro-policies in place on these issues.”
He added: “Part of the reason for the rise in rent prices goes back to the ministry of Abbas Akhundi. He proudly announced that the government did not build a single housing unit [while he was in office]."
The number of Iranian families in rental accommodation is thought to stand at about 6.5 million. The government's general policy of non-interference in construction and the housing market have led to the worsening of marginalization in Iranian cities, and the bulk of urban household income being spent on rent.