Spaniards spend half their income on housing

The Spanish spend much more than the European average of 40% of income on housing

LAST UPDATED: 20 Oct, 2015 @ 16:22

Home ownersIS 50% of your income a small price to pay for a place in the sun?

This expense is a way of life for Spaniards, according to a survey from real estate network RE/MAX Europe.

Spaniards spend half their income on housing costs, including rent, mortgages and running costs.

Their spend is much higher than the European average of 40% of their income and one in five Europeans spends a pocket-friendly 20% on housing.

Almost 60% of those surveyed believe Spain is an expensive place to live, and 26% claimed renting is becoming more expensive.

“Foreign buyers disagree with the statement that Spain is an expensive place to live, seeing the benefit of comparatively low property prices, and lower costs of alcohol, tobacco and food,” said RE/MAX’s Marbella based CEO.

“This gives foreign buyers a lower overall cost of living and a positive impression of the country.”

While 61% of Europeans are homeowners, in Spain 80% of couples with children live in rented properties.

In Spain, 17.6% of adults live with their parents, and the figure is almost 55% for those aged 20-29.

Just 7% of Spaniards live on their own, significantly lower than the European average of 15%.


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  1. At last, a true survey that shows that Spain is an expensive place to live, by the people who actually live here and who know the reality of it. Sure, some things are cheaper, but Spain more than makes up for it with things that are not – property costs and taxes being two prime examples. No one is talking about all the taxes, gestor fees, expensive Internet/broadband costs, gas and electric etc. There are many hidden costs that you’d never expect. Expats think Spain is cheaper because they compare like-for-like, but the real comparison should be made when you actually live and work here permanently, and are not changing overseas earnings sent in pounds into euros.

  2. The costs are insane to the relative wages. Buyers from abroad think property’s are cheap because they are comparing them with their home country where wages are high. When you factor in legal costs for the house when you find out it should never have been built and the fact that you could never make a living locally the prices are very high.

  3. Also the extortionate bank charges, fees, costs to change a mortgage and the worst of all, the “Clauso Suelo” which means way over the odds interest rates. Personally, if I were only spending half my income on my house then I would be delighted!